Center For Arts & Equity

The Rachel Leader, Ariel Shapiro and Richie Barshay Trio

Rachel Leader (violin), Ariel Shapiro (accordion), and Richie Barshay (percussion) have been making music together in Northampton, MA since 2021, and create meaningful tapestries of Klezmer and Yiddish songs. Rooted in the music of the Eastern European Jewish diaspora, their performances are soulful, spontaneous, and deeply personal.


Rachel Leader

Rachel began her journey with klezmer music at age 13 when she played her first klezmer tune Yoshke Yoshke at her own Bat Mitzvah. In the years that followed, Rachel participated as a Klezmer New Leaders Fellow through the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and was mentored by violinist Zoë Aqua. Rachel is the founding member of Northampton-based klezmer band Burikes and performs regularly for community events and simcha celebrations. Rachel is also involved in organizing Jewish music cultural events, most recently co-founding and organizing KlezCummington, a weekend-long klezmer & Jewish cultural festival in Cummington, MA.


Ariel Shapiro

Ariel [they/she] is a multidisciplinary artist, cultural organizer, and musician based in Northampton, MA. Ariel is a founding member of Northampton-based klezmer band Burikes, performing regularly around western Massachusetts at festivals, parties, and mutual aid fundraisers, as well as a core organizer of Yiddish & klezmer festival KlezCummington and the People's Puppet Parade, a twice-yearly parade/spectacle performance that brings together intergenerational community to build large-scale art and participatory, homegrown theater.


Richie Barshay

Richie Barshay began drumming inside kitchen cabinets at an early age, and continues banging on things worldwide to this day. From his work with Herbie Hancock in the 2000s, to tours and recordings with Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, The Klezmatics, Fred Hersch, and Kenny Werner, he's been dubbed "a major rhythm voice on the rise" by Downbeat magazine, and The Guardian (UK) praises "a major innovator who also knows how to have fun." He’s also performed with Natalie Merchant, Bobby McFerrin, Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Donald Harrison, Lionel Loueke, Julian Lage, the Curtis Brothers, Gabriel Kahane, Pete Seeger, and the Tony Award winning musical The Band’s Visit on Broadway and national tour. Since 2004 he’s traveled across 5 continents as an American Musical Envoy with the U.S. State Department.

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