Coming to you this week from The Town Hall on West 43rd Street in Manhattan, it's a live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. With special guests, Itzhak Perlman, Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band, roots-country singer and songwriter Iris DeMent, pianist Dick Hyman, and vocalist Heather Masse. Plus, the Royal Academy of Radio Actors, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, Erica Rhodes, and sound effects man Fred Newman, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band, and the latest News from (a suddenly snowy) Lake Wobegon.
  • Itzhak Perlman

    Violin virtuoso and conductor Itzhak Perlman has performed in the world's great concert halls, not to mention playing jazz with Oscar Peterson, klezmer with groups like the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and Beethoven's Minuet in G with a tuba-tooting Muppet on Sesame Street. Winner of four Emmy Awards and 15 Grammys, Perlman's recent recordings include Mendelssohn: Piano Trios (Sony Classics), a collaboration with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma, and Eternal Echoes: Songs & Dances for the Soul (Sony Masterworks), with cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot.
  • Yitzchak Meir Helfgot

    Admired for his powerful voice and incredible range, cantorYitzchak Meir Helfgot is certainly one of the most important cantorial voices of the 21st century. He appears regularly in concerts, as well as serving as guest cantor for communities around the globe - from New York to Beijing, from South Africa to Italy, from Russia to Australia. Currently, he is Chief Cantor of the Park East Synagogue in New York City.
  • Klezmer Conservatory Band

    Since its formation by Hankus Netsky in 1980, the Boston-based Klezmer Conservatory Band has toured worldwide and kept toes tapping at concerts, wedding receptions, and bar and bat mitzvah celebrations. The band has performed with Joel Grey in his recreation of Mickey Katz's Borscht Capades, with Itzhak Perlman in a PBS special called In the Fiddler's House, and at venues from the U.S. to New Zealand. KCB's many recordings include Oy Chanukah! (Rounder). The band: Hankus Netsky (piano), Jim Guttmann (bass), Robin Miller (flute), Yaeko Miranda-Elmaleh (violin), Grant Smith (drums), Mark Hamilton(trombone), Mark Berney (cornet), Ilene Stahl (clarinet), Pete Rushefsky (tsimbl).
  • Iris DeMent

    Iris DeMent was born on the Arkansas Delta and grew up in California the youngest of 14 children. Her dad played fiddle; her mother dreamed of singing on the Grand Ole Opry. For a family that saw its share of hard times, music was a necessity of life, not just a pastime. Since launching her career in the early 1990s, Iris has become one of the most celebrated artists of her generation. Her latest CD, The Trackless Woods (Flariella Records), features poems by the Russian writer Anna Akhmatova set to Iris's melodies.
  • Heather Masse

    Growing up in rural Maine, Heather Masse sang hymns and folk songs around home with her family. Now based in New York, this New England Conservatory of Music alum is a one-third of the Juno Award-winning Canadian trio The Wailin' Jennys. Lock My Heart is her recording with piano legend Dick Hyman. A new album, August Love Song - on which she joins forces with trombone great Roswell Rudd - was recently released on Red House Records.