Cookie Segelstein, violin and viola, received her Masters Degree in viola from The Yale School of Music in 1984. Until her move to the West Coast in 2010, she was principal violist in Orchestra New England and assistant principal in The New Haven Symphony Orchestra. She is the founder and director of Veretski Pass, a member of Budowitz , The Youngers of Zion with Henry Sapoznik, and has performed with Kapelye, The Klezmatics, Frank London, Klezmer Fats and Swing with Pete Sokolow and the late Howie Leess, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, and The Klezmer Conservatory Band.
Cookie has presented lecture demonstrations and workshops on klezmer fiddling all over the world, including at Yale University; University of Wisconsin in Madison; Marshall University in Huntington, West VA; University of Oregon in Eugene; Pacific University; and SUNY-Cortland; and at Klezmerwochen in Weimar Germany. She is on staff at Living Traditions' KlezKamp , KlezKanada, and Klezfest London, and has been on staff at Centrum's Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA. She was featured on the ABC documentary A Sacred Noise; was heard on HBO’s “Sex and the City”; and is heard on several recordings including the Veretski Pass releases Trafik and The Klezmer Shul, the Koch International label with Orchestra New England in “The Orchestral Music of Charles Ives”, Hazònes with Frank London, A Living Tradition with German Goldenshteyn, and Budowitz Live.
Cookie also is active as a Holocaust educator and curriculum advisor and has been a frequent lecturer at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Niantic, CT. Cookie lives in Berkeley, CA, with Josh, two cats, a dog, and her occasionally visiting two adult children.