The Tom Franke Gala is an annual fundraiser event for The Franke Center For The Arts. Join your fellow supporters of the arts for a magical night of humor, music, food and drinks benefitting The Franke Center–all in memory of one of The Franke Center’s founders and champions, Tom Franke.
The Gala is a two-part event. The first part is a mixer with hors d’oeuvres, special cocktails, and the music of celebrated gypsy jazz group Djangophonique. The second part will be a Mainstage performance by comedian Ophira Eisenberg.
Eisenberg is a Canadian-born standup comedian, writer, and host. She hosted NPR’s comedy trivia show Ask Me Another for 9-years, where she interviewed and played silly games with hundreds of celebrities including Sir Patrick Stewart, Awkwafina, Rosie Perez, Yo-Yo Ma, Bob The Drag Queen, Nick Kroll, Chelsea Handler, Jim Gaffigan, Michael C. Hall, and so many others.
As a comic and a parent to a 6-year-old, Ophira is the host of the new comedy podcast Parenting Is A Joke co-produced by iHeart Radio and Pretty Good Friends Productions. The show launches on October 18th.
She can be seen live, regularly headlining across the United States, Canada, and Europe delivering her unique blend of standup and storytelling to a loyal fan base of smart, irreverent comedy lovers. She has appeared at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival, The New Yorker Festival, The New York Comedy Festival, Moontower Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot, The Nantucket Film Festival, Women in Comedy Festival and more.
Her new comedy album at special Plant-Based Jokes is available on iTunes and is streaming now on YouTube. Lauded as “hilarious, high risk, and an inspiration,” Ophira filmed her comedy special Inside Joke, when she was 8½ months pregnant. The show’s material revolves around how she told everyone that she was never going to have kids, and then unexpectedly found herself expecting at “an advanced maternal age.” Her other comedy albums, Bangs! and As Is
She has appeared on Comedy Central, This Week at The Comedy Cellar, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, HBO’s Girls, Gotham Live, The Late Late Show, The Today Show, and VH-1. The New York Times called her a skilled comedian and storyteller with “bleakly stylish” humor. She was also selected as one of New York Magazine’s “Top 10 Comics that Funny People Find Funny,” and hailed by Forbes.com as one of the most engaging comics working today.
Ophira is a regular host and teller with The Moth and her stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour and in two of The Moth’s best-selling collections, including the most recent New York Times Bestseller: How To Tell A Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth.
Ophira’s first book, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy (Seal Press), is a comedic memoir about her experiments in the field as a single woman, traveling from futon to futon and flask-to-flask, gathering data, hoping to put it all together and build her own perfect Frankenmate. It was optioned for a feature film.
She is also sought after as a brilliant interviewer and moderator, and has interviewed dozens of celebrities, writers, and actors including Neil Gaiman at New York’s Town Hall; Jane Curtain, Anne Beatts, Heather Gardner, Sudi Green, Alysia Reiner, Jeanne Tripplehorn, David Crane, Jeffrey Klerik at The Nantucket Film Festival; Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy at the 92nd Street Y; and Nell Scovell and Sloane Crosley at The Mark Twain House.
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ophira graduated with a Cultural Anthropology and Theater degree from McGill University. She now lives in Brooklyn, NY where she is a fixture at New York City’s comedy clubs including the Comedy Cellar, Gotham Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club and Carolines, as well as Brooklyn’s famed performance venues The Bell House, Union Hall, and Littlefield. She resides with her husband and son where she can regularly be seen drinking a ton of coffee.
Djangophonique is an award winning, instrumentally driven quartet led by guitar player Andrew Brown. With over a decade of national touring experience, Brown is no stranger to the stage and delivers every performance with personality and enigmatic charm. A true disciple of the style, Brown has spent countless hours immersing himself in the language of Django Reinhardt’s jazz manouche, and he’s joined on stage by bandmates that match his skill and passion for the material. The result is a sound that’s unmistakable to fans of the music, and alluring to the uninitiated—a sound that can bring the lively energy of a parisian dance hall to the quietest listening room or captivate a buzzing festival audience with a shimmering ballad. With respect for the tradition and a fearless creativity that bends the conventions of the style, Djangophonique is keeping the Hot Club revival alive and well.
In 2021 Djagophonique was nominated for Detroit Music Awards including Outstanding Traditional Jazz Artist and Outstanding Jazz Recording (for their 2020 EP Jazz Du Jour.) Their first studio album “Introducing Djangophonique” was released in 2022 and won Best Jazz Album, Traditions Award, as well as earning them Artist Of The Year at the WYCE Jammies. Their music video for their cover of Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” took Best Animated Video and Video Of The Year at the Michigan Music Video Awards. Djangophonique has played events such as Detroit Jazz Festival, Midwest Gypsy Swing Fest, Wheatland Music Festival, Arts Beats and Eats, Mackinac Island, Cliff Bell’s, and Ann Arbor Summer Festival; they have backed up scene staples like Duved Dunayevsky, Dennis Chang and rising stars like 7 time downbeat award winner Ava Preston.
The core group of Djangophonique includes Tyler Rindo on clarinet, Nick Martin on rhythm guitar, and Jorian Olk-Szost on upright bass. However Djangophonique often appears in different incarnations thanks to Brown’s ever growing network of collaborators within the jazz world.