Merlin & Polina Shepherd perform together in a way that is rarely encountered. Playing music from several linked cultures and maintaining the styles, they also incorporate improvisation, freedom and spontaneity.
With a unique approach and dynamic, they perform Klezmer, Turkish, Russian, Greek, and Romanian Music and they weave a sound that, so like Music from these countries themselves, moves the listener physically, emotionally and spiritually .
Merlin is one of the world’s leading players of traditional East European Klezmer Clarinet style, and apart from his own ensembles he has recorded and played with Boban Marcovic, Fanfara Ciocarlia, Fanfara Savale, Selim Sesler, Budowitz, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars and numerous others. His unique musical voice can be experienced on his debut solo CD of original material, “Intimate Hopes & Terrors”, (released on Oriente Musik) a unique collaboration with 10 of the top Klezmer musicians from the former Soviet Union. This recording was given a 5 star rating and also a “Top of the World” track on the cover CD of Songlines. Has been Musical Director for The Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London. He was also Klezmer Advisor for the Royal Shakespeare Company for their 1992 production of Anski’s “The Dybbuk”. Composed scores for numerous dance and theatre companies. Leads The Merlin Shepherd Kapelye featuring The Former Soviet Union Klezmer Allstars that perform Merlin’s compositions in traditional and new klezmer style. Also leads the Merlin Shepherd Quartet, the smaller more intimate version of his Kapelye. Merlin Shepherd’s web site
Their latest CD ‘A Blade of Grass’, 2012, is a 14-track instrumental and vocal journey through original compositions that drawscultural and Musical influences from Tatarstan, Turkey, Russia and the Pale of Settlement.
For more information, go to The Merlin & Polina Shepherd Duo web site