THE STRANNIKI – די װאָגלערס       читайте по-русски

The Stranniki is a collaborative project by Psoy Korolenko and Polina Shepherd, two multilingual, cross-genre artists and authors, prominent in the Yiddish music scene for over two decades. Following their initial mini-tour and presentation at the Mediating a New Cold War in the Digital Age conference at Dartmouth College in 2015, the duo embarked on a US tour in 2016, which was succeeded by more international concerts in 2018, including the JetLAG Festival, featuring the program Schlepping the Steppes and the Shtetl.

Central to this repertoire is the concept of the 'strannik' (wanderer; literally 'wandering stranger, strange-nik'), roughly translatable into Yiddish as 'navenadnik' (vagabond), and the associated archetype of 'doroga' (Russian for road, path). The Stranniki draw upon, feature, and/or fuse elements of poetry and songs from Yiddish and Russian literature, folklore and popular culture of 19 and 20 centuries, organically weaving in their own original material. Their first mutual album unveils a distinctive continuity of texts, melodies, paths and destinies, inspiring and informing in the peculiar 2020s as much as it ever has—if not more so.

Watch the Stranniki playlist

by Zlat Kogan

PSOY KOROLENKO (vocals & some piano):

Pavel Lion, a.k.a. Psoy Korolenko, is a Moscow based singer/songwriter, translator, scholar and journalist. Picture a jetlagged Allen Ginsberg hopped up on a double espresso: a polyglot people-pleaser, a born performer, a half-serious shaman…. a practitioner of what he calls “spell art,” which is to say art that casts a spell on its befuddled, bemused, blissed-out audience. (“Forward”).

He has been referred to as a ''wandering scholar'' and an ''avant-bard''. His multilingual one-person cabaret-esque show balances folk and klezmer music, free-style poetry and intellectual comedy. Psoy writes and sings in English, Russian, Yiddish, and French.
On stage since 2000, he has published one book of selected essays and song lyrics ''The Hit Of The Century'', and 14 CDs – some of them in collaboration with active Jewish and Klezmer musicians ("Opa!", Daniel Kahn, Igor Krutogolov, "Oy Division").
Psoy is a member of the organizing committee for a Russian American music festival JetLAG, a guest of many klezmer music festivals, and an ex-artist in residence at the Trinity College (Hartford), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA). An author of insightful and sophisticated Russian sung poetry, Psoy is also known for his keen and explorative vision of the art of translation, “tradaptation” and what he calls Spell-Art (i.e. playing with foreign text, emphasizing linguistic distances, multilingual songs etc).

POLINA SHEPHERD (vocals, piano):
“The Robert Plant of klezmer” (Seth Rogovoy, The Essential Klezmer), performs an explosive mixture of songs of the Steppes and the Shtetl spiced up by Tatar Bazaars and washed down with an Odessa fisherman’s tune: Russian and Yiddish, folklore and fakelore, the powerful and the profound.

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