For full info go to Sklamberg & the Shepherds web site
Lorin Sklamberg (USA) – vocals, accordion, piano
Polina Shepherd (Russia/UK) – vocals, piano
Merlin Shepherd (UK) – clarinets
“Talk about your good vibrations – this is pure soul music with a Jewish heartbeat.” – Seth Rogovoy, author, “The Essential Klezmer”
Sklamberg & the Shepherds brings together three renowned performers of traditional Eastern European Jewish music: Lorin Sklamberg, cofounder and lead singer of the Klezmatics; clarinetist/composer Merlin Shepherd, a uniquely innovative force in the klezmer renaissance; and Polina Shepherd, a virtuosic vocalist/pianist/composer originally from Siberia. This fresh collaboration blends traditional and newly composed Yiddish and Russian song with klezmer and southern Mediterranean music.
Lorin, Polina and Merlin represent three nations although their families come from very close geographical locations. At the end of the 19th Century, Merlin’s great-grandparents emigrated from Ukraine and Romania to escape pogroms and seek a better world in Europe. Lorin’s ancestors emigrated from a small town in Ukraine to the United States. Polina’s grandparents escaped from the Sho’ah by fleeing from Kiev and Odessa to Siberia.
Lead singer of the Grammy winning Klezmatics, the leading exponent of Yiddish song and traditional Jewish vocal techniques.
The legendary music critic Robert Christgau has described Lorin Sklamberg’s voice as “transcendent, ethereal and sensual,” … Since the creation of the Klezmatics, Sklamberg has continued to find his voice and apply it to a number of disciplines. He has also worked for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research for almost 20 years, currently as its Sound Archivist. For 14 years he was the coordinator of KlezKamp: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program, and co-founded Living Traditions.
Lorin can be heard on some 50 CDs, and also composes and performs for film, dance, stage and circus, produces recordings, and teaches and lectures from Sao Paulo to London, from Paris to Kiev and St. Petersburg…
Merlin Shepherd’s clarinet provides the perfect foil for his deep musicality. Whether he’s playing traditional Klezmer with the
Sound&Light Cinematic Duo or wild ecstatic music with his quintet Hamsa or with Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars and Boban Marcovic, or free-form wailing with Aaron Alexander’s Midrash Mish-Mosh, his music is a powerful and emotional force that redefines the instrument.
His unique musical voice can be experienced on his debut solo CD of original material, Intimate Hopes & Terrors, a unique collaboration with 10 of the top Klezmer musicians from the former Soviet Union. 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. He is now working internationally with his quintet Hamsa.
Whilst living in Kazan (capital of Tatarstan, Russia) and studying at the State Academy, Polina joined Russia′s first klezmer band after Perestroika, Simcha and toured in dark Soviet theatres, to Boris Yeltsin and to the World in 1998-2002.
She is one of the first generation of musicians of the Yiddish revival scene in Eastern Europe: acting as a programme director, educator and performer she has been involved in festivals, conferences and seminars in Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany, Britain, the USA, Brazil. Now living in Britain, Polina leads three choirs and continues to tour internationally as a Yiddish and Russian singer. About 100 compositions including music for theatre shows, large scale choir compositions, settings for Yiddish poems are performed by soloists and choirs all over the world.