Renowned performers offer lively European Jewish music in Lewes

Sklamberg & the Shepherds
Sklamberg & the Shepherds

Sklamberg & the Shepherds line up on Saturday, September 10 (6.30pm), at All Saints Centre, Lewes.

Spokesman Mark Hewitt said: “This is an early-evening event with three internationally-renowned performers of Eastern European Jewish music: from America, Lorin Sklamberg, co-founder and lead singer of the Klezmatics, and from Sussex, clarinetist Merlin Shepherd and vocalist and pianist Polina Shepherd, originally from Siberia.

“This is a fresh collaboration blending traditional and newly-composed Yiddish and Russian song with klezmer and southern Mediterranean sounds.

Details and tickets online from 

Mark added: “Polina Shepherd (Skovoroda) was born in Siberia and grew up in a home where songs were regularly sung at a family table. Now an internationally-renowned performer, she brings the songs of the Steppes and the Shtetl up to date with passion and haunting soul. Her singing, though based on traditional forms, cuts a unique sound deeply rooted in east European Jewish and Russian folk song. Growing up in Tatarstan also placed her close to Islamic ornamentation and timbre, which can be heard in her unique vocal style and four octave range.

“Merlin Shepherd 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.

“Lorin Sklamberg is lead singer of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, a leading exponent of Yiddish song and traditional Jewish vocal techniques. Sklamberg, who says he sang before he spoke and taught himself to play guitar, piano and autoharp, has been involved in the world of Jewish music since he was 15-years-old, when he co-founded a band, Rimonim, with three Hebrew school classmates at his conservative shul in Alhambra, California. After being introduced to klezmer, Lorin began to seek out songs within the genre, but it wasn’t until after he moved to New York in the early ’80s that he was able to incorporate klezmer into the music he performed.”

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