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CONCERT | Polina and Merlin Shepherd
Yiddish Book Center
Amherst, MA
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In the 1880s, clarinetist Merlin Shepherd's great-grandparents emigrated from Ukraine, Poland, and Romania to escape pogroms and seek a better life. Merlin was born in Wales. Regarded as one of the premiere clarinetists in Yiddish music, Merlin has performed internationally and recorded with traditional klezmer outfit Budowitz and Frank Londons Klezmer Brass Allstars and has been klezmer advisor/performer for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeares Globe Theatre, and the National Theatre, London. Merlin leads his own quintet, Hamsa. Merlins influence permeates the younger generations of klezmer players.

Vocalist and pianist Polina Shepherd's grandparents escaped the Shoah and fled from Ukraine to Siberia, where she was born. Whilst living in Tatarstan and studying at the State Academy, Polina toured with Simcha, Russia's first klezmer band after Perestroika. Among her current projects are The Stranniki, with wandering scholar Psoy Korolenko, and a 150-voice project with Russian/Yiddish choirs in the US and UK and Grammy Award-winning singer Lorin Sklamberg (The Klezmatics). Polina's singing, though based on traditional forms, cuts a unique sound deeply rooted in East European folklore.

Now, the husband-and-wife duo are based in Brighton, UK, and play a blend of new and old compositions reflecting their unique backgrounds and influences.


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This event is part of Yidstock 2020: The Festival of New Yiddish Music.

YIDSTOCK 2020 is sponsored by WAMC Northeast Public Radio, KlezKanada, Ashkenaz, and Tablet Magazine.

PLEASE NOTE: Lineup is subject to change. All ticket sales are final. We cannot accommodate refunds or exchanges.
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Yiddish Book Center (View)
1021 West St.
Amherst, MA 01002
United States


Music > Festivals
Music > Global
Music > World

Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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