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Semer Ensemble

Semer Ensemble

Quote

"They play the wildest mix of Berlin cabaret, Russian folk songs, Yiddish theater hits, operatic arias and cantorial music - first captured in 1930s' Berlin by Hirsch Lewin on his Semer label."
Christopher Blenkinsop, 17 Hippies

Semer Ensemble

Biography

Alan Bern - piano, accordion, musical director
Founding director of Brave Old World, The Other Europeans & Yiddish Summer Weimar. Also performed with the Klezmer Conservatory Band, The Klezmatics, Kapelye, Itzhak Perlman, Guy Klucesvek, to name but a few. Born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1955, living in Berlin since 1987. Bern has an M.A. in philosophy and a D.M.A. in music composition and is the founder, driving force and director of Semer Ensemble.

Lorin Sklamberg - voice, accordion
Hailing from California, the founding member of The Klezmatics - his singing often described as transcendental - turned to Yiddish music in his teens. He went on to become one of the most famous singers of the genre and - being openly gay - a considerable force in developing concert formats successfully bringing together both Yiddish music and the gay lifestyle.

Daniel Kahn - voice, accordion
Based in Berlin, the American is the leader of Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird. The band was founded in 2005, has released four successful albums to date and is known for its special mix of Klezmer, radical political views and Punk attitude.

Sasha Lurje - voice
The versatile singer from Riga, Latvia, is a permanent cast member at Maxim Gorki Theater, where Semer Reloaded was first staged in 2012 and shall now be recorded. She also leads her own band ForShpil, working the Yiddish repertoire with a special emphasis to use the traditional sounds for contemporary content.

Fabian Schnedler - voice, electric guitar
After his studies in Yiddish and German literature, theatre studies and ethnomusicology, the young German attended drama school Ernst Busch and finally turned to Yiddish Song. He is a permanent cast member at Gorki Theater, together with Alan Bern co-developed Semer Reloaded and divides his time between a proper handful of performance, teaching and education engagements at Jewish Museum Berlin.

Mark Kovnatskiy - violin
Based in Hamburg, Mark Kovnatskiy is a leading Klezmer violinist and composer, teacher of Jewish dance, and music director of the international Jewish music festival Yiddish Fest Moscow. He leads his own ensembles, the Hamburg Klezmer Band and the European World Music Ensemble, guests with a variety of Ensembles worldwide and teaches at festivals from North America to the former Soviet Union.

Paul Brody - trumpet
Born and raised in San Francisco, Paul Brody studied Classical trumpet and composition and arrangement as defined by Third Stream music. Based in Berlin since the early Nineties, he divides his time more or less equally between Jazz and Klezmer - with an ever present ambition to fuse the two genres, particularly in his own projects Sadawi, The Detonation Orchestra and Tango Toy.

Martin Lillich - basello
Having started his career with a classical education, double bass, bass and basello player Martin Lillich from Bad Boll in Southern Germany then went on to almost any other field there is - from Jazz through Fado, Flamenco and Turkish to Klezmer. Apart from actively playing - active ensembles at the moment Berlin 21 and Rasgueo - he always taught bass playing, before at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler and international Sommerakademie für Jazz Berlin, now at Global Music Academy in Kreuzberg.