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. Influenced by several cultures and maintaining the styles, they play original and traditional material with freedom and spontaneity.