Merlin & Polina Shepherd perform together in a way that is rarely encountered. Playing Music from several linked cultures and maintaining the styles, they also incorporate improvisation, freedom and spontaneity.
With a unique approach and dynamic, they perform Klezmer, Turkish, Russian, Greek, and Romanian Music and they weave a sound that, so like Music from these countries themselves, moves the listener physically, emotionally and spiritually .
Merlin 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. On this recording he plays G clarinet, whistle & electric guitar.
Polina was born in Siberia and grew up in a Russian Jewish home where songs were regularly sung at table. Growing up in Tatarstan placed her close to Islamic ornamentation and timbre which can be heard in her unique vocal style and four octave range. Touring with Simkha, the first Klezmer band since Perestroika she sang in dark Soviet theatres, to Boris Yeltsin and to the World. On this recording she plays piano and sings.