Seykhel Revolution 3: Polina Shepherd (UK) Musique [Acoustique][Folklorique][Traditionnelle]
Polina Shepherd-Skovoroda (UK) was born in Siberia and grew up in a home where songs were regularly sung at a family table. Now an internationally renowned singer, 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 sound deeply rooted in east European Jewish and Russian folk. 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.
Whilst living in Kazan (capital of Tatarstan) and studying at the State Academy, Polina joined Russia′s first klezmer band after Perestroika, Simcha (1990-2000). She soon became the principal Yiddish choir leader of the former Soviet Union, composing original material for large groups of voices and touring internationally with her Quartet Ashkenazim (1991-2007). As a Russian and Yiddish singer worked and recorded with a remix artist Max Pashm in Never Mind the Balkans, a Romanian Gypsy style brass band Fanfara and many others.
As s solo performer she presents a variety of original compositions and traditional songs: lyrical and epic songs, ritual calendar music for pagan and Christian holidays, wedding songs, dance songs and other folk. Another part of the repertoire represents much loved by native Russians Art Songs (Romances) from the 18-19 centuries. She has toured with her solo show Songs of the Steppes and the Shtetl in Russia, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Belgium and Brazil. Her latest solo album Three Centuries Ago in Russian and Yiddish, all the songs in Russian composed to her own poetry.
Her latest collaborations include Sklamberg & the Shepherds (Russia-USA-UK) who blend Klezmer and southern Mediterranean Music featuring a UK leading klezmer Merlin Shepherd; The Stranniki with an “avant bard” Psoy Korolenko (Russia/US): a take on the Wandering Jew and the Russian Vagabond; and The Izba, the Shtibl and the Global Village: A melange of Russian and Yiddish songs with the lead singer of the Grammy winning Klezmatics Lorin Sklamberg (NYC).
As a pianist Polina works with the Sound & Light Cinematic Duo (UK), who play live accompaniment to rare black and white films.
Merlin and Polina Shepherd duo travel the world and are recognized by ‘the magical sound’ on the Ashkenazi music scene. Their CD "A Blade of Grass" came out in 2012.
Polina will be joined on stage by Zilien Biret and Yoni Kaston, Montreal-based musicians.