Merlin Shepherd’s clarinet provides the perfect foil for his deep musicality. Whether he’s playing traditional Klezmer with the Sound&Light Cinematic Duo or wild ecstatic music with Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars and Boban Marcovic, or free-form wailing with Aaron Alexander’s Midrash Mish-Mosh or playing with his own quartet, his music is a powerful and emotional force that redefines the instrument.
His unique musical voice can be experienced on his debut solo CD of original material, “Intimate Hopes & Terrors”, (released on Oriente Musik) a unique collaboration with 10 of the top Klezmer musicians from the former Soviet Union. This recording was given a 5 star rating and also a “Top of the World” track on the cover CD of Songlines.
Has been Musical Director for The Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London. He was also Klezmer Advisor for the Royal Shakespeare Company for their 1992 production of Anski’s “The Dybbuk”. Composed scores for numerous dance and theatre companies. Leads The Merlin Shepherd Kapelye featuring The Former Soviet Union Klezmer Allstars that perform Merlin’s compositions in traditional and new klezmer style. Also leads the Merlin Shepherd Quartet, the smaller more intimate version of his Kapelye.
Merlin also works with Polina Shepherd as The Sound & Light Cinematic Duo, playing to the Yuri Morozov Collection of B&W silent Jewish films made in Kiev from 1908-1945.
Merlin is currently working on a new remix CD of his latest compositions, featuring Smadj, Mercan Dede, Dj ClicK, DJ Shazam and many other world leading remixers…
CDs: Marianne Olyver Gypsy Orchestra: “Dark Eyes”
Burning Bush, “Best of Yiddish, Klezmer and Sephardi Music” and “Music From The Old Jewish World”,
Duck and Weave:” Duck and Weave”
World Network:”The Soul Of Klezmer”
Budowitz; “Wedding Without a Bride”
Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars; “Brotherhood of Brass”, “Carnival Conspiracy”
Aaron Alexander on his Tzaddik release, “Midrash Mish Mosh”
The Merlin Shepherd Kapelye featuring The Former Soviet Union Klezmer Allstars: “Intimate Hopes & Terrors, tales from the kishkes”
Max Pashm, Elektrikos/Organikos Records: Never mind the Balkans
The Polina Shepherd Vocal Experience featuring quartet Ashkeiazim, Baym taykh
Polina Skovoroda with Fanfara: Civilisation