A growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds, whose stories about the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity.
My Best Teachers were Recordings: Discovering Klezmer and Finding My Sound
Merlin Shepherd, klezmer musician and instructor, recalls his introduction to klezmer music off of a Naftule Brandwein recording.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Merlin Shepherd.
This excerpt is in English.
This interview is part of the Yiddish and the Arts: musicians, actors, and artists series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
My Best Teachers were Recordings: Discovering Klezmer and Finding My Sound1 minute 50 seconds
Playing Klezmer not "Kletzmer" in Germany3 minutes 57 seconds
Jewish Boyhood in Rural Wales: My Grandfather's Story1 minute 36 seconds
Becoming a Clarinetist3 minutes 10 seconds
"There Was Always a Flavor, Without Being Dogmatic": Growing Up in a Secular Jewish Home2 minutes 2 seconds
The British Klezmer Scene3 minutes 5 seconds
"My Grandparents Would Speak in Fluent Yiddish When They Didn't Want Us to Understand"2 minutes 11 seconds
"All Gigs Are the Same": Channeling Healing Energy Through My Music2 minutes 7 seconds
About the Wexler Oral History Project
Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 500 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture.
Tell Us Your Story
Do you (or someone you know) have stories to share about the importance of Yiddish language and culture in your life?