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.
Merlin Shepherd's Oral History
Merlin Shepherd, Klezmer musician and instructor, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on August 19, 2014 at KlezKanada in the Laurentian Mountains, Quebec, Canada.
This interview was conducted in English.
This interview is part of the Yiddish and the Arts: musicians, actors, and artists series.
Video highlights from this oral history
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
My Best Teachers were Recordings: Discovering Klezmer and Finding My Sound1 minute 50 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
More information about this oral history
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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.
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