Andreas Schmitges (D; curator YSW 17, guitar, mandolin, dance)
Andreas Schmitges is a professional klezmer musician on the guitar and mandolin, a band leader, dance leader, author, festival organizer and Yiddish activist. He holds a degree in Jazz Guitar from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz (University for Music and Dance), Cologne. Andreas has taught at workshops on Yiddish musical culture all over the world. Together with New York-based director Jenny Romaine, he brought the Yiddish purimshpil “Megille Reloaded” (Di Megile fun Itzik Manger) to the stage for the North Rhein-Westphalia Jewish Culture Days in 2011. He is fluent in Yiddish and as an artist is particularly interested in the interplay of Yiddish language, music and dance, and their relationships to other cultures.
Schmitges tours regularly with his ensembles A Tickle In The Heart and Voices of Ashkenaz and teaches Yiddish dance and his primary instruments, guitar and mandolin at festivals and workshops such as KlezKamp (New York), KlezFest (London), Klezmer Festival Stockholm, at the Maison de la Culture Yiddish (Paris) and many others.
He was the producer for both the theatre piece Bobe Mayses and the dance piece Gilgul, two artistic projects of Yiddish Summer 2016. In that year he also initiated and co-organized the first ever conference on historically informed performance practice of Yiddish music (YHIP).
He has had the honor of taking the stage with stars of the international klezmer and Yiddish scene such as Alan Bern, Deborah Strauss, Shura Lipovski, the late Pesakh Fiszman, Frank London, and Efim Chorny.
Photo: Christoph Giese