“Stoke Newington is for people in their 40s who think they’re in their 30s, and Dalston is for people in their 30s who think they’re in their 20s.”
I was born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, 25 miles north west of London. I wanted to play the flute, but the man in the music shop said I had the wrong shaped mouth for the flute, so he gave me a clarinet. Ilana and I met in 2001 at a klezmer music festival in London called Klezfest. We played quite informally together for a few years, then formed the LKQ in 2009 with Carol Isaacs (accordion) and Francesca Ter Berg (cello). Klezmer music is Jewish music, originating in the Yiddish speaking communities of nineteenth century eastern Europe, for weddings and other celebrations.
We write our own tunes as well as playing the traditional ones, keeping within the style. We have released four albums.
Being a musician is a great job if you enjoy an erratic life-style and being on the road. It’s like being a taxi driver – but you get to do a concert as well!
I do make a living as a musician believe it or not! My other regular band is an award-winning klezmer and Balkan group called She’Koyokh. I also get booked for various theatre shows, session work and educational projects.
Anything crazy on stage? There was a klezmer clarinettist called Naftule Brandwein who apparently electrocuted himself on stage by wearing Christmas tree lights as part of his costume. That hasn’t happened to me yet.
We’re currently on tour together in Australia/New Zealand for two months with LKQ. It’s good to be here together – sometimes it even feels like a holiday!
I moved to Stoke Newington from Dalston about 18 months ago. I once heard someone say Stoke Newington is for people in their 40s who think they’re in their 30s, and Dalston is for people in their 30s who think they’re in their 20s. So really I should still be in Dalston, but I’m coping!