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Yiddish Twist Orchestra


“It is always the seam on your trousers that attracts the most dirt,” said Alf Wax, the great Whitechapel tailor, and back in late 1950s London the same was undoubtedly true for music – it was the seam of the big band and rock’n’roll eras that produced what sounds now like the dirtiest, most deliriously danceable music of all: a delirious mix of West Indian Calypso, mambo, surf guitar, classic Yiddish songs and English beat rhythms that they called ‘der shvitz’. When years later it crossed the Atlantic in diluted form as ‘the twist’ its roots were forgotten, and remained so, with the exception of a select few in the know who recognise Willy Bergman, its founder and greatest bandleader, as the lost hero of the sex n drugs British music revolution. The YTO is an Allstar band featuring: twist-neck guitarist Ben Mandelson (3 Mustaphas 3, Billy Bragg) reedman David Bitelli (Elton John, Loose Tubes) Hammond and keys maestro Robin Harris (La Machine) sizzling Latin trombonist Paul Taylor (Snowboy, Roberto Pla) dazzling trumpeter Simon Finch (Eric Clapton, Paul Weller, Jools Holland) rhythm kings Simon Edwards on bass and Roy Dodds on drums (Fairground Attraction and many more) Soho’s retro king Natty Bo on vocals (Ska Cubano, Top Cats) The band’s music pays homage to the genius and paranoia of Bergman, the unjustly forgotten beatnik funkateer who got the slums and salons on both sides of the water dancing to that pounding London beat. The Yiddish Twist Orchestra released their debut album Let’s earlier this year to wide critical acclaim. Come and join us for this unique show and see what all the fuss is about.

PortraitBen Mandelson
g, vn *1953 GB
PortraitRoy Dodds
dr, perc *1958 GB
PortraitSimon Edwards
b US
PortraitDave Bitelli
sax, ob
PortraitPaul Taylor
PortraitSimon Finch
PortraitNatty Bo
Robin Harris
p, org
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To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership.
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