Phil’s passion for Jewish music comes from 40 years of close association with Jewish culture through marriage! Phil has been singing and performing since a child. Having learned singing, piano and french horn, and singing in choirs he went on to perform British folk song, and played guitar in folk dance bands. Klezmer seeped in from regular exposure, and before he knew it he was hooked! He started to learn and perform Yiddish songs, and initially performed particularly Holocaust songs. From there he progressed to a much wider repertoire, after a holocaust survivor asked him, why do you only sing sad songs? – please sing about the positive culture that the Nazis tried to destroy. This then is his aim – to keep alive this beautiful aspect of Yiddish culture and to help more people have this encounter.
Over the last decade, Phil has performed klezmer and yiddish song across the country, at festivals, concerts, parties, Limud and other events, as well as teaching Yiddish Song. He is the Chair of the highly successful Kleznorth weekend in Derbyshire. After a lifetime of working in mental health services, Phil has now retired and is able to spend more time on music – singing in several choirs and playing in a rock band, as well as singing and teaching Yiddish song, and playing with The Klatsh and Yoyvl. The result is larger projects such as “Mir Zaynen Do” and “Yiddish Revolutionaries”.