Yoyvl is Phil’s Derbyshire based trio, performing yiddish song and klezmer music. The band consists of Phil Tomlinson (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Adrian Dobson ( accordion) and Hannah Monteiro (violin). Other musicians may feature from time to time, as may dance leaders and narrators.
Our inaugural concert was on 18th May 2016 at Peartree Library in Derby, with a sold-out concert shared with Derby’s own Ukrainian dance group, Hoverla. For HMD 2017 we performed Mir Zaynen Do! in Derby – a presentation of songs from and about the Holocaust, repeated in 2018 in Derby, Leicester and Sheffield, and in Hull in 2019. “Yiddish Revolutionaries” is now under way, – songs , klezmer and narration telling the forgotten story of the Jewish left, with its first performances in February 2019, with Yoyvl expanded to include Judy Sherwood and Sue Cooper (see below).
Mir Zaynen Do and Yiddish Revolutionaries have their own pages on this website, and bookings will be listed on the events page.
Phil Tomlinson is an experienced singer and performer, specialising in singing and teaching Yiddish song. Phil’s background is not Jewish, but through 40 years of marriage to Judy, who is from a Jewish family of Holocaust refugees, has become ever more engaged with Yiddish culture, and particularly with Yiddish music. Phil is based in Derbyshire and has in recent years performed and taught all over the country, at a variety of events including Limmud and Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorations. Phil plays guitar and mandolin with the klezmer band, The Klatsh as well as with Yoyvl. He can also be found singing in local choirs and playing bass in a rock band. Phil is chair of the team that runs the highly successful annual Kleznorth weekend in Derbyshire, a feast of klezmer music, klezmer dance and Yiddish song, now in its 10th year.
Adrian has been playing klezmer accordion for nearly 20 years, predominantly for dance events. He is a founder member of The Klatsh, a klezmer collective which has performed throughout the UK for festivals, weddings and community events. He has teamed up with Phil Tomlinson and Hannah Monteiro to form a Derbyshire group performing both Yiddish song and klezmer. More recently, he has worked with students of klezmer at Manchester University, helping them learn how to play for dance. He has been integral to the planning and delivery of Kleznorth since its inception 10 years ago – the annual national weekend event of klezmer, yiddish song, dance and culture, that takes place in Youlgrave in Derbyshire.
Hannah’s ‘violining’ days began just before her 5th birthday and from the age of 12 she decided that she wanted to pursue a musical career. Hannah went down a classical violin route but picked up Klezmer fiddle as a music student at Birmingham Conservatoire. She felt a beautiful connection and freedom of expression in Klezmer and went to Klezfest to nurture this love. Hannah moved back to Derby and on a lovely walk through her local park she heard some Klezmer being played and met her now fellow band members of Yoyvl: Phil Tomlinson and Adrian Dobson. Together they have played at Holocaust Memorial events, Klezmer Keilidhs and at KlezNorth.
Sue is a bass player and klezmer dancer. She has been involved in the Klezmer revival for many years, playing in bands Klezmeidl (York), and Klezmic (New Mills). She also initiated, and then hosted the monthly Sunday Klezmer Sessions in New Mills which ran for for ten years. Together with Ros Hawley, Sue obtained funding for a series of workshops, concerts, ‘klezbarns’ and other events in and around Manchester, building a network of klezmorim, and introducing Klezmer dance to the Northwest. She has attended KlezFest London most years since it’s inception. Sue has been centrally involved with Kleznorth since its beginnings, and was it’s Chair for a number of years.
Her strong connection with her Jewish forebears strengthens her wish to explore and invigorate the many aspects of Yiddish past – the music, the history the dances and the language. The Yiddish Revolutionaries project has a particular family resonance for Sue.
Judy comes from a background of Orthodox Judaism in which singing and dancing play a significant role in religious practice. Although she has moved away from the religious community, she has retained a passion for these aspects of Jewish culture. Judy brings her personal experience, her work as a psychotherapist with 2nd Generation and her extensive reading of Holocaust literature to her input to Yiddish Revolutionaries. She has for many years contributed to the planning of Holocaust memorial Day in Derby, and has given readings and presentations, including telling the story of her father’s internment in Australia by the British in WW2. She was the narrator of Mir Zaynen Do with Yoyvl.