Yiddish Twist Orchestra

Festival Dance House


Yiddish Twist Orchestra – the Back Story

"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. 

Yiddish Twist Orchestra – the Front Story

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 in 2015 to wide critical acclaim. 

The band recently released their new four track vinyl EP titled ‘Go Mani Go’ to fantastic reviews.

fROOTS *****    

The Guardian ****    

The Evening Standard ****    

The Independent on Sunday ****


Press Quotes

“Best track [on the compilation] is from the Yiddish Twist Orchestra, with their rocking surf guitar anthem” - Abendzeitung Munich

"Clash of klezmer and Cuban.. entertaining, varied, classy" - Guardian

"Verve, skill and humour... London's first world music" - Songlines

"Surf rock guitar, jazzy horns, calypso, the twist ... a gleefully maverick spirit" - fRoots

"Musicianship of staggeringly high quality: jaw-dropping solos and witty banter... Tickets will fly out for their next visit" - York Press

"A blazing brass section , two nifty connoisseurs of the electric guitar, and a drummer with rhythm deep in his bones... Yiddish Twist are one band not to miss." - Roots Of The World