York Vedan is coming to London with a brand-new program! At its heart are his original English “tradaptations” (ranging from loose translations to barely recognizable adaptations) of his favorite Russian (and a few Yiddish) songs, including ballads by Russia’s great songwriters Aleksandr Vertinsky, Bulat Okudzhava, and Vladimir Vysotsky, folk tunes, nineteenth-century love songs, and Soviet-era hits. Performed along with parts of the originals, York Vedan‘s versions are not just new interpretations: many of them are also his reflections on the songs’ role in his own life. Come and witness the interplay of old and new meanings, cultural allusions, and connotations, in which Moscow may become Montreal, and Leo Tolstoy may turn into Édith Piaf.
Originally from Moscow, Russia, York Vedan is Faculty Lecturer in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He studied acting and guitar in Moscow and holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a PhD from Columbia University. A scholar, singer, songwriter, and storyteller, he has taught and performed at numerous universities, summer programs, and cultural festivals, including Harvard, Cambridge, MIT, Tel Aviv University, Moscow State University, Yiddish Summer Weimar (Germany), Yiddish Book Center (USA), and KlezKanada (Canada).