Alec Kopyt

Alec Kopyt

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Loved for his dark and wickedly funny songs about pimps, smugglers and small-time criminal life in the USSR, he has long been one of Russian music's best kept secrets. With a gravel voice, sweet harmonies and tales of the dark side, lead singer of Amsterdam Klezmer Band, Alec Kopyt, is the real deal

Biography

Not for nothing is Alec known as Russia's Johnny Cash, a storyteller who can charm any audience, in any language.

Long time front man of Amsterdam Klezmer Band - winner of numerous international awards over the past 10 years - Alec Kopyt has remained Russian music's best kept secrets for years for the simplest of reasons - he has never, until now, released on a solo album.

In late 2012, he teamed up with producers Lemez and Fridel (Oi Va Voi, UK) and Ben Mandelson (Globestyle) to produce his debut solo album - a record of shimmering, smoke-filled stories - recorded at London's finest dub reggae studio, Iguana.

If you are looking for the authentic sound of the Russian southern sea port Odessa, with its spicy words, its ironic attitude to life, humanity and the seriousness of things to come - you have to give Alec Kopyt at least 120 seconds of your precious time... You will hear the long-forgotten street songs and the old Odessa will re-appear before your eyes...

Album forthcoming in autumn 2013.

Booking agent: Michel Winter, Mukalo Productions (Netherlands)

Biography
Alec Kopyt was born in Odessa, USSR in 1959. In his early youth, while working as a butcher's apprentice, he became involved in the vibrant music scene, prominent in the city in the 70's.

Odessa was teeming with state-subsidized orchestras playing music to the responsible soviet people in state-controlled restaurants. The same bands also played weddings and funerals. His uncle Moishe, a drummer, taught Alec the tricks of the trade. Immigration to the USA saved Moishe's liver from being pickled and Alec from spending two years in the navy. He took Moishe's lessons to heart and carried on playing. Having had some accordion lessons in his early teens, together with Moishe's advice, he traveled the world and ended up in Amsterdam.

Soon after his arrival he met compatriot musicians, like Goldfinger, OMFO and Leonid Soybelman. He collaborated with them on numerous projects and played festivals all around the globe, both as a member of the Amsterdam Klezmer Band, in his band Poza and as a solo performer. As a performer he has proven himself capable of quickly entrancing audiences worldwide. In projects like "Man bite Dog" and "The President of the World" he appeared as a scat poet.

About the band

Leonid Soybelman is a Berlin-based musician and leader of the band Ne Zhdali, among the best known avant-punk bands in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. As frontman of "Kletka Red" he recorded and toured together with Tony Buck, Andy Ex and Joe Williamson, and their album Hijacking was produced by John Zorn on his label Tzadik Records in the "Radical Jewish Culture" series.

Liran Donin plays electric bass, and as a member of UK Mercury Prize nominees Led Bib has toured worldwide.

Roy Pfeffer is an in-demand kit drummer from a New Orleans background.

Discography

POZA (as leader)

Odessa (Playasound, 1997)
Diadromes (Raumer, 1997)
Crazy Balkans (Airmail, 2002)
Soncedar - Live From Moscow (OGI, 2003)

AMSTERDAM KLEZMER BAND (as lead vocalist)

Limonchiki (Knitting Factory, 2001)
Katakofti (Kalan, 2003)
Son (Connecting Cultures, 2005)
Remixed (Essay, 2006)
Zaraza (Essay, 2008)
Katla (Essay, 2011)
Mokum (Essay, 2012)