Noemi Waysfeld & Blik

Noemi Waysfeld & Blik

 Paris, Île-de-France, FRA

Noëmi Waysfeld and her band Blik (“the gaze” in Yiddish) are looking towards the East, to the songs of the shtetl and the heart-wrenching ballads of Siberian prisoners. Though the imagery is laden with emotions and history, the band manages to steer clear of clichés, deconstructing Russian and Yiddish schmaltz and adding subtlety and intelligence into the mix. Though purists might be baffled, Noëmi Waysfeld & Blik bring youthful originality to today’s Eastern European musical styles.


Few singers are capable of conveying emotions in languages other than  their own, but Nomi Waysfeld does just that, in both Russian and Yiddish. She recites and sings and simply brings home these lyrics of hope and rebellion. Her style is reminiscent of French diva Barbara's elegance, Russian songstress Elena Frolovas sensibility and Brassens cool attitude. At times, her incredibly raucous voice has faint echoes of Ella Fitzgerald. She can shout and she can whisper, but mostly she just lets the lyrics speak for themselves.

The Blik boys both follow and lead her into a constant swirl. Antoine Rozenbaum plays the
double bass, which he perfected at the American School of Modern Music as well as Frances Conservatoire. Symbolically enough, Antoine and  Noemi met at klezmer camp. They now form the bands core, its heart and
soul. Their globe-trotting guitarist Florent Labodiniere is a case of  strings without borders, having picked up the oud, guitar and buzuki in his travels (to Morocco, in particular). Thierry Bretonnet is a  supremely gifted accordionist and former disciple to Marcel Azzola. This motley crew of friends has developed its very own hybrids by
frantically tampering with the genome of Eastern Europes contemporary music styles.

Blik believes in breaking the rules and crossing the line between musical genres. Indeed, Bliks not-so-secret ambition is simple: to bring the Yiddish language and Yiddish music to new audiences, from the jazz buff to the contemporary music enthusiast to anyone with a love for real, raw emotions.

The project of Blik is a tryptic work about songs of the exiled.

On their first release "Kalyma" (2012), Blik schlep their Mediterranean oud into the Russian steppe, and modern-jazz up a Polish village from the 1920s. Because this band a little kooky, it is ideally suited to appropriate the shtetl folk songs or the Goulag blues from the USSRs furthest, desolate reaches, memorialized by Dina Vierny decades ago.

On their forthcoming album "Alfama" (fall 2014), Blik take us to the streets of Lisbon, reinterpreting the languid tones of fado music, for the first time in Yiddish. Amalia Rodrigues music and the songs from the Jewish shtetl exhibit a host of similarities: the emotions they convey, something about their essence. Singer/actor Nomi Wajsfeld beautifully embodies the unity of both worlds

Noemi Waysfeld & Blik are :

Nomi Waysfeld - Vocals

Thierry Bretonnet - Accordion

Florent Labodinire - Guitar and Oud

Antoine Rozenbaum - Double bass


*Kalyma - jan 2012 - Label: AWZ records / Distribution : L'Autre distribution

*Alfama - fall 14 - Label: AWZ records / Distribution : L'Autre distribution