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Mickey Van Gelder

Mickey grew up in Ilford, Essex and had a conventional, mainstream Jewish upbringing. His grandparents were all from Russia and Poland.

He has always loved Jazz and Blues and even at school in the 1960s he was listening to people like Big Bill Broonzy, Charlie Parker and the Basie Band. But underpinning all his musical influences, were the Hebrew and Yiddish songs from his childhood.

Mickey began writing songs in the mid-1970s, later joining the band World Series with percussionist Pablo Cook.  The band wrote and recorded their own material and played loads of gigs around London and the South-East of England.

Over the last few years, since moving to Manchester, Mickey has become more and more involved with learning and performing Yiddish songs. He is currently in touch with the Jewish Music Institute who are helping him with his aim to keep these beautiful songs alive.

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