A Detroit area native, he attended the University of Michigan where he studied acting, directing, playwriting and poetry. After finishing his studies he lived, played music, recorded, acted, directed plays and composed theatre music in New Orleans, New York, and Michigan.
In 2005, invited by Alan Bern, Daniel moved to Berlin and, after first attending Yiddish Summer Weimar formed the band "The Painted Bird.”
His primary engagement with Yiddish song as a translator, adaptor and performer is to re-contextualize traditional material into contemporary frameworks. Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird has produced four albums, winning three prizes from the German Record Critics' Association.
Performing throughout Europe, Russia, Israel, Brazil, Turkey, and North America, Daniel regularly works and collaborates with artists including Michael Winograd, Dan Blacksberg, Alan Bern, Steve Greenman, Adrienne Cooper z"l, Frank London, Vanya Zhuk, and Psoy Korolenko, with whom he has the projects “The Unternationale” and the forthcoming "Brothers Nazaroff" (with Jake Shulman-Ment, Michael Alpert, Bob Cohen, and Hampus Melin). He has taught regularly at Klez Kanada, Klez Kamp, and Yiddish Summer Weimar.
In Berlin, he continues to work in the theatre, frequently at the renowned post-migratory theater Ballhaus Naunynstrasse. His work as a journalist and essayist has been published in Die Zeit, Jewish Quarterly, and in the book "Dissonant Memories / Fragmented Present".
Along with Franka Lampe, he is organizer of the Klezmer Bund in Berlin.
Photo: Roger Eberhard