Andreas Schmitges is a professional Klezmer musician on the guitar and mandolin, a dance leader, author, and Yiddish activist. He holds a degree in Jazz Guitar from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz (University for Music and Dance), Cologne. Andreas leads workshops on Yiddish musical culture and Yiddish theatre. Together with New York-based director Jenny Romaine, he brought the Yiddish purimshpil “Megille Reloaded” (Di Megile fun Itzik Manger) to the stage for the North Rhein-Westphalia Jewish Culture Days in 2011. He is fluent in Yiddish and as an artist is particularly interested in the interplay of Yiddish language, music and dance, and their relationships to other cultures.
Andreas tours regularly with his ensembles A Tickle In The Heart and Voices of Ashkenaz, and teaches Yiddish dance and his primary instruments, guitar and mandolin at festivals and workshops such as KlezKamp (New York), KlezFest (London), Klezmer Paris, Klezmer Festival Stockholm, and many others.
He has had the honor of taking the stage with stars of the international klezmer and Yiddish scene such as Deborah Strauss, Shura Lipovski, the late Pesakh Fiszman, Frank London, and Efim Chorny.
He has spent the last two years in his capacity as a Program Assistant at Yiddish Summer Weimar exploring, among other things, the parallels between Western European and Yiddish folk music and dance. He teaches at the dance workshop and is offering the Yiddish Children's Songs course together with Diana Matut for the third time.