ALFAMA on tour

29/07/18 Musikerlebnis - München - Germany
27/06/18 Rheingau Musik Festival - Oestrich winkel - Germany
26/06/18 Rheingau Musik Festival - Oestrich winkel - Germany
20/05/18 Festival Parfums de Musiques - Roseraie du Val-de-Marne (94) Infos
19/05/18 Festival En Grangeons La Musique - Bregnier-Cordon (01) Infos
04/05/18 Le Silo - Méréville (91)
22/04/18 Cafe Museeum - Spätgotische Kapelle - Passau - Germany
22/04/18 München Tresor Vinum – Matinee - Germany
21/04/18 Musik beim Wirt - Fornach - Austria
05/04/18 Le Moulin à Vapeur - MJC Olivet (45)
25/03/18 Festival de musique sacrée - Eglise les Dominicains - Perpignan (66)
16/03/18 Auditorium de Villefranche-sur-Saône (69)
06/12/17 L'Embarcadère - Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire (44)
11/11/17 Klezmore Festival Wien, Austria
28/10/17 Kulturforum Heppenheim, Germany
27/10/17 Villa Leon, Nürnberg Germany
29/09/17 Kallmann Museum, Ismaning Germany
27/09/17 Schloss Landestrost, Neustadt Germany
27/08/17 Jazz in the garden, Stiftung Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Berlin Germany
26/08/17 Sommerton-Festival, Voerde Germany
25/08/17 Burg Hardeg, Hardegsen Germany
14/08/17 Château de Ratilly - Treigny Yonne (89)
30/03/17 L'Embarcadère - Montceau les mines (71)
18/03/17 Le Triton - Paris (75)
07/03/17 au 11/03/17 La Cave Poesie - Toulouse (31)
03/02/17 Agora - Le Rheu (35)
02/02/17 Théâtre de St Lô (50)
14/01/17 Augsburg - Germany
13/01/17 Nikolaisaal Potsdam - Germany
12/01/17 Kassel - Germany
29/11/16 New Morning - Festival Jazz'n Klezmer (75)
14/10/16 Les Dominicains - Guebwiller (68)
18/09/16 St Wendel - Germany
12/08/16 Les traversées Tatihou (50)
11/07/16 Les Suds à Arles (13)
03/06/16 Satelite café - Roanne (42)
02/06/16 Le Brin de Zinc - Chambéry (73)

29/05/16 Le Domaine Saint George (10)
27/05/16 Thomery (77)
22/05/16 Rabat - Maroc
12/05/16 Les 3 Baudets - Paris (75)
16/04/16 TNT - Nantes (44)
15/04/16 Espace Keraudy - Plougonvelin (29)
08/04/16 Club de la Chesnaie - Chailles (41)
01/04/16 Condé sainte Libiaire (77)
30/03/16 MAHJ (75)
11/03/16 Musique au Comptoir - Fontenay sous Bois (75)
06/02/16 Nantouillet (77)
05/02/16 Valence en Brie (77)
03/02/16 Issoudun (36)
26/09/15 Abbaye Clairvaux (10)
17/09/15 Metz - L'Arsenal (57)
12/09/15 Festival Vino Voce - Saint Emilion (33)
04/08/15 Carpentras (84)
01/08/15 Le Vigan - Jardins ancien tribunal (30)
31/07/15 Lasalle - Temple (30)
29/07/15 ACAP - Pornic (44)
18/06/15 Le Toboggan - Décines (69)
05/06/15 KLANGVOKAL Musikfestival Dortmund - GERMANY
08/05/15 La Péniche Spectacles - Rennes (35)
07/05/15 La Péniche Spectacles - Rennes (35)
10/04/15 Le Silo - Méréville (91)
20/03/15 La Mezzanine, Lieusaint (77)
19/03/15 Salle Django Reinhardt - Strasbourg (67)
15/03/15 Le Caveau de la Michodière, Clermont Ferrand (63)
14/03/15 Le B-Spot - Nice (06)
13/03/15 Cité de la Musique de Marseille - Marseille (13)
11/03/15 Le Jam - Montpellier (34)
08/03/15 Le Métronum - Toulouse (31)
07/03/15 Le Rocher de Palmer - Bordeaux (33)
07/02/15 La Cordonnerie, Cité de la Musique, Romans (26)
01/02/15 Au Fil des Voix - Alhambra - Paris (75)

Second album : ALFAMA

With their new album Alfama, Blik and Noëmi Waysfeld take us to the streets of Lisbon, reinterpreting the languid tones of fado music, for the first time in Yiddish.This choice was both radical and strangely logical. 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 Noëmi Waysfeld beautifully embodies the unity of both worlds…



Kalyma is a recording of uncommon emotional force, sung with exemplary simplicity

About Us

Noëmi Waysfeld & Blik

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, navigating between the mysticism of Krakauer and the theatricality of Ella Fitzgerald.

The voice of emotion
Noëmi Waysfeld

Noëmi Waysfeld

Strings without borders, globetrotter musician
Florent Labodinière

Florent Labodinière

Accordionist, gifted class
Thierry Bretonnet

Thierry Bretonnet

Pillar Root, guardian of the flame
Antoine Rozenbaum

Antoine Rozenbaum


Guests : Sarrah Nemtanu : Violon // David Enhco : Trumpet // Guillaume de Chassy : Piano

Originally, the project sprang from a mere hunch about the resemblance between Portuguese fado and Yiddish music

Noëmi Waysfeld
Originally, the project sprang from a mere hunch about the resemblance between Portuguese fado and Yiddish music. Listening to Amalia Rodrigues and all the great masters of fado, Noëmi Waysfeld wondered why her emotional response to such songs as Estranha Forma de Vida or Cansanço was so similar to the one elicited in her by ballads from Central Europe. Noemi found part of the answer by looking at the Portuguese lyrics in translation: in Lisbon, just like in the shtetl, music had been a lifeline to people. Indispensable. Vital. As she researched the history of fado, Noëmi found confirmation of her intuition, for instance when she discovered that the Alfama district, the cradle of fado, had been a Jewish ghetto in the Middle Ages (even though that heritage is barely perceptible now), or that Amalia Rodrigues’ close friend and composer Alain Oulman hailed from a Jewish family.

And so, just as she had for Blik’s debut album Kalyma, Noëmi Waysfeld had stumbled upon the idea which would form the core of the album. She would sing Amalia’s timeless fado pieces, but translated into a language closer to her heart – Yiddish. There is no intent here to make believe that, somehow, fado is a Jewish genre. Rather, the point is to bring out the universal in it. From Portuguese “saudade” to Russian-Polish “nostalgia”, the running theme is the symbolic power of singing, a beacon of light and hope in times of darkness and desperation.

What’s common between the ballads of Lisbon’s women and those of Polish widows?

All of them sing of men departed, beyond the seas or to the battlefield. They share the same desire to turn to God or the ocean itself, to heal their hearts through catharsis or simply hold on to life, against all odds, in the face of despair. Interestingly, there is one striking difference between the world of Kalyma and that of Alfama : in the former, male Russian prisoners invoked such feminine ideals as Nature and the Motherland, whereas in Alfama it is female voices who are doing the exact same thing, with even more pronounced mysticism. And that is only one part of an even larger picture.

Indeed, Alfama is only the second installment of a triptych about exile, the feelings and musical emotions born of this real-life limbo. In fact, the band has already begun exploring another kind of migrant blues, that of uprooted Russian Jews who had emigrated to America, as opposed to the melancholy of those who remained under the yoke of Soviet censorship.


Guests : Sonia Wieder Atherton : Cello // David Krakauer : Clarinet

Noëmi Waysfeld and Blik are obstinate

Noëmi Waysfeld
They just won’t stick to one genre. And so they have chosen never to choose between Yiddish folk songs and Siberian prison ballads. Yiddish, for one, seemed like the obvious thing to do. Having developed an early interest in the culture, Noëmi Waysfeld wanted to give their luster back to such Yiddish classics as “Unter dayne vayse shtern”, a melancholy song of hope written in the Warsaw ghetto, “Bobenyu” a song celebrating the Shabbat, or “Shnirele Perele”. The album “Kalyma” features six such songs, brilliantly arranged and compellingly revisited.

The Siberian prisoners thing takes a while longer to explain.

. It was Noëmi who introduced the rest of the band to the incredible story of what can only be described as the “Gulag blues”. With her storyteller’s voice, she led Antoine, Florent and Thierry into the footsteps of Dina Vierny, one of the few people from “the West” who got direct access to the first Gulag survivors – ordinary prisoners sent back from Siberia during the period of détente under Krushchev. It was in Moscow that Dina Vierny, known as “Maillol’s muse”, first heard these songs of anger and rage. She memorized them, since smuggling any recordings through customs would have been dangerous. Back in Paris, she put all this material on magnetic tape over the course of one big night, together with her Russian friends – poets, musicians and painters. For effect, she added some light musical accompaniment to the naked voice: a guitar and a double bass.

The recording, released on vinyl in 1975, was part of Noëmi Waysfeld’s family’s music collection. She played it to the band, and their response was enthusiastic. Now Noëmi is on stage introducing modern audiences to these forgotten lyrics of anger and rebellion, couched in poetic Russian prison slang.

As for the band, it has appropriated these cries of revolt and hope – most of the songs do end on a smile – with a conquering spirit, using today’s musical ideas to rejuvenate the style.

Kalyma in "The best albums of 2012 "

Get in Touch

ARTISTES : artistes@noemiwaysfeld-blik.com

PRODUCTION : production@noemiwaysfeld-blik.com

BOOKING : booking@noemiwaysfeld-blik.com

Régine Burk : regine.burk@burk-artist.de +49 (0) 911 - 7 66 18 62