FOLKADU is a Berlin-based band founded by the singer and trumpet player, YAEL GAT. Influenced by classical, swing, balkan, klezmer and middle eastern music, the band features with its unique instrumental combination of trumpet, oud and accordion a fusion of well-known and lesser-known repertoire of JEWISH FOLK from around the world.
FOLKADU takes the listeners on a musical journey through stories about love, nostalgia, immigration, integration and optimism in Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino, while playfully connecting those old tales to modern life. In addition to her singing and trumpet playing, Yael Gat presents a special playing technique on the shofar, an ancient musical instrument made of antelope horn which is usually played during the Jewish High Holidays in the synagogue.
FOLKADU appeals to people from all over the world, regardless of their age or cultural background. Jewish folk music is global music because its songs deal with everyday situations that everyone can identify with. Therefore the band wishes to build a bridge between cultures with their music and thus bring people closer together, while advocating for a pluralistic society.
YAEL GAT – Vocal, Trumpet & Shofar
Yael was born in Haifa (Israel) and began her musical training on the trumpet there at the age of 11. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv, where she played trumpet as a soloist in the college orchestra and won 1st prize in the college chamber music competition. During this period, Yael played in the Buchmann Mehta School of Music Symphony Orchestra and toured with it, under the direction of Maestro Zubin Mehta, through Brazil (Salle Sao Paolo), the USA (Carnegie Hall NY) and Switzerland (Tonhalle Zurich). In Israel, she has performed with leading orchestras such as the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and the Israeli Opera Orchestra. A special honor for her was her participation in the opera "Aida", a co-production with La Scala Milano Orchestra and the Israeli Opera Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, in Tel Aviv in 2009. In 2013, she moved to Germany, where she completed her Master of Music degree at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Munich. After she had already lived in Germany for more than three years, far away from her family, her homesickness for her homeland became more and more intense. She increasingly missed her culture and the music that always accompanied her in her childhood. She longed for the moments she remembered at family gatherings as a child, such as when her grandparents spoke Yiddish to each other, when her aunt spoke to her sister on the phone in Ladino, when her father listened to a radio station every weekend that played the old Hebrew folk songs. This unique Jewish melting pot that was part of her childhood was missing from her life in Germany. She felt the need to express her personal imprint through her music. At the end of 2016, right after finishing her master's degree in Munich, she decided to take a different musical path and founded the music ensemble Folkadu, where she performed as a singer in addition to playing the trumpet. With Folkadu she performs a wide repertoire of Jewish folk songs in Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino throughout Germany, giving audiences the opportunity to hear a mix of Jewish music from around the world. Today Yael Gat lives in Berlin. As a freelance musician she collaborates with numerous artists and serves a repertoire ranging from classical to modern electronic music.
DORON FURMAN – Oud
Doron was born in Tel Aviv and grew up in a family with a European and Oriental background. He is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist. In 2013, he moved to Berlin to discover new musical paths. In Berlin, Doron regularly plays with masters of traditional musical styles from Iran, Turkey and India. With Folkadu he plays the oud (a traditional oriental lute) and presents the magical sounds of the Middle East, played with the Maqamat system with combination of musical characters from Western European harmony system together with music styles of the Renaissance, Sephardi Andalusia and folk music.
IRA SHIRAN – Accordion
Ira has been playing the accordion since the age of eight. Born and raised in the south of Israel, he moved to Jerusalem at the age of 16 to attend high school at IASA - the Israeli Academy of Arts and Sciences - where he completed a comprehensive music degree with honors in 2002. In 2008 he began his studies in the Rubin Academy of Dance and Music in Jerusalem, graduating in 2012. In the next years he played in different ensembles and orchestras in Israel as a soloist and as an orchestra member with several symphony orchestras and was engaged for numerous theater productions at the HaBima National Theater and at the Yiddishspil, Israel's Yiddish national theater. In October 2016, Ira moved to Berlin to expand his musical horizons. In his accordion playing he focuses on the music of the Balkans and he even visited the Balkan countries several times in order to take lessons with some of the best players in that genre.