Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch

 

Ethnomusicologist, educator, clarinetist


Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch (Z!SL), a native of Minsk, Belarus, and a New York City resident, is a musicologist (PhD), multiinstrumentalist (clarinetist, saxophonist, flautist, pianist, organist), composer, music and Yiddish educator. He is a founder of Litvakus and Minsker Kapelye bands, Yiddish Language and Culture Instructor at The New School (New York), Assistant to the Artistic Director at National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Slepovitch performs and teaches Ashkenazi Jewish music and other Eastern and Central European musical traditions.

Biography (click to view...)
Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch has performed with Aaron Alexander, Michael Alpert, Paul Brody, Psoy Korolenko, David Krakauer, Frank London, Selim Sesler, Yale Strom, and Theresa Tova, to name a few. He has co-arranged a score for the Jewish cantorial music project performed by Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Meir Helfgot (2011/12, music direction by Hankus Netsky).

Having moved to the US in 2008, Dmitri Slepovitch brought with him his collection of Litvak musical folklore containing dozens of hours of interviews and region-specific musical material. He published over 20 articles and co-authored a book, Traditional Jewish Music in Eastern Europe (2007, in Russian). He holds a Ph.D. degree in musicology (Jewish music) from The Belarusian State Academy of Music (2006).

Dmitri Slepovitch has worked as a music consultant and played character roles in the movies Defiance (2009) and The Burning Land (2003); a co-producer of the KlezmerShock! International Festival (Minsk, 2005). He served as a composer, arranger, orchestrator, music director, rehearsal pianist, band musician, and actor in numerous theater productions in New York and Minsk (National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, Theatre for A New Audience, New Yiddish Rep, Castillo Theater, Peak Productions at Montclair State University, Harvard Yiddish Players, NYU, CUNY, Gene Frankel Theatre, and The Belarus National Drama Theatre).

Among his original works, Dmitri Slepovitch has scored the ballet "Two Brothers" (Folksbiene), The Learning Play (All Stars Project/ Castillo), The Agents (New Yiddish Rep), DOROGA (Lost & Found Project), and the documentary Funeral Season (in production).

Dmitri Slepovitch taught courses in music history, theory, ethnomusicology, and Yiddish language and culture at the Belarusian State Academy of Music, National Music College in Minsk; workshops and seminars in Yiddish music and Jewish studies in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States, held by the Sefer Center for Jewish Studies, Moscow, Belz School of Jewish Music at Yeshiva University, New York, Intercollegiate Center for Jewish Education, St.Petersburg - Jerusalem, and Jewish Music Research Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2010, Dmitri Slepovitch has worked as a community educator at BIMA program at Brandeis University.

Zisl has recorded 3 albums with his band Minsker Kapelye, 4 CDs with the Simcha Jewish Youth Music Theater (Minsk). He appears as a guest artist on the CD appendix to the Upward Flight book on An-skis heritage,an award-winning album Kalykhanki (Lullabies) produced by the UNICEF, and One Ring Zero''s album, "Planets." He has contributed as consultant to Joel Rubin''s compilation "Shalom Comrade! (Yiddish Music In The Soviet Union 1928 1961)". Dmitri Slepovitch has appeared in dozens of TV and radio shows and programs aired throughout Europe, Israel, former USSR and the US.

A touring artist, founder of Litvakus and Minsker Kapelye klezmer bands, Assistant Music Director in many productions by the National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene. In the recent past a Yiddish language and culture instructor at The New School, educator / artist in residence at BIMA at Brandeis University high school summer program, guest artist at University of Michigan, Indiana University, YIVO Institute / Center for Jewish History, to list a few. Zisl Slepovitch has performed/ recorded / collaborated / worked with / wrote for Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Ron Rifkin, Joel Grey, Edward Zwick, Michael Alpert, Zalmen Mlotek, Paul Brody, Psoy Korolenko, Frank London, Yale Strom, Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin; and many others.

Zisl brought over from Belarus his rich ethnographic collection of Belarusian Jewish music folklore, part of which was put into his multimedia concert program Traveling the Yiddishland. Some of his Yiddish poetry has been set to music and published in Israel, Russia, and the US. Among Zisl’s original compositions are film soundtracks, theater and video game music, as well as standalone pieces. Over the years, Jewish music and Yiddish culture have remained the core elements of his creative inspirations. Get the music by Zisl's LITVAKUS' klezmer band: Bandcamp (also as CDs), iTunes, Amazon MP3, CDBaby, and more!