Fun night with a Yiddish Twist

PONTARDAWE Arts Centre welcomes the Yiddish Twist Orchestra to the venue this Friday (February 15).

“It is always the seam on your trousers that attracts the most dirt”

said Alf Wax, the great Whitechapel tailor, and back in 1950s London the same was undoubtedly true for music – it was the seam of the big band and rock n’roll eras that produced what sounds nowlike the dirtiest most deliriously danceable music of all – that delirious mix of classic Yiddish songs, West Indian Calypso, mambo, surf guitar and English beat rhythms that they called ‘Der Shvitz’.

When years later it crossed the Atlantic in diluted form as The Twist its roots were forgotten, and remained so, with the exception of a select few in the know who recognise Willy Bergman, its founder and greatest band leader as the lost hero of the sex and drugs British Music Revolution.

The Yiddish Twist Orchestra pays homage to the genius of Bergman. The all-star band lines up under the guidance of trumpeter Lemez Lovas (Oi Va Voi, Shtetl Superstars) and Twistneck guitarist Ben Mandelson (3 Mustaphas 3, Triaboliques) and features Europe’s retro king Nanny Bo on vocals (Ska Cubano, Top Cats), sizzling Latin trombonist Paul Taylor (Snowboy) and Hammond maestro Robin Harris (La Machine).

Don’t miss the first of the new year’s series of Making Tracks when this East End band’s irresistible, bold and brassy musical fusions guarantee to have you all doing the Yiddish Twist.

Tickets for the evening, which begins at 7.30pm are £9, concessions £7. It is part of our Family Friendly events, so you can bring your children for £1.

For further details, contact the booking office on 01792 863722 or visit


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