is a clarinetist who for many years has specialised in the Jewish instrumental folk music of Eastern Europe commonly known as "Klezmer". He currently also freelances in the Greek and Turkish worlds.
He has worked as Music Co-ordinator for KlezKamp, KlezFest London and taught at KlezFest St Petersburg, KlezFest Ukraine and KlezKanada. He is one of the world's leading players of traditional East European Klezmer Clarinet style, and he has worked and toured throughout Britain and Europe with his own quartet, with his wife Polina, Budowitz, Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars and the Burning Bush.
Merlin has also been Musical Director for The Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London. He was Klezmer Advisor for the Royal Shakespeare Company for their 1992 production of Anski's"The Dybbuk".
Performed the world premiere of "Kol Simcha" by Adam Gorb for London Musici. Composed scores for numerous dance and theatre companies. International performances, television and radio appearances with New Presumption, Merlin Shepherd Klezmer Trio, RNT.
CDs: Marianne Olyver Gypsy Orchestra: "Dark Eyes"; Burning Bush, "Best of Yiddish, Klezmer and Sephardi Music" and "Music From The Old Jewish World", Duck and Weave:" Duck and Weave", World Network:"The Soul Of Klezmer", Budowitz; "Wedding Without a Bride", Sukke: "Introducing", Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars; "Brotherhood of Brass", "Carnival Conspiracy", Aaron Alexander on his Tzaddik release, "Midrash Mish Mosh" , The Merlin Shepherd Kapelye featuring The Former Soviet Union Klezmer Allstars: "Intimate Hopes & Terrors, tales from the kishkes". Polina Skovoroda & Fanfara, "Civilisation", Merlin&Polina Shepherd, "A Blade of Grass"