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Remember Josh


...singer, speaker and actor, song-writer with a strangely husky voice. He is well-known at home and abroad above all for his rendering of Yiddish songs. Since the 1980's he performed shows with own singer/songwriter material, folk songs and "songs of the world". He has participated in radio plays, worked as Voice for advertising and synchronisation and acted in very varying stage plays. As an ambassador of Yiddish song art he went to many countries as such as Poland, France, Norway, Belgium, Danmark, Sweden, Croatia, Israel, USA and more... The songs he has written himself, and songs in Yiddish and German can be heard on several CDs.

Troyke collected forgotten Yiddish songs and presented recently Yiddish tangos and cabaret songs on stage.


Karsten Troyke, born as Karsten Bertolt Sellhorn on 14 August 1960 in East-Berlin, GDR, is a singer, actor, and speaker. He is best known as an interpreter of Yiddish song.

Performing on stage since 1982, he studied singing as well as drama and speaking during the 80's. His father, a manager for jazz music, had started performing a "Jewish evening" in the 1960's, presenting Yiddish literature translated in German, and Yiddish songs, played from records. Later Troyke joined this performance, replacing the records with himself singing Yiddish folksongs.
After the Berlin wall fell, he worked in a Berlin theatre doing Musicals in Yiddish. Troyke participated in radio plays, worked as a voice actor (dubbing), and recorded several albums with songs in German, and albums in Yiddish too.

As a singer, his album Yiddish Anders (1992) received the price of German record critics. Jidische Vergessene Lieder (1997) contained previously unpublished songs of Sara Bialas Tenenberg, who since 1987 became his mentor for the Yiddish language. Sara, originally from Czestochowa, Poland, and her sons do speak Yiddish till today with him, and Troyke became one of the last singers with that accent of the old Polish-Yiddish style.

During the raise of the "Klezmer-Boom" in Europe and Germany in the 90's, he became very well-known in that scene, allthough he never played Klezmer. His work contains Yiddish shlagers, theatre songs, Yiddish swing and jazz, and, especially in the last 10 years, "Tango oyf Yiddish".

Both sides of his parents were communists, the non-Jewish family of his mother since 1914. His father came from the Jewish-German family Nathan in Hamburg, assimilated, and they bought "Arian papers" after 1933, that prevented a part of the family from persecution.
So in the differences between Jewish and non-Jewish reception of Jewish music in Germany Troyke stood aside going his own way without religion, without feelings of guilt, but focused on Jewish culture.

In 2006 two documentaries, Yiddish Soul and Concert Yiddish Soul, featured Troyke, Shura Lipovsky, Myriam Fuks and The KlezRoym.
Troyke gives workshops on interpretation of Yiddish songs and teaches rare songs from his collection. He was guest professor at the Jewish Music Institute of SOAS London, at Carleton College Northfield (Minnesota) and at least for the summer school of Centre Medem, Paris.