Within the ensemble we have a diversity of musical roots and routes. From childhood obsessions with Klezmer, to song collecting around the Mediterranean, grooving Senegalese Mbalax, the propulsive beat of the Samba bateria, and late night Jazz jam sessions in Dalston, we bring our potted histories and inquisitive minds to the traditional music of Southern and Eastern Europe that we love, study and perform. Some of us are conservatoire trained, while others play entirely by ear, or learnt their songs from Greek grandmothers. Regardless, we seek to make imaginative music within these living traditions that reflect the lives and loves of people who have lived in this patch of London we call home for more than a century.
Together we'll make your brain think and your feet dance!
Andrew Gorman (Violin, Vocals)
Andrew began playing Klezmer in 2011 and met life-long Klezmer clarinet aficionado Daniel Gouly at a SOAS Jam session with whom he went on to form Don Kipper. Klezmer led to the discovery of other Eastern European and Mediterranean music-styles and traditions which form the core of Don Kipper's repertoire today. Andrew has composed music for a variety of ensembles in London and Vienna where he now lives, composing and performing with assorted Jazz ensembles. His Music can be heard on a variety of short films including the award winning international short The Case of Mary Ford.
Daniel Gouly (Clarinet, Vocals)
Daniel is an experienced clarinetist, educator and electronic music composer and performer with a Masters in Jewish Music (Ethnomusicology and Performance) from SOAS, University of London. He specialises in performing and teaching world music styles from across Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, particularly Klezmer, having taught at the UK Klezfest and shared the stage with such luminaries as Alan Bern, Frank London, and Joel Rubin. He is also currently studying for a PhD at the Open University as an AHRC-funded CHASE Scholar researching online musical communities. He also loves hats.
Josh Middleton is an accordionist and composer specialising in Klezmer and East European Folk styles. He has been performing music professionally since the age of 14, graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies with a first class degree in Ethnomusicology, and has since been intensively studying both Klezmer and Bulgarian music, the latter at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts, Plovdiv. Josh has worked with many Klezmer and Balkan music ensembles such as She’koyokh, The London Klezmer Quartet, Tatcho Dorm, Raka and Don Kipper, has shared a stage with Klezmorim such as Frank London and Merlin Shepherd, taught at Klezfest London alongside Klezmer scholars such as Alan Bern and Joel Rubin, and recorded for artists as diverse as DJ Vadim and Kadialy Kouyate.
Josh also works as a Marionettist and composer on the Puppet Theatre Barge, performing and writing music for puppet shows. He has extensive experience composing and performing music for the stage, writing and touring with puppet companies such as Movingstage, String Theatre, Mirth and Misery, Finger and Thumb Theatre, and the Bus King Theatre and theatre companies such as Footfall Theatre and Nick Cassenbaum Ltd.
He also loves the delicate counterpoint between two or even three clashing patterns on a person.
Tim Karp (Guitar)
To his disappointment on his 12th Birthday, Tim Karp received a black and white Squire Stratocaster instead of a scalectrix. Reluctantly he began to play and his natural talent soon became a passion. 20 years later and he has since travelled to many countries learning from locals and discovering music from across the world.
He is musician who teaches his art in schools and finds time to play in a multitude of bands and projects such as:
"The Embers Collective" - where he is Musical Director for a story telling collective
"Beringela" - an ensemble playing Brazilian music where he plays guitar, percussion and vocals
"Super Tenants" - guitarist and co-lead singer in a roaming pop and rock covers band who bring both joy and carnage to weddings and events around the world.
Jamie Benzies (Double Bass)
Jamie Benzies is a highly sought after freelance musician playing prolifically within the UK and internationally. After being offered a scholarship for Berklee College of Music, Jamie instead decided to stay in London in order to continue working with highly respected musicians within the realms of various West and Central African musics, Jazz, Improvised music, Roma, Hip-Hop, Electronic music, Pop and Rock. Jamie has also worked as musical director on several projects as well as providing musical education and session work.
Timmy Doyle (Drum Kit, Darabuka, Riq, Spoons)
Tim Doyle (BMus 1st class) is in demand as a World music and jazz drummer and percussionist and this reputation has led to international touring and studio session work. In addition to his performance credits he works on a regular basis in and around London as a composer, arranger and music educator.
Dunja Botic (Vocals)
Dunja Botic is an acclaimed singer of Southern and Eastern European folk music hailing from Athens. Channelling both Romani divas and Greek grandmothers she brings a unique intensity to the stage and her music, both as a soloist and as part of the award-winning ensemble Don Kipper. Multilingual and multi-talented she specialises in teaching Balkan vocal techniques, traditional storytelling and choral and solo performance from the Mediterranean.