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 Gorman is a Vienna-based composer and violinist. In 2010 Andrew founded the Prinz Achmed Orchestra, a collective dedicated to performing original scores to silent films. Since then the collective has spawned the bands Borscht Street Kids and thus Don Kipper. Andrew also loves composing original music for films and has collaborated with directors of many nationalities spanning the USA to the North eastern Mediterranean. Andrew is also a classical music lover and his concert works have also been performed at a variety of venues and events across England including Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Chelsea Theatre and the Finzi Friends’ Festival of English Song.
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, composer and puppeteer who lives and works in London. Having played Jazz trumpet from age 6, Josh turned aside to the dark path of the accordion after discovering Klezmer and Balkan music. Currently involved with several ensembles spanning Balkan, French, Roma, Klezmer, Scottish and Irish repertoire, Josh has toured as resident composer and musician for String Theatre Marionettes for 3 years, performing his own compositions at festivals across the world. Since his first commission in 2009, he has been composing live and recorded scores for puppet shows almost non-stop! He also works as a puppeteer on the Puppet Theatre Barge, performing puppet shows for adults and children with long-string marionettes. He likes a good honest ale, and a Laphroaig if there’s one going…
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. 16 years later and he has since travelled to many countries jamming with locals and learning music from across the world. A musician who teaches his art in schools across London and finds time to play in a multitude of bands; from Samba, cinematic sound, mashed up hits and originals.
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.