Anthony Russell

    Anthony Russell is a vocalist, composer, and arranger specializing in music in the Yiddish language. His work in Ashkenazi Jewish musical forms led to an exploration of his own ethnic roots through the research, arrangement, and performance of a hundred years of African American music, resulting in the EP Convergence (2018), a collaboration with klezmer consort Veretski Pass, exploring the sounds and themes of one hundred years of African American and Ashkenazi Jewish music. Inspired by an ethnographic trip to Belarus and Poland as a Wallis Annenberg Helix Fellow (2016-17), Anthony formed a duo, Tsvey Brider (“Two Brothers”), with accordionist and pianist Dmitri Gaskin, for the composition and performance of original music set to Yiddish poetry. Their recent release, Kosmopolitn, features their settings of 20th-century Yiddish modernist poetry for voice and string ensemble. A past Hadar Rising Song Fellow (2021-22) and a present Mandel Institute Cultural Leadership Fellow (2023-25) Anthony has expanded his work into cultural activism through collaboration with the Workers Circle and as an essayist in many publications, including The Forward, Tablet, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Jewish Currents. Anthony lives in Atlanta with his husband of eight years, Rabbi Michael Rothbaum.