Born in New York City, Jake Shulman-Ment is among the most highly regarded klezmer musicians performing today. He tours and records internationally as a soloist, and with Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird, Di Naye Kapelye, The Brothers Nazaroff, Pete Rushefsky, Frank London, Sanda Weigl, Joey Weisenberg, Adrian Receanu, Duncan Sheik, and many more.
Jake first began playing violin at the age of 3, and went on to study classical technique with renowned violin pedagogues Gerald Beal and Joey Corpus. Beginning studies in klezmer from age 12, he was initially a protégé of Alicia Svigals. Jake later immersed himself in related violin traditions, living in Greece, Hungary, and Romania for extended periods, becoming fluent in both the musical and spoken languages. In 2010-2011 Jake was a Fulbright Scholar based in the Eastern Romanian province of Moldavia, where he was surely the first foreigner to become a member of the famous folk orchestra Rapsozii Botosanilor, apprenticing himself to the orchestra’s director and master lautar violinist, Ciprian Potoroaca.
Working with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York, Jake founded the Tantshoyz (dance house) program. Modeled after the Hungarian táncház movement, the Tantshoyz works to revitalize the Yiddish dance tradition and the spontaneously synergetic connection between dancers and musicians. Tantshoyz has since been replicated in a number of cities in North America and Europe.