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Keren Ann

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Caesarea, Israel

Keren Ann (b. 1974) is a singer/songwriter with dual Dutch-Israeli citizenship. She plays guitar, piano, and clarinet, and engineers and writes choir and musical arrangements. She is of Russian-Jewish descent on her father’s side and Javanese-Dutch on her mother’s.

Born Keren Ann Zeidel in Caesarea, Israel on 10th March 1974, she lived in the Netherlands and Israel until the age of eleven, when her family moved to France. Her first group, Kab (for Keren Ann Band), lasted three years. In 1997, she wrote the song “Father” for the film K by Alexandre Arcady, in which she also acted a small part. The next year, at the age of twenty-four, she formed Shelby with two other women; the group released one album and had a small success with the song “1+1+1”, whose composer Benjamin Biolay became an important collaborator. In 2000 she began her solo career with La biographie de Luka Philipsen — “Luka” in homage to the Suzanne Vega song, “Philipsen” after her maternal grandmother — written with and produced by Biolay, who also co-wrote and -produced its follow-up, La disparition. (In return, she helped write his debut album, Rose Kennedy.) The pair also wrote several songs for Henri Salvador’s best-selling, prize-winning 2000 comeback album, Chambre avec vue.

Lady & Bird is a collaboration with Bardi Johannsson of the Icelandic group Bang Gang.

Not Going Anywhere, which includes several songs from La disparition re-sung in English, was her first U.S. release, but her American breakthrough came with its follow-up, Nolita. Recorded in Paris and New York, it is named for Nolita, her neighborhood in lower Manhattan; it is sung half in French and half in English.

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