Help Ukraine
Home Who Was Essad Bey? The Disorientalists
Who Was Essad Bey? The Disorientalists

Who Was Essad Bey? The Disorientalists

by Dana Bondarenko

PANDA Platforma
Knaackstraße 97 (im kleinen Hof der Kulturbrauerei), 10435 Berlin

The Disorientalists is a band that puts the life of the German writer Essad Bey in the center of its narrative songs. This name is hardly known nowadays but was big in Berlin in the thirties.

Lev Nussimbaum grew up in a Jewish family in Azerbaijan in 1905. Converted to Islam 17 years later in Berlin, he took the name Essad Bey and wrote several bestsellers in the pre-war period. His mother was a friend of Stalin, and his father – an oil industrialist. Essay Bey staged himself as a Persian prince, denied his Jewish origin, and wanted to write

the first official biography of Mussolini. This weird but true story is performed by Yuriy Gurzhy (RotFront), Daniel Kahn (Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird), and Marina Frenk (Kapelsky & Marina) aka The Disorientalists in their songs. Cabaret, klezmer, oriental swing, ragtime, and reggae are part of their production, which premiered in Studio Я of the Gorki Theater 4 years ago. Oriente released the first album of the Berlin trio in January 2017.

Yuriy Gurzhy – guitar, bass, vocals

Daniel Kahn – accordion, vocals, acoustic guitar, baglama, piano, ukulele

Marina Frenk – piano, vocals, acoustic guitar



VVK (pre-sales) 18€ / AK (doors) 25€


The Disorientalists:


Audio samples:


Production of Studio Я / GORKI Theater Berlin

We are here:

Knaackstr. 97, 10435 Berlin
+49 (0)30 44319557 |