The Ballad of Mauthausen

Niki Jacobs

Bio: Niki Jacobs
Niki Jacobs (1978) has been singing Yiddish since 1999. She is a well-known performer within the Jewish Music scene in Europa and the USA.
“The way Niki Jacobs combines her individual musical background with Jewish melodies, is refreshing and honest. Lisa Gutkin (Grammy award winner and violinist of the Klezmatics)
‘Nikitov, brings a compelling and refreshing 21st century approach to Yiddish song’. Hankus Netsky (Director of New England Conservatory)
Inspired by her family history she developed a deep love and passion for Yiddish Culture and in specific for Yiddish Songs from around 1850 till 1950. During the last two decades she has released eight albums. (See discography)
For the first two records Nikitov only used traditional Yiddish songs. But the novelty being the arrangements, orchestration, none traditional instrumentation al combined with the sounds of early Gypsy Jazz. With this new and fresh way of looking at tradition the Nikitov era started. And they became touring musicians.
Many a great review followed and they toured all the great ‘Folk Music’ venues known. But they were also guests on National and International Radio and TV shows. Played at The Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Jewish Music Festival in Munich, Vienna, Budapest, New York, Washington and many other theaters.
It is 2009 when Niki Jacobs founder of Nikitov leaves the sounds of Gypsy Jazz and starts writing new Yiddish music. At this time, she also ends working with the band that she has been with for many years. She takes the time to find new musicians who are willing to grow and explore the musical path she has in mind. Her search runs alongside writing a new album of Yiddish songs.
She finds; Peter van Os. A classical accordionist specialized in Klezmer and Balkan music. Ro Krauss, multi-instrumentalist and master on the viola, specialized in Balkan and World sounds. Edwin Wieringa who won several prices being an innovating Jazz bass player. Emile Visser, who is well known for his work as a virtuoso on the cello playing Jazz, World, Classical and Modern music. And last but not least, Ruud Breuls, probably Holland’s best trumpet player who recently joined the prestigious WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany.
In 2011 a ‘new’ Nikitov was born followed by the release of their CD ‘Anno 1999’. Together with some of the finest musicians in the Dutch World Music and Jazz scene Nikitov thrived again. Receiving the highest ranking possible in Dutch music the World Music industry ranks her album with 5*****.
Although the wait for a new album was a bit longer than anticipated on, April ‘Mameloshn’ was released. Together with a CD release tour Nikitov presented their new sound in Europe and the USA. The response was overwhelming and as a result Nikitov had a grand International Tour may 2017.
In 2018/2019 Niki Jacobs produced, wrote and performed in a big tour in the Netherlands, paying a tribute to American Jewish singer-songwriters: From Cohen tot Winehouse. At the end of this, almost completely sold out tour, she was asked to approach the Ballad of Mauthausen, and perform the songs for a one-time event in a small but beautiful theatre in The Netherlands.
This specific concert was received so well that it led to the wish to create a show build around the Ballad of Mauthausen, so she did, the tour was supposed to start April 2020 in honor of those who perished during the second world war. More than 35 performances where planned in Europe and the United States. Due to the current pandemic this tour was postponed to spring 2021. Thankfully with the time that came available Niki Jacobs decided to take The Ballad of Mauthausen into the recording studio, resulting in her latest full album, released November 2020.
This year, 2021 she will perform in the Netherlands as well as in the USA and this project has received great press and praise, resulting in a TV performance at the most important classical tv show in the Netherlands.


Niki Jacobs zangeres/bandleider/producer.
Ro Krauss Altviolist
Emile Visser Cello
Ruud Breuls Trompet
Peter van Os Accordeon
Bart Wagemakers recording & mixing Exalto studio's
Guido Tichelman Mastering.
Annesas Appel & Niki Jacobs ontwerp.