San & Laz bio

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1949, the twin brothers emigrated with their parents after the 1956 Revolution and lived in Israel for three years before moving to the United States. Living in several countries as they were growing up gave San and Laz a chance to see and appreciate many different ways of life, as well as exposing them to the music and instruments of various cultures. They grew up hearing a rich variety of music at home. Their father, a fine singer and a Cantor in the synagogue, taught them everything from religious music and Italian opera, to Hungarian and Yiddish folk songs. Their mother, though not a musician, nevertheless had a powerful impact on their choice of careers. "The music comes from our father," the brothers say, "but whatever it takes to get up in front of an audience and put a song across, that comes from our mother's spirit."

At age seven, Laz began studying violin and San piano, but by then they'd been singing in public for almost three years. However, it wasn't until after they graduated from college (The University of Rochester in NY – San with a BA in History, Laz with a BA in English) that their lifelong interest in music became focused on a career in performing and song-writing.

Over the years, the brothers have learned more instruments. Laz, in addition to the violin, began playing guitar, slide guitar, and pennywhistle in the 70's and has since added other folk flutes, mandolin, and harmonica. San also plays guitar and a variety of unusual hand-percussion, including the bodhran and the bones. In 1976, he met internationally recognized percussion virtuoso, Percy "Bones" Danforth (at the time 76 years old) and became his prime protege.

Both San and Laz are married and attribute a great deal of the success and satisfaction they've enjoyed in their work to the support of their wives. Both women occasionally perform and record with their husbands on vocals, flute and autoharp. In addition, Brenda, a graphic artist, has designed the covers for many of Gemini's recordings. The Gemini family expanded delightfully when Daniel was born to Helen and Laz (September 1992) and Emily Rose to Brenda and San (May 1994).