Wenzel, born 1955 in Kröpstädt near Wittenberg, obtained a degree in Cultural Studies and Aesthetics at Humboldt University in Berlin. Since then he has been a freelance artist, initially as a member of the song theater group Karls Enkel (“Karl’s Grandchildren”), and between 1979 and 1999 as part of the satirical clown duo Wenzel & Mensching (with Steffen Mensching). In 1988 and 89, Wenzel spent a quarter year each in Nicaragua, where he worked as a theater director. In 1982, he published his first volume of poems, Lied vom wilden Mohn (“Song of the Wild Poppy”). He followed this up in 1987 with Antrag auf Verlängerung des Monats August (“Application for an Extension of the Month of August”). His first LP, Stirb mit mir ein Stück (“Die a Little with Me”), came out in 1986, and was awarded a Golden Amiga, the GDR’s first and only prize for hit songs. During this time he also worked on a number of stage productions and a variety of musical projects. In 2003, Nora Guthrie invited Wenzel to the Woody Guthrie Archives in Mount Kisco, NY, and asked him to translate some of her father’s works into German and put some of the unpublished lyrics to music. The result was the bilingual German/English CD Ticky Tock — Wenzel singt Woody Guthrie, released in 2003. Wenzel began to tour the United States. In Nashville, he first met Arlo Guthrie, and the two began planning a joint tour. In 2004, Wenzel opened the VOICES-Festival in Lörrach. In the same year, he released the CD Himmelfahrt (“Ascent into Heaven”). In 2005 he recorded the CD Wenzel singt Maschas Kinderlieder (“Wenzel Sings Mascha’s Children’s Songs”) for his daughter, featuring 27 classic children’s songs. In 2009 he released Masken: Wenzel singt Christoph Hein (“Masks: Wenzel Sings Christoph Hein”) and produced the variety show König von Honolulu: Schnulzen, Shantys, Schräge Schlager (“King of Honolulu: Tearjerkers, Shanties, and Weird Hit Songs”). In 2010, Wenzel and Arlo Guthrie released the CD Every 100 Years: Arlo Guthrie & Wenzel Live auf der Wartburg, and went on tour together until 2011 to present it. In 2010, Wenzel released his 30th album, Kamille und Mohn (“Chamomile and Poppyseed”), and in 2011 he published his latest book of poetry, Seit ich am Meer bin (“Since I Have Been by the Sea”) and a two-CD audiobook of the same title. In 2012, he released the anniversary album Woody 100 and a CD titled Kamp Open-Air 2011. His latest album, released in 2013, is Widersteh, so lang du’s kannst (“Resist as long as you can”). In addition to his translations of Woody Guthrie, Wenzel has also published and performed new translations of Bob Dylan songs.