Monthly Archives: April 2016

Peaceman, Matthew

Ensembles “IL CIMENTO” is a professional Baroque ensemble from Germany, directed by Matthew Peaceman, that gives specialized performances of the extant Jewish music of the 17th and 18th Centuries. For example, Hoscha’na Rabbah in der Synagoge von Casale Monferrato 1733 in January, 2005, or Hoschan’ah Rabah in Casale Monferrato in 1732, Performed in the Choral Synagogue of Moscow in 2002. Matthew writes: “The cantata to Hoschan’ah Rabbah was an attempt of the Jewish community in Casale Monferrato, Piémont in the 1730’s to expand its own musical horizons within the Jewish context and at the same time to reach out to its non-Jewish neighbors by incorporating musical styles of the latter with the liturgical content of the former.” The ensemble has also played the Ester Oratorio by Lidarti.…


“Oi-Va-Voi represent the cutting edge of new wave klezmer. Their unique sound infuses the traditional music of Sephardi Jews, Transylvanian gypsies and the Ashkenazi shtetl with the dub and breakbeats of urban London. Odessan freylekhs, Yemeni devotionals and Macedonian wedding tunes explode effortlessly into drum and bass driven tracks. Hip young Londoners, Oi-Va-Voi are the subject of a recent international documentary film showcasing the best of contemporary British culture. They have recorded original music for film, theatre and BBC2’s South Bank Show. The eclecticism of their music means klezmer Voi-style is not a musical sacrament played only in hushed auditoriums. Oi-Va-Voi’s musical wanderings have taken the spirit of klezmer to club nights in Amsterdam, to New York’s avant-garde jazz scene, to Robert Wyatt’s Meltdown at the Royal Festival Hall and to Antwerp International Festival of Jewish Music.” Contact:INFO or bookings


“Holland-based NIKITOV is an acoustic ensemble that plays Yiddish songs and Klezmer accented by the rhythms and sounds of Gypsy Jazz and East European folk music. Called “one of the best of the new Yiddish folksong ensembles” (, the band members combine their ideas in producing a unique approach that harnesses the drive and energy of these related musical traditions while capturing the emotion and depth of the Yiddish text. Featuring the stunningly beautiful vocal interpretations of Niki Jacobs backed by a powerhouse group of creative instrumentalists, Nikitov has performed throughout Europe and the United States since 2000.” The site has bios, photos, schedule, cds and reviews.


Hungarian band formed in 2001 mixing “traditional Jewish music (klezmer, sephard, folk-sacral) with jazz and and free-improv elements.” Members of the band:András Párniczky: guitar; Kristóf Bacsó: alt-, and szopran saxofon; Péter Nagy: bass; Csaba Gavallér: drums, derbuka;Featuring: Dániel Váczi: sopran saxofon; János Vázsonyi: alt saxofon. They perform in venues around Hungary and in festivals around Europe.

Neshoma Orchestra

A sohisticated website introduces the Neshoma Orchestra of Cedarhurst, New York. Celebrating 20 years as a band performing “at weddings, dinners, Bar /Bat Mitzvahs, and organizational/corporate events worldwide,” the orchestra is an exemplar of the American Yeshivish and Modern Orthodox style of music. The group boasts a large number of instrumentalists and vocalists, although there are no individual bios on the website. Neshoma Orchestra has records with many top concert artists in the Jewish field. Michael Sojcher and Elly Zomick are the leaders of the group. Neshoma website audio clips include a choice of mp3 or Real Audio. The current website features their CD “A Heimishe Simcha,” with a mention about the upcoming album called “Neshoma @your Simcha”. Contact information includes their address: 420 Central Avenue Cedarhurst, NY 11516.…

Nathan, Shuly

Superstar in Israel, Shuly Nathan’s sweet and crystal clear voice was recorded in one of the most famous songs of all: Naomi Shemer’s Jerusalem of Gold. Born in London, but arriving in Israel at age 2, Shuly Nathan’s albums are both in the folk and pop-Israeli idioms. Today her new CDs reveal a mature artist whose voice is as wonderful as ever. Her website contains a brief biography, some photos, links to her new albums on CD Baby, and contact information.

Naftaly, Aryeh

Singer for Azamra, a movement of the Breslov Chassidim. CD “Shirey Ahavah veEmunah: Songs of Love and Faith”. Website has biographical information, photos and sound bites. “The Azamra Institute is dedicated to the dissemination of Torah spirituality, healthcare and healing through educational programs, quality publications and Internet outreach. Founded in 1986 by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, the Azamra Institute is an independent non-profit organization incorporated in Israel, the U.S. and Canada.”

Musleah, Rahel

Rahel Musleah was born in Calcutta, India, the seventh generation of a Calcutta Jewish family that traces its roots to 17th-century Baghdad. Through her multi-media song, story and slide programs, she shares her rare and intimate knowledge of this ancient community s history, customs and melodies. Ms Musleah is a graduate of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She is a member of the Authors Guild; the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Jewish Press Association. She sings with the Zamir Chorale and Shirah, the Jewish Community Chorus of the JCC on the Palisades, in Tenafly, NJ, both under the direction of Matthew Lazar. She has received awards for her writing from the American Jewish Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Sephardi Literary Contest, the Society of National Association Publications, and the General Federation of Women s Clubs.…

Muller, Benjamin

Benjamin Muller is the Chief Chazzan of the Jewish community of Antwerp, Belgium. His website has his personal history, links to a CD page which has excerpts of the music. You have to click on the small bars below the titles. (Each bar is it’s own set of play/pause/stop buttons.) He also has some interesting histories of the great cantors with small clips. A very intersting “right and wrong” nusach combinations pages (using the metaphor of stoplights for “right” and “wrong” combinations) is a small teaching tool.


A new group called Mozaik based in San Francisco with a self description from their webpage:”The music has been described as: Psychedelic Jewgrass, Klezmer Jamband, Klezmer Trance, Fiddler on the Roof meets the Grateful Dead or the Grateful Dead playing A Jewish Wedding, or try this one Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach sitting in with Vanilla Fudge …”

Skier, Moshe

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: An Internal medicine specialist also plays in a rock band. It’s Jewish. Also was a bass player for Shlock Rock,… “the most prolific Jewish rock band in history. 14 albums and counting….” . Now he works on his own and is doing more writing. Musical examples, bio and info on newest CDs, such as Rock of Sages on the website. Mark and others in the bands he’s played in, have been a big influence in Jewish-themed rock music.

Waksman-Kimiagaroof, Mira

Mira Waksman-Kimiagaroof, a San Francisco-based artist, sings in Hebrew, although many compositions are Sephardic (Mediterranean and Middle Eastern) tunes that come from Uzbekistan, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Morocco and other Arabic countries. Her parents were of Uzbeki and Afghan heritage and she comes from a cantorial and family. She combines her Israeli musical influences blended with musics from others she works with.The website has a brief bio, features two recordings and press info. There are photos, but no labels.

Milder, Larry

Guitarist. Rabbi. Singer songwriter. “Larry has produced three albums of new and original Jewish folk music: Bible & Beyond, On My Block, and Rats, Leviathans & Other Tails. Larry’s songs also appear on over a dozen albums, including NFTY at 50, an anthology of classic songs from the Reform Jewish youth movement; Havdalah Pajama by Judy Caplan Ginsburgh, winner of a Parents’ Choice award; and most recently, Celebrate Kids, the latest collection by Craig Taubman.” His song “Wherever You Go (There’s Always Someone Jewish!),” has been taught in schools around New England. Three of Larry’s songs are included in the new Shireinu songbook from Transcontinental Music. Taught guitar master classes at the CAJE Conference. Guitarist of Hamakor, Boston’s Israeli folk dance troupe. Founded the innovative Jewish band, Elijah Rock.…

The Melbourne Jewish Male Voice Choir

The Melbourne (Australia) Jewish Male Voice Choir has been in existence for over a year, has performed with the Johannesburg Jewish Male Choir at the Melbourne Concert Hall in June ’99, and had it’s own concert in December ’99 at St. Kilda Synagogue. The Choir’s conductor is Brett Kaye, a young South African who moved to Australia. The Choir’s resident soloist is Rabbi Heilbrunn. Jack Sweetman is Secretary and may be contacted by email.

Mah Tovu

Rock ‘n’ roll band formed in 1991 comprised of Steve Brodsky, Ken Chasen, and Josh Zweiback. Original songs use rock ‘n’ roll as a means of teaching Jewish history, Hebrew, and Jewish values. Steve and Josh were songleaders for the National Federation of Temple Youth’s Missouri Valley Region, and had grown up deeply involved in Jewish camping, youth programming, and Jewish music. First recording, Jewish Rock and Roll Singer” (1992)followed by “Only This” (1996). Released a CD single of “Pharaoh, Pharaoh,” a parody of the 60’s Kingsmen’s song “Louie, Louie” which is a huge hit on the Jewish camp and youth group circuit.

Los Pasharos Sefaradis

A singing group from Istanbul, Turkey that specializes in Sephardic music. They have been acclaimed as quite authentic in terms of Sephardic and Ladino (Judeo-Spanaish) music. The website is in Turkish and English and gives information about the performers and their CDs. Real Audio files give samples of their music. Members of the group have advanced degrees in Judeo-Spanish culture and come from the academic as well as performance side of the culture.

Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale

“The Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale was founded in 1997 by Cantor Ira Bigeleisen and Rand Harris. LAZC has been invited to perform in venues throughout the world and continues its mission of bringing Jewish music, particularly music written by Southern California Jewish composers, to audiences in America and abroad.” The website includes a history of the group, a list of performances, a calendar, and a listing of recording projects. The Chorale is available for performances and travels world wide. Nick Strimple, the music director, is also a composer, scholar and author on choral music.

London Unplugged

Album, “London Unplugged” has been released, and the group has a website: Music by Yisroel Lamm and songs composed by Yoel Calek. Other members are Dovid-Zvi Calek, and Motti and Shloimie Richman. The website provides information for purchasing their CD, but not much information about the group. There is a guest book and visitors can leave questions for group members.

London Jewish Male Choir

London group founded in 1926 and continuing to perform regularly throughout the UK. The choir has performed in the USA, Germany, Ireland, South Africa and Poland as well as Israel. There is a photo gallery and member bios. The group has a CD called “For All These Things”. The website includes an incredibly helpful list of scores the group has used. They have a database which lists the composer,name of piece, arranger, category of use, and their latest performance pieces. Unfortunately, in order to view the scores, you must load a capellasoftware into your computer.

Lloyd, Lazar

Currently based in Beit Shemesh, Israel, American-born guitarist and orthodox religious singer whose music is American folk and blues. His influences are Folk, Blues, Country. His first High School bands were influenced by Neil Young, Willy Nelson, Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray. He majored in Music at Skidmore College in upstate NY and started an original band, The Last Mavericks. Released Higher Ground CD in 2004. People can order the CD from Cdbaby –which is really a blues album with a “Jewish twist”. Lloyd is known worldwide as the lead guitar and harmonica player for the only Jewish Jam Band– Reva L’ Sheva. Some have compared his guitar playing to Eric Clapton. Lazer hosted the Tel Aviv Bluesfest and toured in Berlin in 2004. He then toured America and Canada in 2005.…

Lieberman, Allan

Jewish holiday songs for kids and educational workshop. “In the 70’s and 80’s Allan Lieberman sold advertising and then real estate. In the 1990’s he tossed away his briefcase and three-piece suit and picked up his guitar and began writing songs. Since then he has written over 200 tunes; everything from serious to satire; as well as songs for kids and the young at heart. He has entertained throughout the country for children, families and adults. Allan’s concerts are interactive, enthusiastic and FUN. He has produced four full length recordings and his most recent, It’s The Miracle, was honored by Parent’s Choice Magazinewith their prestigious Gold Award. Allan has travelled throughout the country, singing to children at pre-school camps as well as resident camps.”


LA-SHIR CHOIR, (The Los Angeles Hebrew Choir), is a choir “dedicated to the preservation, propagation and enjoyment of Hebrew songs, new and old.” The repertoire consists mainly of modern secular songs of Israel, with occasional selections of traditional Jewish songs, including Yiddish and ancient Judeo-Spanish (Ladino). The website is out of date but has contact information.

Lama Lo!

“LAMA LO!” ensemble was established in 1999 with the support of the Ministry of Absorption in Jerusalem. “LAMA LO!”(“WHY NOT!”) presents a new view of traditional Jewish folklore by blending traditional klezmer music with elements of classical, jazz and Middle Eastern ethnic music, thus forming the bright individual and creative manner of the group. It consists of 6 professional musicians: Roman Kekhman virtuoso clarnetist (soloist), Yevgeniy Lyublin (Trumpet), Yuri Povolotsky (Piano, Accordion), Yakov Entin(Violin , Bass), Eduard Rezonov(Contrabass) and Anatoly Magdalinsky (Drums). Lama Lo! participated in arrangements, organized by Knesset, the President’s House, and other governmental institutions, and took part in the opening of international klezmer festival in S’fat. All concerts organized by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001 and in 2002 were a great success.…

Kol Zimra

Based in Englewood, N.J., this is a vocal group of orthodox men who perform a capella and with simcha bands. Benny Amar and Alex Katz co-founded the group to perform “at bar/bat mitzvahs, chuppahs, sheva berachos, banquets and more.” They have a CD, Kulanu B’Yachad, which has instrumental accompaniments interspersed with a capella. It is interesting to see how the group’s tunes turn from traditional Jewish music to incorporating elements of American music including moments from old spirituals and pop tunes to modern orthodox.

Kol Simcha

Kol Simcha, a Swiss ensemble formed in 1986, plays an assortment of klezmer styles from traditional to “contemporary.” The website provides an up-to-date schedule, including venues in Switzerland, Germany, France and Norway. The biographies reveal that band members include both American and European trained musicians. Four CDs are featured with playlists and sound snippets. The newer website features news, movies and videos online, as well as all their sponsors and managers all over Europe.

Kol Halev Choir

Led by Cantor Annie Rose, the Kol Halev Choir is part of Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, MI. They have released a video of their Eastern European Tour. It’s a delightful 16 minute film showing the joy of Jewish community members hearing the choir sing in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino, Bulgarian and Romanian. Kol Halev went on a tour of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece singing to very appreciative audiences. The filmmakers share a short chat, also included in the DVD. Kol Halev is also planning to release a DVD of their journey to Argentina.


The “history” of Klezmer is part of this website –about The Klezmorim — “the Berkeley, California band that jump-started the worldwide klezmer revival in 1975.” The website provides an easy-to-peruse chronology of the band’s history, biographies, discography, and lots of “inside stories.” With several books published recently on the history of klezmer, it will be interesting to readers to gain access to this perspective from someone who was there “in the beginning”– of the American klezmer revival, that is!

The Klezmer Connection

A musical quartet called The Klezmer Connection now has a website advertising the group, with Iosif Zilberman, violin; Dimitry Cernavski, clarinet/saxophone; Michele Levine, vocalist and pianist/keyboardist and Andrea Valentini, percussion. They perform in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area. The Klezmer Connection specializes in klezmer, Yiddish and Israeli music, as well as American standards such as Broadway showtunes and lots of swing music. Klezmer Connection has “performed throughout the US, Europe and Israel at concerts, music festivals, and, most joyously, bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings.” They are often joined by Jim Gold, a folk-dance teacher and leader. Contact Michele Levine: 914-328-3408 or email:

Kline, Shira

American. Singer. Musician, educator, and performer, and Jewish-Bop sing-along music for children. Lives in New York. Grew up in Monroe, Louisiana at Temple B’nai Israel. Father, Rabbi David Kline. Attended Sarah Lawrence College. She writes: “My family infused every moment of life with Jewish celebration and love for all aspects of Judaism-special homemade foods, singing and dancing to Jewish music, exploring and reveling in all holidays, ethics, lessons learned through Jewish eyes. My father taught me meditation as a form of prayer at a very early age. My mother brought in each Shabbat with her beautiful candle-lighting and homemade challah and at bedtime my father sent me to sleep with sweet dreams of Shabbat angels. In all of my work, I strive toward the path of Oneness with ourselves, Oneness with God and the beauty of the world around us.” CD called “Sing Shabbat with Shira Kline”.…

Kessler, Jack

American. Cantor. Jack Kessler was ordained as a Cantor at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and went on to have a twenty-year career serving Conservative congregations. During that time he received a Master’s degree in voice from Boston Conservatory and pursued studies in composition in the graduate department of Brandeis University, where he worked with Arthur Berger and Harold Shapero, and Bethany Beardslee at Harvard. A lyric baritone, he has performed opera, oratorio, and premiered new works, in addition to his ongoing career as a singer of Hazzanut, the sacred cantorial art. Originally trained as an Ashkenazi Hazzan, his performance style and original compositions also embrace Sephardi and Mizrachi styles. Hazzan Kessler has lectured and taught master classes in Jewish music at New England Conservatory in Boston, the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York, and presented many concerts in an educational format.…

Katz, Noam

American. Born in Rochester, NY. Attended summers at URJ Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA. learning the world of contemporary Jewish music, and social activism. He released RAKIA, a collection of 12 original songs in Hebrew and English in 2001. His career really started taking off in the summer of 2003, bringing programs “to hundreds of campers and staff at Union for Reform Judaism summer camps. He performed at the 2003 NFTY Convention in Washington, D.C., as well as for over 5000 Reform Jewish leaders at their 2004 Biennial Convention in Minneapolis, MN.” Noam has also served as the cantorial soloist for Temple Isaiah in Lexington, MA.

Katz, Neal

Neal Katz, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, (formerly from Virginia Beach, VA) writes and performs music in the folkrock-Reform tradition, ala Jeff Klepper. Neal has a pleasant folk voice and is a widely touring musician in the Reform camp movement, visiting many camp and youth groups each year. His website, nicely laid out, features a tour schedule, a bio and audio clips. A nice feature of the clips are that lyrics for the songs are included, along with a printer-friendly version of the texts. Sources for the Hebrew-transliterated texts are provided. The currently featured CD is called “Who Am I?”

Karen, Kenny

Composer and recording artist. Born, January 8, 1944 Troy, NY to an Orthodox Rabbi’s family. Grew up in Montreal. Recordings for Elvis Presley movies and for Burt Bacharach including Bacharach’s original “Alfie”, “This Guy’s in Love With You” and countless other American “pop” classics. Show score demos include “Hello Dolly” and “Promises, Promises”. Participated in years of achievement in the jingle industry. Sang on over 15,000 radio and television spots. In October 1975, wrote and introduced “Jerusalem Is Mine” at the Jerusalem Theatre in Israel. Won 5 National Academy of Radio Arts & Sciences (NARAS) MVPAward for “Best Male Studio Singer.” Formed independent label, Eden Record Corp., in 1995. Kenny has 4 CDs listed are on website which highlight many of his Jewish creations. He has mp3 files to hear samples, along with a photo gallery of his life, lyrics, and a bio.…

Kahina Productions

Organization started by Eyal Bitton, that produces Jewish musicals, and oratorios. They will bring productions of various levels to different locales. Some of the musicals are: Journey to Jerusalem, David, Moses, Strangers in Strange Lands and Beloved. Eyal Bitton is currently the Choir Director of Toronto’s Beth Tikvah Synagogue Choir, formerly conducted by Srul Irving Glick. Eyal’s choral compositions and arrangements have been performed in synagogues, churches, and concert halls in Montreal, Ottawa, New York, and Israel. He has conducted choirs for The Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue (Canada’s first congregation), Adath Israel Poale Zedek , Jewish Peoples and Peretz Schools, La Chorale Kinor of the Communauté Sépharade Unifiée du Québec, and others. He has composed over 130 liturgical pieces.