2016│Adon Olam 2013│May the Words of My Mouth • Psalm of Praise 2006│Musaf Kedushah
Joshua Fishbein, singer and pianist, composes vocal and instrumental music. A native of Baltimore, he studied piano performance and theory at The Peabody Preparatory, went on to study music and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, completed his Master of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and his Ph.D. in music from UCLA. He has taught musicianship, music theory, and composition at The College of New Jersey, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His compositions have won many awards. Adon Olam, in an arrangement for choir and piano, won the Delaware Valley Chorale’s composition competition. More of Joshua’s work can be found at www.joshuafishbeinmusic.com.
2016│Blessings 2010│Healing Song for All 2008│New Moon
Singer and composer Susan Colin is a cantorial soloist based in Phoenix. She is Music Director at NefeshSoul, an independent synagogue in Chandler, Ariz., and sings regularly at other Reform and Conservative synagogues in the Phoenix valley. Her music incorporates themes that address the human experience through a Jewish lens. She has released 5 CDs and has been a featured performer at numerous conferences including the Women Cantors Network, CAJE and the URJ Biennials. Her compositions have been selected for Shalshelet Festivals in 2010 and 2013. She is also the owner of oySongs.com, an online distributor of Jewish music. More of Susan’s work can be found at susancolin.com.
2016│Eve’s Version • Yokheved’s Song 2013│HaShem, Lo Gava Libi 2010│Song of Songs
Aaron Blumenfeld received an M.A. in music composition from Rutgers University. He is a composer and concert pianist who has worked intensively in classical, jazz and Jewish music and has published books on the art of blues and barrelhouse piano improvisation. Primarily a classical composer, he has composed eleven piano concertos, works for chamber ensembles and for solo piano. He has extensive experience as a cantor and conductor of synagogue choirs. Compositions on Jewish themes include several symphonic works, Ez’kroh: A Symphonic Poem and Holocaust Memorial Symphonic Poem; two Yiddish operas, Rachel and Pagiel & Bathsheva; and many art songs. His manuscripts are in the music archives of the University of California, Berkeley. More of Aaron’s work may be found at www.aarons-world.com.
Andrew Dennen has been playing, performing and composing music for over 30 years. For the past decade, since his involvement at Hava Nashira, the Jewish Music workshop created by Debbie Friedman and Jeff Klepper, his creative energies have been directed to the world of Jewish music. At Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, Illinois, he helps lead worship services and was recently commissioned to write a new piece for High Holy Days. He has three CD’s of Jewish music to his credit and a new project in the works
2013│Kol Sason 2010│Shahar Avakeshkha 2008│Mah Tovu
Born on the island of Mallorca, Cantor Neil Manel Frau-Cortes currently serves Temple Beth Shalom in Mechanicsburg, Pa, and also works at the University of Maryland. He earned a PhD in Medieval Hebrew literature (U. Girona), Master’s degrees in both Hebrew-Aramaic Letters (Barcelona Central U.) and Jewish Music (Gratz College) and a cantorial ordination (RRC). He studied classical and jazz piano, composition and arrangements at Ciutat de Mallorca’s Professional Conservatory, and Taller de Musics in Barcelona. He is a published translator and music researcher. His career as a composer, arranger, producer and performer spans from folk to jazz-fusion and New Age. In addition to liturgical settings, he has composed soundtracks for several short films and music for theatre. www.manelfrau.info
2013│Ve Erastikh Li
Cantor Norman Cohen Falah was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the son of an Ashkenazi mother and a Sephardic father. These traditions bore a strong influence, inspiring him to pursue a lifelong celebration of both cultures. He studied Hazzanut at the Latin-American Rabbinical Seminary, and guitar and piano at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Buenos Aires. After serving as Hazzan in Argentina for eight years, he served the Liberaal Joodse Gemeente (Liberal Jewish Community) in Amsterdam, and then Belsize Square Synagogue in London. He recently joined Temple Sinai of North Dade, Miami as cantor. He has written many songs and several liturgical compositions. His new CD TefiLatina! Includes Latin American Jewish liturgy, modern Hebrew songs, Sephardic and Yiddish music, boleros and tango. www.cantornorman.com
2013│She is a Tree of Life
MIRAJ is an cappella trio with members Rabbi Rayzel Raphael, Juliet Spitzer, and Rabbi Margot Stein, www.mirajtrio.com.. Rabbi Raphael is a songwriter/liturgist with five recordings to her credit, including Friday Night Revived. Ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, she is the Rabbi of Temple Israel Congregation in Lehighton, Penn. www.shechinah.com • Juliet I. Spitzer is Director of Inter-Cultural Exchange at the International Center for Contemporary Education, and is the Cantorial Soloist at Congregation Beth Israel in Media, Penn. www.julietspitzer.com • Rabbi Margot Stein is a singer/songwriter who has produced or co-produced seven albums of original Jewish music. This spring, she is teaching Contemporary Jewish Worship at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College as well as Purposes of Jewish Living in the Philadelphia Melton Mini-School.
2013│Eizehu • Geshem
Raquel Pomerantz Gershon became a “serious” songwriter after being named a finalist in the first American Zionist Movement songwriting competition in 1994. With encouragement from Debbie Friedman, z”l, she continued composing and begin recording her original songs. Her CDs Jerusalem on My Mind (1996), and Candlesticks of Silver (2011), include songs she has written for both adults and children, including a number of commissioned works. She holds degrees in both Jewish education and special education and studied sacred Jewish music at JTS. Over the years she has served as a cantorial soloist and has taught Jewish music and tefillah to children and adults of all ages and abilities at summer camps, day schools and supplemental Hebrew schools at Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist congregations. She lives with her family in Dallas, Tex.
2013│Far Vos? 2010│El Nora ‘Alilah • Psalm 113 2006│Ha Lahma Anya • Ke Rahem Av
Dr. Isabelle Ganz has had a long and varied career as pianist, flutist, folksinger, classical mezzo-soprano, cantorial soloist, avant-garde performer, master class and workshop leader, Sephardic music singer and instrumentalist, choral conductor and composer. She received a Fulbright grant (to Jerusalem), an NEA Solo Recitalist grant, and holds a DMA in Voice and Music Literature from the Eastman School of Music. She currently teaches voice at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. She has recorded over 18 CDs of contemporary music (Cage, Berio, and others), songs by composers of the Holocaust, songs of the Gershwins, and international folksongs. Her New York-based ensemble, Alhambra, has released three CDs of Sephardic music and has performed internationally. Her compositions are published by Boosey and Hawkes, Hal Leonard and Transcontinental. www.isabelleganz.com
Andrew Greene has a degree in music from MIT, where his teachers included Evan Ziporyn and John Harbison. He sang with the Zamir Chorale of Boston under Joshua Jacobson from 1992‒2007. His works include choral settings of Kabbalat Shabbat and Pesukei d’Zimrah (from which “Psalm 150” is excerpted), and “Bible Bystanders”, a collection of lighthearted retellings of Tanach narratives from the perspective of minor characters. His “Siddur Hiddur Tefillah” integrates musical cues for nusach and familiar congregational melodies with artistic typography. His non-musical creative pursuits include constructing crossword puzzles for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Newton Mass. with his family. www.greenehouse.com/a/
2013│L’kho Doydi 2008│Yah Ribon
Steven Greenman is a practitioner, composer and teacher of traditional East European Jewish klezmer violin music. He has self-produced two recordings documenting his original Jewish and klezmer compositions with Stempenyu’s Dream (2004) and Stempenyu’s Neshome (2010), the latter containing his original melodies. A co-founder of the Khevrisa ensemble with cimbalist and historian Walter Zev Feldman. he is also co-producer and lead performer of the recording Khevrisa – European Klezmer Music on the Smithsonian Folkways label. He also performs Hungarian nota, Romanian lautari music and urban East European Gypsy music. He performs with the ensemble Harmonia and has been a guest soloist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Canton Symphony and the Akron Symphony performing his own arrangements. www.stevengreenman.com
Besamim was formed at Camp Ramah Darom in 2009. Three members are from Florida: Samuel Rotenberg (West Palm Beach), Samuel Rosenbaum (Boca Raton), and Marcy Morris (Boca Raton); Elisha Brodsky is from Jerusalem. Sam and Sam have been writing Jewish music together since they were in high school and in 2009, when they were on the music staff at Camp Ramah Darom. Marcy Morris began singing with them there. Elisha joined Camp Ramah Darom music staff in 2011 and became Besamim’s drummer. Their music reflects the contributions that each brings to the song-writing process. Besamim’s music has taken root in the Ramah Darom community, and in the Jewish community of South Eastern Florida at large. www.RockShabbat.com
Lise Brown is a musician and composer living in New York City. For the past five years she has studied at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, and from 2007-2009 was an arts fellow there as a composer. As well as composing Jewish music, she performs on flute and saxophone in dance music genres: Latin, swing, and most recently Irish-based contra dance music. She leads an eight-piece Irish-Latin-swing band called Big Bandemonium which has performed coast to coast in the US at major music festivals and dance camps.
2013│Shiru L’Adonai • Hodia
Brian Yosef Schachter Brooks teaches meditation and Jewish spirituality at Chochmat HaLev, where he serves as sacred music and ritual director. He holds a Bachelor in Music from Eastman and received s’mikha from Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as Minister of Sacred Music and as Jewish meditation teacher from Chochmat HaLev. His band, Captain Zohar, plays original Jewish devotional and concert music. He lives in Oakland with his family. www.captainzohar.com
2013│We Are Loved by an Unending Love
Cantor Gerald Cohen received a B.A in music from Yale University and a D.M.A in composition from Columbia University. He is Cantor at Shaarei Tikvah Congregation in Scarsdale, N.Y. and is on the faculty of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of The Jewish Theological Seminary and the Academy for Jewish Religion. The recipient of many honors, including the Cantors Assembly Max Wohlberg Award for distinguished achievement in the field of Jewish composition, his compositions have been published by Oxford University Press, G. Schirmer/AMP and Transcontinental Music. His cd Generations is on the Composers Recordings, Inc. label. His opera Steal a Pencil for Me, based on a true concentration camp love story, premieres in concert in New York this April. www.geraldcohenmusic.com