Biennial Entertainment Experience the finest that Jewish entertainment has to offer. Sing along with some of the most popular Jewish musicians in the world, singing tunes you know by heart - and enjoy moving performances from up-and-coming performers who are on the brink of becoming household Jewish names.
Ellen Allard is an award-winning recording artist, performer, musician, and educator specializing in music for young children. She presents lively and captivating performances, keynote presentations, and teacher workshops for family audiences, in-service staff training sessions, and educational conferences across the country.
Noah Aronsonis an energetic and soulful composer/performer whose unique musical style propels his music into communities across the country and in Israel. Noah released his first solo Jewish album in May 2011 and the title song Am I Awake was a winner in the NewVoices Song Competition. He will serve as the Assistant Music Director for the Biennial.
Theodore Bikel joined us at Biennial 42 years ago, and we are thrilled to welcome him back. Folk singer; theater, film and television actor; radio host; president of Actors Equity; political activist; Jewish spokesman, and author are some of the many careers to which Theodore can lay claim. But the role he has been most identified with ever since 1967 is Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, which by last count he has played more often than any actorover 2000 times!
Rabbi Joe Black, the rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Denver, performs original songs in both English and Hebrew, with lyrics based on biblical and liturgical texts. Joe blends traditional folk melodies with styles ranging from swing to salsa, and lullabies to rock, for songs that appeal to children and adults alike.
Mark Bloom is an accomplished pianist, bandleader, stage and musical director, producer, interpretational service leader, composer and a recognized performing artist living in Minneapolis. Three times nominated for the American Jewish Song Festival, Mark has produced his acclaimed Jazz Shabbat Service at more than 55 congregations across North America.
David Brozahas been considered one of the most dynamic and vibrant performers in the singer/songwriter world. His charismatic and energetic performances have brought to worldwide audiences, a fusion of the three different countries in which he was raised: Israel, Spain and England, filling concert halls with his famous guitar playing, ranging from flamenco flavored rhythmic and percussion techniques, to whirlwind finger picking, to a signature rock and roll sound.
Ken Chasen is an accomplished musician whose original songs and prayer melodies are heard in sanctuaries, schools and camps across North America, in Europe and in Israel. Both in solo performances and with his band, Mah Tovu, Ken inspires and energizes audiences of all ages. He is also the Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles and serves on the faculty of the Hava Nashira Music Institute.
Joel Chasnoff is a stand-up comedian and writer with stage and screen credits in eight countries and author of the comic memoir The 188th Crybaby Brigade (Simon and Schuster), about his year as a combat soldier in the Israeli Army.
Michelle Citrin, a YouTube sensation for her video 20 Things to Do with Matzah, was named one of Billboard Music's Top Songwriters and was a finalist for VH-1s Song of the Year for her original song, Dark Refrain. New York Jewish Week included her in its 2009 list of 36 Under 36: The Next Wave of Jewish Innovators.
Doug Cotleris a composer and an accomplished singer, songwriter and musician who won a 1984 Grammy for his song "Manhunt," featured in the blockbuster movie "Flashdance." Doug, who performs more than 100 concerts per year, has recorded six original Jewish music albums.
Steve Dropkin, a NFTY and URJ camps alumnus, has been a finalist in the American Jewish Song Festival and his powerful song, "If Not Now, When?" was chosen as the New Jersey State Anthem for the first World AIDS Day commemoration. His composition "Hashkiveinu" was the winner of the first Shalshelet Choral Song Contest.
Sam Glaser'ssoulful music has become part of the fabric of Jewish life in communities worldwide. Named one of the top ten Jewish performers in the US by Moment magazine, Sam is equally comfortable behind a grand piano in intimate solo concerts, leading his eight-piece band or headlining with full orchestra.
Alan Goodis debuted his first album this year, produced by and performed with fellow Jewish musicians Dan Nichols and Grammy nominee Mark Niemiec. The self-titled, five-track album featured powerful vocals and bold melodies.
Todd Herzog is a singer, songwriter and the Cantorial Soloist for Temple Solel in Phoenix, AR. His second album, Bridging the Gap, won Best Jewish Album in 2009 in the Just Plain Folks Music Awards.
Sue Horowitz, a former NFTYite and faculty member/songleader at URJ Crane Lake Camp, began writing songs for Jewish settings which she hoped would be accessible to anyone who wanted to sing. Her first CD, Eleven Doors Open, was made with Jewish artist Josh Nelson. Sue works in special education and teaches Jewish music at several temples in Maine.
Elana Jagodais a prayer leader, music educator, performer and composer who brings soul and innovation to Jewish music. She adds new dimensions to this music genre by blending her energetic folk-rock vibe with her passion for world music. Elana infuses a unique spiritual quality into the music she brings to both performance and prayer.
Max Jaredis a fresh up-in-coming versatile musician commanding the stage and engaging audiences across the world with his ever-changing shows and catchy tunes. Jareds songs engage listeners with a unique experience of musical fusion, blending folk, pop, hip hop and rock vibes, with his funky acoustic guitar and dynamic voicings.
Rabbi Larry Karol is a talented songwriter and performer with a unique Jewish perspective which enhances his music with a depth of passion that speaks directly to the soul. He is also the spiritual leader of Temple Beth-El in Las Cruces, NM.
Noam Katz, the Rabbi/Dean of Jewish Living for The Leo Baeck Day School of Toronto and URJ Camp George, has performed for audiences across North America, Africa and Israel. Noams music is influenced by his time spent volunteering with the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda, which furthered his commitment to teaching social justice and tolerance through music. His album, "A Drum In Hand," blends traditional prayer with hand drumming and rhythms from around the world.
Saul Kayeis an international touring artist who is pioneering a new genre of music: Jewish blues. Saul brings together the sounds of the struggle of the African Slaves in South Africa with the history of the Jewish slavery experience. The Characters in the Tanach are the central points of his narratives.
Keshet Chaim(Hebrew for Rainbow of Life) is an American-Israeli contemporary dance company, dedicated to celebrating the inclusive spirit of Israeli culture and Judaism throughout the world. Influenced by the multi-ethnic roots of the Jewish movement, music, art, poetry and culture, Keshet Chaim combats prejudice and anti-Semitism through entertainment, community outreach, childrens workshops and dance education.
Mattan Klein is one of today's hottest Jazz/World Music flutists, blending a new clear and fluent flute sound with some of New York's brightest contemporary new voices. With his ensemble of All-Stars, Mattan adds a lively and powerful new dimension to the art of Jazz flute.
Rami Kleinstein, known as one of Israel's greatest musicians, has often been compared to Elton John and Billy Joel. Like these singer-songwriter greats, Rami is known for his beautiful compositions, soulful voice and delicate piano-playing. Rami composed and produced many songs for RITA, who became one of the most celebrated Israeli pop stars and his own albums have consistently gone triple platinum.
Jeff Klepper was one of the first cantors to champion congregational singing and to use a guitar in Jewish worship. Since the early 1970s, Jeff has been one half of the Jewish-American contemporary duo Kol BSeder (Everythings OK); he is currently working on a new CD and the first of a multi-volume anthology of his music for Jewish worship.
Shira Kline, aka ShirLaLa, is a celebrated New York based performer and music educator. Traveling across the country and internationally with her kiddie-rock band, Shira delivers a dynamic, interactive program of joy and spirit, story and song.
Naomi Lessis a songwriter, ritual music artist, song leader and experiential educator in the Jewish community. With her music, she amplifies empowerment and positive self-esteem messages to both girls and co-ed audiences.
Lisa Levineis the Cantor of Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase, MA. She is one of the leading contemporary composers and most accomplished cantors in the entire Reform Movement. Her compositions are sung in worship across North America.
Ira and Julia Levin (The Levins)play harmony-driven acoustic music that ranges from folk to pop with the intention of putting a smile on your face. Original tunes, guitar, piano and voices -a full sound with unexpected harmonies and unique arrangements.
Ross M. Levy has been a force on the Jewish music scene for the past six years playing for congregations, camps and youth groups around the country. His music combines a unique sound, with witty lyrics. When asked about what kind of music he makes, he smiles and simply says, "Jewish music that cooks!
Sheldon Lowis the newest face in Jewish music performing rock concerts, Light Up Shabbat services, and leading Artist-in-Residency weekends in Jewish communities throughout the United States. Sheldon has an undeniable appeal to youth and family audiences, not only as a musician, singer/songwriter and entertainer, but most importantly, as a Jewish educator and role model.
Larry Milder is a flatpicking, singing rabbi with a knack for off-beat Jewish tunes. He has produced four albums of new and original Jewish folk music and his songs appear on more than 20 albums. His song "Wherever You Go (There's Always Someone Jewish!)" has become a favorite in youth groups and summer camps throughout the country.
Jon Nelsonand his band Yom Hadash have been at the forefront of World Music. One of the premier recording and touring groups in the nation, the band's stage show, original compositions and note perfect cover songs have made them true innovators in their field. By uniquely fusing rock, pop and world music with ancient Judaic melodies and traditions, Jon and his band have truly defined their genre.
Josh Nelson serves as the music director for the URJ Biennial Convention, faculty for the Hava Nashira Music Institute, and a musical artist in residence for the JCC Maccabi Artsfest. The five-person Josh Nelson Project delivers high-octane Jewish rock designed to captivate and mesmerize.
Dan Nichols is the lead guitarist and vocalist for Jewish rock band Dan Nichols & E18hteen. One of the most popular and influential Jewish musicians in North America, Dans music has been incorporated into curriculum and services by synagogue youth and clergy alike.
Mikey Paukeris an emerging Folk music artist. He is a gifted experiential educator who uses music to engage with people of all ages. He has worked and played extensively within the Jewish community at camps, festivals and retreats and is breaking the boundaries of traditional Jewish music with his liturgically inspired, spiritual repertoire.
Jay Rapoporttakes Jewish values and stories and transforms them into Ruach Rock, a catchy piano-pounding style influenced by Ben Folds and BillyJoel. An award-winning songwriter, Jay has performed with Craig Taubman, Josh Nelson and Naomi Less, and he is featured as an Emerging Artist on Jewish Rock Radio.
Rick Recht is the top-touring musician in Jewish music playing over 150 concerts a year in the United States and abroad. He is widely recognized for his appeal to youth and family audiences not only as an exceptional musician, singer/songwriter and entertainer, but as a role model for involvement in Jewish life.
Chana Rothman, described by Popsyndicate.com as Bob Marley meets Edie Brickell, has opened for Israeli superstars such as HaDag Nachash and Koolooloosh. Her debut album, We Can Rise, was named Best of 2007 by popular blog Jewschool.com, and received a four-star rating from The New York Jewish Week.
Sababa is Jewish musics coolest rockin trio, comprised of Steve Brodsky, Scott Leader and Robbi Sherwin, all accomplished songwriters, performers and recording artists. They have joined forces to create a great rockin' new Jewish sound.
Beth Schafer is a vocalist, guitarist and spiritual tunesmith who specializes in music for Torah-minded adults looking for an extension to their Jewish lives through music. Her song Prayer of the Workin' Man placed in the Indie International Song Contest.
Julie Silver is a contemporary Jewish musician whose 2007 album Its Chanukah Time was the first Jewish holiday CD produced exclusively for Barnes and Noble. Her songs are frequently heard in Jewish worship, camp and academic settings.
Jon Simondivides his time between composing and performing his works for ensembles and solo piano and serving as a senior executive and consultant to a variety of companies throughout the United States. His ninth recording "SOAR" features ten original compositions performed by Jon and some of LA's top session players, including horns, vocals and rhythm section.
Six13 is a six-man vocal band that brings an unprecedented style of Jewish music to the stage. With songs ranging from hip-hop dance tracks to rock anthems, the members of the New York-based group sound like a full band while using nothing but their voices.
Peri Smilow is a nationally recognized singer/songwriter, educator and community organizer whose most recent recording, Peri Smilow and The Freedom Music Project: The Music of Passover and the Civil Rights Movement, has been the subject of reporting by NBC, ABC TV and National Public Radio's All Things Considered.
SoulAviv's music, sung in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, is infused with the sounds of folk, Motown, gospel, Memphis soul and the great harmony groups of the 60's and 70's. Socially conscious lyrics mixed with Jewish heritage, spirituality and celebration, plus a little California sunshine thrown in, make SoulAviv a unique musical experience.
Hannah Spirois a fixture in the D.C. music scene and is revolutionizing the concept of Jewish music. Her sound is a combination of folk, pop and rock, reminiscent of such other singer-songwriters as Natalie Merchant and Tegan and Sara. Hannah's songs express a range of feelings and a variety of themes, while conveying her irrepressible energy.
Craig Taubman writes and performs songs music bridges traditional Jewish themes and ancient teachings with passages and experiences of contemporary Jewish life. Craig is also the producer of the popular Celebrate Series, a CD compilation project that collects some of the best Jewish music available on special theme-oriented recordings.
Cantor Natalie Youngis a dynamic singer/songwriter whose music is inspiring congregations across the country and beyond. Her soulful voice together with her beautifully crafted melodies hint of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Debbie Friedman. Natalie's newest album will be released in December 2011.
Bryan Ziveand his band Kol Echad is one of the most popular emerging artists and educators in Contemporary Jewish music. He is also the Cantorial Soloist/Music Director at Temple Sinai in Denver, CO.