Category Archives: Jewish Music

The Kickstarter Campaign was a Year Ago?

Listen to all of the current, completed eight tracks if you are a backer, or would like to become one (see below)

Just about a year ago I pressed a button and started an insane, vulnerable, incredibly-intense month. I launched the Kickstarter campaign to record Shabbat Sweet, the music and melodies I wrote for Erev Shabbat, the Friday night Sabbath Service. I don’t know if I’d ever worked harder, had more emotional turbulence, or gambled more than I did that month. It was exhausting, stimulating, engaging, frightening and looooooooong. Every day, nearly every moment, I thought about how to reach out to others and share my vision, and how to get them to back the project without sounding like I was begging (though I always felt like I was).

By the end of the month almost 200 dear, wonderful, generous, fellow-insane people became supporters of the project, and the process of recording the service began.

Now it’s a year later, and we’ve completed two-thirds of the recording. I had imagined the recording would be finished by now, and that I’d franticly be putting the final touches on the production of the physical CD. And, as I should have figured, my imagination was in over-achievement mode.

I found that I had to maintain a balance among the many things I love – my family, my work, my music, my friends and my self – so that none of them suffered greatly while I invested time and energy in any one of them.

So I appreciate the patience of my beloved backers as the final pieces get recorded by the middle of the summer, if all goes as planned. We’re going to take the time we need to take get the recording right. We want to create the best sounding, most interesting and delightfully pleasing recording of Shabbat Sweet we possibly can make.

I can’t thank all the backers of the project enough for your generosity and patience as we plod on. I imagine it’s been difficult for your wait, as well. So as an early gift, I’ve created a “Shabbat Sweet Eight Track” page on the website where you can stream and listen to all eight tracks now! Just click HERE and use same password you use to hear the audio updates. Email me ( if you want your memory refreshed. And if you’d like to listen to the current completed tracks, and are not already a backer, click HERE to donate to the project ($10 minimum) and I will be glad to email you the password. We already plan to record about four more prayers, but there are even four more we could record if we had more funding. Just sayin’!

[By the way, I’ll be performing at the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival on Sunday, June 8 at 4:00 on the Polk Brothers’ Family Stage]

It May be Purim, But I Ain’t Jokin’!

Me with my dear friend and Rabbi, Brant Rosen. He's such a clown!
Me with my dear friend and Rabbi, Brant Rosen. He’s such a clown! Sorry you can’t see my Queen Esther skirt!

Purim is a great time for playing around and having fun. Heck, there might even be some pictures out there of me dressed as Queen Esther!

Nevertheless, I am quite serious when I say that tomorrow night we’ll complete the process for phase 2 of recording Shabbat Sweet when we add the harmony vocals to V’Shamru and Adon Olam. Then it will be on to mixing that set of four prayers.

THEN… we’ll start recording the last four: 1) Beggar’s Niggun, 2) Amidah, 3)Shalom Rav and 4) Hashkivenu.

I know, I know: for those of you who have experienced Shabbat Sweet live, you may be thinking, hey, aren’t there other prayers that won’t be included in the recording? And, sadly, that is true. Heck, I even wrote a new melody of Ahavat Olam this past year!!!

The reality is we’ll record everything that the generosity of the amazing Kickstarter backers will allow. I am extremely proud of what we’ve done, and I’m sure the same will be said of what we’ll do. And it’s been a costly adventure to make such a recording of this high quality. I’m sure we’ll get the rest of the Sweet recorded with the next album!!!!

A Hanuka Present!!!


Since Hanuka is tonight I want to give you a present… MY MUSIC! Throughout Hanuka, I want you should enjoy the music I’ve recorded so far.

So… have a listen by clicking HERE!

First Four Recordings … Done. Next Ones Start Tomorrow

a taste of shabbat sweet cover

Hungry for some new Jewish music?

Well, I want you should have “a taste of Shabbat Sweet,” the new EP of the first four recordings from Shabbat Sweet.  Have a nosh (a taste) and buy your copy at CDBaby and Facebook! Very soon you’ll be able to download them from iTunes, Amazon and Google Play! I’ll let you know when that happens.

Also, tomorrow I FINALLY go back to the studio to start recording the next four pieces: the Candle Lighting, V’Shamru, Oseh Shalom and Adon Olam. I’ll be practicing this afternoon, getting the tempos, remembering where we’ll have instrumental solos, etc.

And since Hanuka is coming, I thought I’d share with you a video of one of my Hanuka songs from my CD called “Dradle ‘Round the Tree.” Enjoy!

End-of-summer update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated because… well… it’s been summer and we honestly haven’t done much the last several weeks due to vacations!

However, we are scheduled to go into the studio tomorrow to record keyboards and accordion on two pieces, and the violin and clarinet parts on all three! Then, we’ll just need one more round of recording with my daughter, Hannah, singing additional back-up vocals and me finalizing my vocals. Then, we’ll do a final mix of those three before starting on the next set!

Beach Service 20130823
Photo by Carolyn Shapiro (thanks!)

AND… in case you missed it, I shared Shabbat Sweet on an Evanston beach this past Friday, August 23 with my beloved rabbi, Brant Rosen, beloved cantor, Howard Friedland. And the incomparable Jonah Karsh on clarinet.

First Day in the Studio

Playing Leha Dodi

So, I show up in the studio to work on recording the “scratch” tracks for the first three pieces of Shabbat Sweet, and staring directly at me is none other than John, Paul, George and Ringo, from a picture on the wall. No. No pressure!!!

Truth is, I really didn’t feel much pressure. I couldn’t ask to work with a nicer guy in the form of a producer.  Steve Rashid is just a delight to work with. He put me completely at ease.

As I said, we worked on the scratch tracks for the project. Both vocals and baritone ukulele, as you can see in the picture.  These tracks are really intended just to mark the shape of prayers so that the other musicians can play in. I’ll re-record both the vocals and ukulele after the other musicians have done their thing.

And did I mention that the cool microphone I’m singing into is the same kind of mic that Michael Jackson used to record “Thriller?” I don’t think there are any other associations there, but I’m sure someone out there has a wise-crack to make about it!!!!

Next up: we’ll be adding accordion to Leha Dodi. Maybe even tomorrow!! Stay tuned!

The Recording Starts July 1


The space in between.

Between the intensity of Kickstarter and the process of recording.

It’s been a strange twilight

And the waiting finally comes to an end this Monday, July 1, when I go into the studio with Steve Rashid and start recording. We’ve decided on the first pieces to record:

  1. Shalom Aleichem
  2. Lecha Dodi
  3. Mi Chamocha

The way we settled on recording will be for me to lay down “scratch” vocals and baritone ukulele parts first. Then we’ll have the rhythm section come in and record. Then other instruments, followed by final ukulele and vocals and harmonies.

Thank you for your patience as I recovered from the month of Kickstarter and planned the start of the recording.  For those who pledged at the $54 or higher level, I’ll get the audio updates going very quickly. Stay tuned.

Lori Lippitz & Shabbat Sweet

Lori Lippitz Quote 2

Click here to listen to the first recording from the forthcoming album

A New Video Just in Time for Shabbat

Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, will be here in a few hours.  It can be a blessed rest, a break from the mundane pressures of work.

We declare a Sabbath, a space of quiet: for simple being and letting be; for recovering the great forgotten truths; for learning how to live again.

UN Environmental Sabbath Program
Reprinted  in Service for Shabbat Evening
Edited by Rabbi Brant Rosen

We Jews usher in Shabbat by lighting candles which illuminate our path to Shabbat Shalom, the Sabbath Peace.

In this video, after I talk a bit about my first experience sharing Shabbat Sweet with my community, the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois, I play and sing the melody I wrote for the Candle Blessings.

May it guide you, and those you know and love, toward a peaceful mind this Shabbat.

Please become a backer of my project to make a quality recording of this service!!
Please become a backer of the project to make a quality recording of this service with members of the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and an Emmy-award winning producer, composer and arranger.