Tag Archives: Evanston

Open Mic Last Saturday Night (almost rhymes)

Brother's K Coffee Shop 20130505I sang Mi Chamocha last Saturday night at the Brother’s K Coffee house open mic. Mi Chamocha is a song of liberation.  My dear friend and rabbi, Brant Rosen, wrote a short, lovely poem about the prayer:

The waters are parting

Take the first step

Our moment of liberation is at hand

Have a listen (below) to a live, early recordings of my melody for this prayer. And, yes, that’s the amazing Maxwell Street Klezmer Band playing with me!!!

Please become a backer of my project to make a quality recording of this service!!
Please become a backer of my project to make a quality recording of this service!!

 

 

Credits –recording: Sam Fishkin of Mix Kitchen & photo: Dave Newman 

It’s Almost Shabbat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYup, Shabbat is only a few hours away. And that means sharing a meal with my girls and my wife, and (hopefully) letting go of the anxiety over the progress of the Kickstarter campaign to record Shabbat Sweet.  Well, it’ll definitely mean letting go of working on it .

And what is the progress of the campaign so far, you ask? Aw, thanks for asking!

Well, so far 11 of you have become backers of the project and you’ve almost helped me reach my daily goal of $500.

Are there a couple more of you out there than will join me in this journey to record Shabbat Sweet and help me meet my daily goal? We only need about $150 more to make it!

Most importantly, have a peaceful Shabbat!

My Kickstarter Campaign for “Shabbat Sweet” is LIVE!

Billy in the VideoI am SO  pleased, and more than a little nervous, to launch my campaign on Kickstarter to make a quality recording of “Shabbat Sweet,” my collection of original melodies and music for ancient Jewish prayers. With your support, I’ll make this recording with members of the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and an Emmy-award winning composer, producer and arranger .
Will you become a part of this project? All I’m asking  you to do is check out my project on Kickstarter.com.
If you can make a pledge – that would be awesome! And as you’ll see on the site, I’ll send you a token of my appreciation.
And when you “share” and/or “like” the campaign on Facebook, and/or email friends you think may be interested, you’ll be doing me a GREAT favor by helping to spread the word. Here is the URL if you want to send it to others: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1387326406/shabbat-sweet-recording

Shabbat Sweet in New Mexico, and Three New Videos

Yup, you heard it right.  This Friday, March 15, I will be sharing “A Shabbat Sweet” in Albuquerque, New Mexico at Congregation Albert!!! This will be my first time sharing the service outside of Chicagoland.  Wow am I excited and nervous!  And I’ll be flying solo! No back-up band.

And… here are three new videos. The first two are from “A Shabbat Sweet” at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC) in Evanston, Illinois as I shared the service on January 11, 2013 with an amazing back-up band: Hannah Kaplan on vocals, Emma Chanen on vocals and ukulele,  Jim Cox on bass, Mike O’Mara on Keyboards, Dave Newman on drums and, yup, that twelve-year-old clarinet player, Jonah Karsh, is one amazing musician!!!!  I know, I know: it’s not the entire service.  I guess it’s time for me to invest in a new video recorder!!!!!!

The third video is from a service played by an Interfaith Youth Orchestra made up of teens from JRC and the Lake Street Church.  Yes, that IS my daughter as lead singer and band leader (not that I’m crazy proud!)!!!

And the Birdie Flies from the Nest

I guess there comes a time for every composer when you realize your music is no longer your own.

My time has come.

Last Sunday I rehearsed with an amazing group of teenage musicians – vocals, guitar, ukulele, piano, drums, clarinet and violin – on five of the pieces from “A Shabbat Sweet.” They are going to share their arrangement on March 1, 2013 at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC) for an interfaith youth service.  About half the kids were from JRC and half were from the Lake Street Church.

And then the music happened… and I was NOT playing or singing.  It was a little difficult not leading the music. But the joy from just experiencing it was more than enough to get me through the difficulty.

Ok. I admit it. I was kvelling (Yiddish for bursting with pride) that music I wrote was being wonderfully interpreted by these young musicians.  As I am fond of saying here: WOW!

First Viewing

Last weekend Cole Simon, the Artistic Director of Glass City Films, came over to my house, and we recorded video for the Kickstarter campaign. We recorded me talking about the project, and we recorded me singing four of the pieces from the service.

Photo from the video

And I just finished watch the “rough cut” of the first video, the Candle Lighting, and… WOW!!! It looks just amazing!! Gorgeous!!  Holy Moses!!!!

I can’t WAIT to share it with you… but… you’ll just HAVE to wait until the campaign launches. And, no, I don’t know exactly when that’s going to be, though I hope to get it started mid-February.

Very, very exciting!!!