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03 April 2020

Zach Mayer- Modeh Ani

Zach Mayer- Modeh Ani

Music to nourish the soul

The delicate Layehudim is an example of Mayer's spiritual approach to this music. This starts off a cappella then gradually grows to a diffused blend of instruments in what I would call a New Age style, very soothing and reflective in an ethereal aesthetic.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        L'kha Dodi gives a new melody to the well-known liturgical passage. Along with Piano and Choir, this is an easy to follow song that is sure to catch on quickly with everyone who hears it.
There are three Nigunim or wordless songs as well, Nigun HitbodedutMeyshke's Nigun, and Floating Pollen, each with a distinctive style and emotional tone. These melodies are also easy to learn, and would enrich any setting where they could be included.

Two versions of Modeh Ani offer a contrast in styles with the upbeat dance version and the ballad version offering something for everyone to enjoy.

The introspective Kumi Lakh is my favorite track from the album, and features muted Trumpet accompaniment and an un-muted solo. 

The traditional Adon Olam gets a fresh new treatment here as well, with voice and Piano in a delicate arrangement as both start softly and build to a rousing conclusion.

Mayer is accompanied by an all-star lineup of long-established musicians and vocalists who really bring this music to life. While we eagerly anticipate the next project he releases, let's all continue to enjoy Modeh Ani and all the joy it has to offer.

Keith Wolzinger
Klezmer Podcast


released April 6, 2019

Zach Mayer - lead vocals, backing vocals and saxophones
Michael Alpert - vocals
Frank London - trumpet
Deborah Strauss - vocals and violin
Lautaro Feldman - eight-string guitar and vocals
Richie Barshay - percussion
Utsav Lal - piano and synthesizer
Mat Muntz - bass
Matias Scheines - violin

The Rimon Choir:
Eliana Willis
Yoel Bibas
Shalev Netanel
Oran Franco
Matan Franco
Solina Rulfs
Cody Robertson

Produced by Lautaro Feldman

Recorded and mixed by Todd Carder at Bunker Studios, Brooklyn NYC
Mastered by John Baker at Philly Post
Artwork and design by Jill Fogel

All music composed by Zach Mayer
(c) 2019 Zach Mayer Music

18 August 2019


Hot Six-Piece Band Launch Rare U.S. Tour

Mames Babegenush unleash a sonic crossroads where east unexpectedly meets north! The young Danish band's unique musical fusion marries their strong Scandinavian roots and elements of jazz with the vibrant dance music and klezmer traditions of eastern Europe. From the contemplative ambience of Nordic snowscapes to the lively weddings of Romania, the music of Mames Babegenush exudes a sense of both poignant melancholy and irresistibly danceable exuberance.

Since forming in Copenhagen in 2004, the six-piece group has dazzled audiences and critics alike with their fresh vision and musical gumption, establishing themselves as one of Europe's premiere klezmer-jazz ensembles. Their long list of awards includes the Danish Music Award for Best World Album of The Year and three prizes awarded by the prestigious International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, including the Jury and Audience Prizes.

Live onstage, Mames Babegenush are a memorable experience, delivering dazzlingly original and dynamic performances. They have toured the world extensively, including Carnegie Hall, Chicago World Music Festival, Lotus Fest, Roskilde Festival, The Royal Danish Theatre, Bergen International Festival, Klezmer Fürth, Teatro Independencia, Paradiso,and the New York Gypsy Festival alongside such artists as Gogol Bordello, David Krakauer, and the Amsterdam Klezmer Band.

This summer, as they gear up for a new album release in the months ahead, they return to American shores and points in-between for a string of rare concert appearances:

The band's last release Mames Babegenush with Strings (2018) offers up a mix of original compositions and audience favorites, recorded live with a string quartet in Copenhagen. A new album is in the works now, with release anticipated this winter -- but first, this summer, American audiences will be treated to a taste of the rich Nordic-Jewish-Balkan musical stew cooked up by this superb Danish ensemble, featuring the powerhouse lineup of Emil Goldschmidt (clarinet), Lukas Bjørn Rande (tenor & alto sax), Bo Rande (flügelhorn, pocket trumpet), Nicolai Kornerup (accordion), Andreas Møllerhøj (double bass), and Morten Æro (drums). It's guaranteed to be delicious. 

31 October 2017

November 15th, Butterfly Buzz will proudly present Israeli singer Yasmin Levy At Ace Hotel DTLA


Yasmin Levy - Los Angeles with Special Guests

The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Butterfly Buzz is proud to present Yasmin Levy’s Los Angeles premiere collaboration performance alongside special Iranian guest artists Faramraz AslaniShahrokh Moshkin Ghalam & Hamed Nikpay!
Tickets Available Online ONLY bflybuzz.com/YasminLevy
Limited Preferred Seating Available
Contact: 888-779-8489
A unique and historic concert of an exceptional Israeli singer joined by these prominent performers, amplifying the message of unity through art. The concert will be hosted at the historic The Theater at Ace Hotel; a delicately restored 1920’s movie palace originated by Mary Pickford and Charlie Chapman.
Yasmin Levy sings in Ladino, an ancient form of the Spanish language that was kept alive by the Sephardic Jews. With a deep, spiritual, and moving style, Yasmin Levy is a leading voice in Ladino song and culture. In addition to being a leading voice in Ladino song and culture, she is a contemporary singer/songwriter, performing in modern Spanish, as well as bringing the flavors of Flamenco, Turkish and Persian music all together into a style of her own.
Yasmin Levy made it her cause to recast and transmit the disappearing musical legacy of Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish language of the Sephardic Jewish communities that were driven from Spain in the late 15th century. Amongst Sephardic Jewish communities across North Africa, Turkey, the Balkans and the Middle East, Ladino survived as a language until almost vanishing in the 20th Century. Yasmin Levy’s father, Yitzhak Levy, was the head of the Ladino department at Israel’s National Radio, but Yitzhak died when she was only a baby. Before his passing, he had taught her mother the songs, and in turn she taught her daughter.

22 September 2017

Klezmer Podcast 133- Ori Kaplan of Balkan Beat Box

Balkan Beat Box In Hollywood

Klezmer Podcast 133- Ori Kaplan of Balkan Beat Box. Balkan Beat Box was back in Los Angeles and put on a wonderful show. Ori Kaplan was kind enough to spend a few minutes with me before the show to talk about the latest happenings with the group and their latest release, Shout It Out. The band continues to surprise with each new album, and the trend continues with this album. We also hear the track Kum Kum. I apologize for some audio difficulties during the interview.
Run time: 16:45

Audio Player

06 June 2017

Klezmer Podcast 132- Amos Hoffman and Yale Strom

 The Desert Caravan Concert featuring Amos Hoffman and Noam Lemish

This episode features and interview with Amos Hoffman and Yale Strom, just prior to the Desert Caravan concert at San Diego State University on April 12, 2017. A Guitar and Oud player, Hoffman has teamed with Pianist Noam Lemish for a new project of jazz-influenced Middle Eastern songs. Joined on this concert by Yale Strom and his band Hot Pstromi, a fusion of this music with Klezmer and Yiddish repertoire resulted in a new direction for Jewish music, something Strom has been on the forefront of for many years. We also get to hear one of the songs from the concert that was recorded live.
Run time: 17:09

Klezmer Podcast 131- Mike Anklewicz of KlezFactor

New Album Europa From KlezFactor

Mike Anklewicz is a well-known Toronto area musician and composer, and leader of KlezFactor. His latest album Europa is a collection of original Jazz-infused compositions recorded by band members in both Canada and Germany. Check out the track Naftule Strikes Bach and prepare to be taken on a wonderful journey into his ever-evolving world of Jewish music.

Run time: 30:23