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Bop Kabbalah+Voices

In 2016, I com­plet­ed and pre­miered a cham­ber jazz piece fea­tur­ing two female voic­es called “Future Gen­er­a­tions (Doyrus Fun Der Tsukun­ft).” The first ver­sion of that piece for sex­tet was also my mas­ter’s the­sis at Brook­lyn Col­lege. Then in 2018, I received a grant from Brook­lyn Arts Coun­cil to grow that body of work and launch a new project called “Bop Kabbalah+Voices: New Rad­i­cal Yid­dish Lib­er­a­tion Songs.” The grant sup­port­ed the cre­ation and per­for­mance of a song cycle that sets Yid­dish labor texts from the late 19th & ear­ly 20th cen­turies. Those texts about the fight against cap­i­tal­ism — for a tru­ly just and equi­table world — are defi­ant, coura­geous and pre­scient, res­onat­ing loud­ly TODAY.

Sara Ser­pa and Judith Berk­son joined me to bring this music to life, and after a series of con­certs, the three of us record­ed every­thing in 2019. Final mix­es were com­plet­ed just before the pan­dem­ic, and it was mas­tered dur­ing quar­an­tine. The album is enti­tled “Bop Kabbalah+Voices: When You Speak of Times to Come (Ven Du Redst Fun Naye Tsaytn),” and it will be released on Infre­quent Seams at sun­down on Decem­ber 10, 2020, just in time for Hanukah. You can Pre-Order it on Band­camp HERE.

This new con­cept album fea­tures a lush trio of gui­tar, elec­tron­ics, piano and Sara and Judith’s imag­i­na­tive­ly ver­sa­tile and acro­bat­ic vocals. Left­ist texts from the 150 year-old Yid­dish labor move­ment are giv­en an unprece­dent­ed mod­ern musi­cal treat­ment: del­i­cate, plain­tive, hyp­not­ic and pas­sion­ate. On my first album as band­leader in six years, you’ll hear the nine-part song cycle fol­lowed by the ambi­tious, 23-minute “Future Gen­er­a­tions (Doyrus Fun Der Tsukun­ft).” Along­side my gui­tar work, Judith and Sara’s voic­es dance, soar and some­times erupt. Metic­u­lous­ly record­ed, mixed and mas­tered by Gram­my Award-win­ning engi­neer Damon Whit­te­more, “Bop Kabbalah+Voices…” looks to both the past for inspi­ra­tion and the future (“When You Speak of Times to Come…”) for cre­ative vision­ing — may this music inspire lis­ten­ers to imag­ine and join the orga­nized strug­gle for a more just, humane world. 

A por­tion of all prof­its from this album’s sales will help sup­port the immi­grant jus­tice work of New Sanc­tu­ary Coali­tion.