JSA Featured Performer – Laura Wetzler

By , January 18, 2012 3:03 pm

The multi-talented Laura Wetzler is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, lecturer, and recording artist. Her professional singing career began when she was only 15 years old.  Influenced  by her love of Jewish music and the famous folk singers of the 1960s, she became a popular performer at NYC clubs, synagogues and college campuses.

After her graduation from Hofstra she became a protégé of the legendary Joe Elias, master of the Ladino folk song genre. Her first CD was released to critical acclaim in 1999 and was re-issued in 2011.

A sought after concert performer, Wetzler’s popular music/lecture programs (Jewish Women in Jewish Song, Songs of the Lost Communities, Adventures in African and Asian Jewish Music and Jewels of the Diaspora, and Kabbalah Music: Songs of the Jewish Mystics ) highlight not only her talent but also her extensive knowledge of and interest in music history.

Wetzler is not only passionate about her music, she is also a passionate humanitarian. Working with Kalanu.org, she has been helping economically challenged African Jewish farmers to find health, education and basic services since 2002.

In her own words: “Music is my way of exploring the world, celebrating my heritage, and sharing with others.”

The Judaica Sound Archives is pleased to welcome her as one of our featured performers.

JSA Featured Performer – Bruce Benson

By , January 11, 2012 2:42 pm

Cantor Bruce Benson has been dedicated to composing liturgy for the contemporary Jewish world for more than 40 years. He is, perhaps, best known for his Jazz Service, written and recorded with smooth jazz saxophonist, Kenny G. His blending of modern sounds with traditional Jewish prayers earned him a place in Chosen Voices: The Story of the American Cantorate by Mark Slobin.

The Jazz Service,was the largest selling Jazz album in the Jewish market for well over 10 years. The Rock Service(version 1), a collection of original compositions, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2002. The 2nd version, re-released in 2008, featured a now legendary performance of Cantor Benson’s The Healing Prayer with Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band.

Cantor Bruce Benson is currently Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Living. He is the former cantor of Temple Beth Am in Jupiter, FL. He has also served as cantor at the Congregation Beth Israel in Scottsdale AZ.

In his concerts and travels around the country, Benson strives to redefine the Jewish music landscape of our generation.  Whether performing alone, or with his band, T’zur Yisrael, Benson creates new perspectives and a fresh look at Jewish prayer.

The Judaica Sound Archives welcomes Bruce Benson to our list of featured performers.

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