Monday, January 4, 2010

Jewish Music, Texas Style

There's a bit of unconscious chauvinism in Jewish America. The standard image is that all the Jews are in New York, except those that moved out to LA. Of course that's nonsense, there are small and large Jewish populations all over the US. Detroit has had a huge Jewish population since the mid 1800's and Cleveland has been a Jewish center since the 1700's. Oh yeah. And Texas too.

Other than my thing for Jewish cowboys, I too forgot about the sizable Jewish population in the Lone Star State. I was reminded recently by an email from Avraham Solomon. Solomon is Jewish simcha musician in Houston with a stellar pedigree.
"Avraham Solomon's musical career started at a very young age with the Miami Boys Choir. He was a star soloist and is featured on several MBC albums including Torah Today, Miami Experience 1 and later on as an adult at the Miami Experience 5 concert in Nassau Coliseum performing in front of 15,000 fans. Avraham got involved in vocal performance with orchestras shortly after high school where he performed with a variety of Jewish wedding orchestras and bands on the east coast including: Neginah Orchestra, Steven Scott, Aish Orchestras and Singers, Barock Orchestra, and many others. During this time he also evolved musically and vocally by joining Jewish A capella groups such as Kol Zimra and Harmonia entertaining at bar mitzvahs , bat mitzvahs, engagement parties, shul dinners and other events. Kol Zimra enjoyed working with Avraham and asked that he be featured on thier first album:Kulanu Beyachad. Avraham's musical repertoire also includes cantorial experience for the High Holidays as well as piano."
He wanted me to know that Jewish music was alive and well and Texas. Which is a great thing. I get down to Houston a couple of times a year for work and hope to meet Solomon one of my trips. Here he is gigging at a local Jewish wedding. He's got some serious pipes.

And some serious prog-rock keyboard action. Love it.

Lag B'omer at the Young Israel of Houston

You can also hear him do a great one-man band simcah set, here.

I'm glad to hear Texas represent. If you know of great Jewish music from offbeat locations, please drop me a line.

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