"If you feel like you are on the edge of the precipice about to jump into mid-air without a net, you are probably in the right place." This wisdom was shared with me by my professor, Steve Levine, during my final year at Theatre School.
10 years ago, I took that leap. Encouraged by the inimitable David Dunbar and accompanied by Tania Gill on piano, I put together one hour of repertoire and gave my first concert. Only and already 10 years! When David told me it was time to give that concert, I thought he was joking. I experienced fear that was at once terrifying and thrilling.
So glad I jumped.
As a result, this May, I will be celebrating the anniversary of that night 10 years ago when at the end of the concert, I turned to my friend, tears falling down my face and said, "I feel like I am standing in my shoes."
This year, I am reflecting on how using my voice has taught me how to breathe ease into suffering, how to offer comfort spaciously and how to sing joy that stirs the hearts of others.
So, this is a year of musical celebrations.
Each month of 2015, I am celebrating.
With each event, I am honouring some aspect of the diverse and lush musical adventure that has enriched my life so over this decade as a musician including; prayer leading, Jaffa Road, AVIVA, Ladino, spiritual care, Yiddish, teaching, creation, collaboration and more. I will also be honouring YOU, who have been so much a part of this journey.
Simply stated, GRATEFUL AM I!
MODAH ANI: GRATEFUL AM I. LIVE FROM THE ASHKENAZ FESTIVAL
To start things off, I prepared this video to share with you. It captures one song from a peak concert experience which took place with my seven piece ensemble AVIVA, at the Ashkenaz festival at Harboufront Centre in Toronto last August. Many of you were there.
I loved sharing that moment with you and I am so excited to celebrate into this year together.
Warm blessings for Spring.
Anniversary Celebrations 2015
TEHILAH 2.0 - a symposium and celebration of music and prayer. Truly a celebration of the voice, community and devotion. A huge success!
UofT Music Program Guest Lecturer - a super treat to be with the students in a conversation about vocal journey and the impact artists can have on heart opening and healing. And, we sang. I learned so much in a short time.
Mindfulness Minyan - a Shabbat morning gathering for meditation, chanting and movement. We are growing in numbers and I find myself growing in an understanding of how to lead this potent practice.
AVIVA septet with Sunfest at the Aeolian Hall, London
Front page of the Saturday Arts Section, London Free Press
AVIVA septet with Neruda Arts at The Jazz Room, Waterloo
April 16 - 24
Jaffa Road California tour
Concerts, services, a voice workshop.
Beth Sholom, San Fransisco,
The Leichtag Ranch, Vocal Workshop,
Music Festival, Cardiff by the Sea
Concert Series, Palo Alto
AVIVA in Edmonton
Duo Ladino concert as part of Jewish Music Week at the Small World Music Centre
This will be my first complete public Ladino concert
Co-leading prayer for Shavuot Retreat, Isabella Freedman Retreat Centre, Connecticut with Shir Yaakov
AVIVA duo in Atlanta
with Joel Schwartz at Temple Sinai and Congregation Beit Haverim
Jewish Radio Hour at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
AVIVA - 2013 CFMA nominee
for World Music Solo Artist of the Year