High Holy Days: Soul Music
As part of the High Holy Days at Congregation Beth Sholom, Jeremiah Lockwood and his musical guests, including the extraordinary vocalists Terrie Odabi, Fay Victor, and Jewlia Eisenberg, create sacred, spiritual experiences, weaving together old-world cantorial singing and American blues and gospel, along with spiritual music from around the world.
Jeremiah Lockwood – cantorial singer, guitarist, scholar and PhD candidate at Stanford University – has devoted his life to the notion that music has a unique power to open the body to emotions and ideas in a way that words alone cannot, providing a path to our spiritual selves that’s hard to find elsewhere. In this High Holy Days experience, Jeremiah invites you to open yourself to a variety of spiritual music, some familiar, some not-so-familiar, and some completely unexpected (electric guitar and gospel songs).
“The new year is not only a moment for rebirth and repentance,” Jeremiah says, “but a moment to open ourselves to the awe-inspiring force of creation that brought the world into being – the creative force that shows itself today through artists creating and sharing their work.” With that in mind, he brings together a group of talented musicians who are dedicated to creating experiences of beauty that touch our deepest emotions.
Powerhouse soul and blues singer Terrie Odabi joins us on Rosh Hashanah Day 1 to share selections from the African American gospel tradition as part of the morning service. Vocalist Jewlia Eisenberg (of Charming Hostess) lead the Torah service and musaf (afternoon prayers) alongside Jeremiah, and she’ll teach some songs from hidden corners of our tradition along the way.
For the “Late Kol Nidre,” Jeremiah performs the Kol Nidre prayer as an intense slide guitar meditation, and internationally renowned singer Fay Victor joins us as a guest vocalist to lend a depth of feeling that helps us focus on self-reflection and the nearness of mortality while celebrating the vitality and joy of life.
The band throughout the holidays features beloved Bay Area drummer Darian Gray (Booker T, Fantastic Negrito) on percussion and Rob Reich, an underground stalwart of the Bay Area music scene, on organ.
Jeremiah, who serves as hazzan (cantor/prayer leader), plays [acoustic and] electric guitar in his inimitable style, which draws on the music of his grandfather, the legendary Cantor Jacob Konigsberg and an apprenticeship with Piedmont Blues master Carolina Slim. We are thrilled that he is joining us at CBS this year, carrying on a High Holy Days tradition that began with Rabbi Dan Ain in Brooklyn and drew thousands of people to services that forged a new – and deeply rooted – musical tradition for the High Holy Days.