From Passover at Camp Ramah Darom to celebrating Shabbat with a newly formed community, the last few months have been full of lessons and good folks. Here’s a little video about the tour so far!
We took in Shabbat at Camp Ramah Darom with the whole family and spent those days nestled in the North Georgia Mountains. Each night, on a porch full of rocking chairs, there was song and spirit from the folks who gathered. They had invited me to be their artist in residence for all of Passover and in addition to having the opportunity to teach a few classes, I did a concert with my good friends Sammy Rosenbaum and Eliana Light. I don’t know what it is about the mountains but they just make the music sweeter.
During one of the (amazing) Seders, we were asked what our favorite part of the passover story was. The part that really stuck with me is actually a midrash. It’s the story of how Gd admonished the Angels for celebrating the death of the Egyptians and the freedom of the Israelites. The sea collapsed, crushing the approaching army beneath its waters, and the Angels cheered. In that instant, Gd turns and admonishes the Angels. They are told that the Israelites can cheer for their freedom but not the Angels because, as Gd points out, the Egyptians were his children also.
It’s a great reminder that we are all children of Gd, no matter how we choose to live the life that we’ve been blessed with. So treat each other well and meet others where they are.
From The North Georgia Mountains, we rolled over to El Paso Texas for Yom Ha’atzmaut! It was interesting to be brought as an artist to play music for a day celebrating a land I have never been to. More than interesting, it was a huge honor. I have so much respect for the amount of life that has sprung up out of the desert there and the amount of work that it takes to make that life continue to grow. Someday, I hope to bring this music to the land where the roots are planted. The weekend was made even sweeter by a Shabbat joining two communities together. We sang, we prayed, and we rested. I was also joined by the incredible Alison Westermann! She’s made some beautiful Jewish music and you should check it out.
So everytime I go to a community for a weekend, I take in as much as I can. Torah study, services, lunch and learns, anything. If you EVER get the chance to study with the amazing Rabbi Royi Shaffin or Shoshana Schechter-Shaffin – jump on it. They taught me so much and I’ll never look at Havdalah the same way again.
From El Paso, it was off to Orlando to record some background vocals on Sam Trattner’s new album, Listen. Keep an eye out for a release date soon. Abbie Strauss and I did a little singing in preparation for the Cantor’s Assembly concert in Atlantic City, NJ. She’s an absolute joy to sing with and if you haven’t heard her pray on her album, Spark, get thyself online and dig on that. It’s the good stuff. Speaking of the Cantor’s Assembly…
It was an honor to make music for the Conservative movement’s Cantor’s Assembly! We sang our hearts out for Jewish Rock Radio and all those who elevate prayer through song. It was kind of wild because the first Cantor I ever met is the one who MC’d the event. Cantor Joanna Dulkin is a delight to work with. She made us all feel at home, just like she did when I first met her. Amazing to come full circle like this.
Speaking of Jewish Rock Radio – they’re raising funds for their station. If you haven’t listened yet, I highly entourage you to check it out. It’s 24/7 streaming radio and brings incredible content to everyone around the world!
Thank you so much for all of the support! The new Americana Shabbat service has been received better than we ever could have hoped. Have a wonderful week and be sure to follow the Unbroken Tour on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (at Joe Buchanan Music). If you want to book a weekend, concert, Shabbat service, or event for your camp, festival, or community – let me know! We still have a few spots left in 2017 and are officially booking for 2018.