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  • Joey Baron

Stars are Rising

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Throughout my time at the Boston Jewish Music Festival and then continuing through JArts, I have had the pleasure and honor of advising many rising artists. I have helped them think through new creative concepts, matched them with new resources, worked through grant proposals, and just reminded them how great they are. While I have always wanted to be an artist, my creative gift is bringing out the creative gifts of others.

If you’re an artist who needs support, coaching and a creative sounding board, I’d love to discuss how I may be able to help you, too. Here's an update on some of the people I have had the joy to work with.

Congratulations to Nat Seelen, the gifted clarinetist from Ezekiel’s Wheels (who I have helped ever since their victory at BJMF's Klezmer Idol lunch at the much-missed Ryles music club) for winning a Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture fellowship to help fund his exciting project exploring the structure and history of the doina, a form of Romanian folk music that has influenced Jewish music from across Eastern Europe. Nat will be exploring the history of the form with special attention to the doina’s influence on improvisation in klezmer. This recognition is most well deserved. Don't forget to check out Ezekiel’s Wheels now that live music is back again. They are really special.

Jessie is working on a series of dances inspired by the life and work of legendary guitarist and bass player Carol Kaye. One of the few female studio musicians of her time, Carol has played on such well known music as Phil Spector’s Then He Kissed Me and You've Lost That Loving Feeling, Frank Zappa’s Freak Out, Barbara Streisand’s The Way We Were as well as the soundtracks for M.A.S.H. and Mission Impossible. Watching a recent rehearsal, I was struck by the dancers performing wearing masks due to Covid and how it added to the piece's exploration of hidden identities.

I first met Yoni when we talked about – and named – his fabulous Yiddish jazz group, Two Shekel Swing. Since then, Yoni has performed at synagogue services across the area, created an Indian-Jewish music fusion concert, and spent a year in Israel studying Middle Eastern music. Now, Yoni is wrapping up his time as one of the first recipients of the CJP JArts Creative Fellowship which supported his fusion of maqam, piyyut, and other Middle Eastern musical forms. Keep your ears open for the new music Yoni was able to record with Fellowship support. I’ve heard some of the demos and they are wonderful. Watch as this new star rises in the world music scene.

Congrats to Nat, Jessie, and Yoni for reaching new creative heights. Now, who else can Dream Up help?

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