Eight Nights Hanukkah Concert at Off Broadway

Brothers Lazaroff 2nd Annual Hanukkah Hullabaloo Featuring and Rabbi James Stone Goodman

by Rabbi James Stone Goodman

It’s an unlikely collaboration, I suppose, a group of Indie folk-rockers, some klezmorim, and myself waxing poetically on Eight Nights (actually nine) based on Hanukkah themes. It began last year at this time when David Lazaroff of the band Brothers Lazaroff showed up at one of my concerts carrying a guitar. He asked if he could sit in.

The next time I heard from him he asked me to make a late night Hanukkah gig at a club called Off Broadway in Soulard.

I made it down on the designated night to Off Broadway, not a location on my schedule of stops. With a stage full of musicians and latke makers, I was singing and reading poetry I had written around the themes of the Hanukkah holiday. The series is called Eight Nights, with an attached ninth night (edgy).

The evening was so ascendant we decided to go into the studio and record it. A week later we laid down nine pieces of poetry over deconstructed Jewish-Klezmer music and everyone in the studio knew we had something special. Even the rough recording, without mixing, sounded great.

The whole thing happened in the space of two – three weeks. Last year Brothers Lazaroff dedicated all proceeds to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. We sold downloads at bandcamp.com at a hearty clip, and were even in the Top 5 on the site for over three weeks with over $6,500 raised for the food pantry. It felt like a phenomenon. I was along for the ride and exulting in every moment.

This year Brothers Lazaroff suggested we make the donations to a project I run: One Life – Whole World Project. It includes three programs: Jewish Prison Outreach, Jewish Attention to Mental Illness, and Shalvah Outreach on Addictions. All three programs serve many more than Jewish people. All of the participants feel like forgotten people; still at almost every meeting I hear “this meeting is saving my life” in one form or another.

Now we’re preparing for round two (called “Brothers Lazaroff 2nd Annual Hanukkah Hullabaloo”) again at Off Broadway on the first night of Hanukkah Saturday, December 8th, beginning at 9 PM. We’ll be performing Eight Nights in its entirety and a whole lot more. We will have hard copies of the CD for sale.

The concert will feature myself (Rabbi James Stone Goodman), Will Soll’s Klezmer Conspiracy, The Vaad (Ben Kaplan’s brain-child), DJ Goldie frying latkes and spinning select chosen tracks, Brothers Lazaroff who will be performing with some special guests that recently did tracks for the remix of their most recent album Science Won, and many more fun surprises.

You can get a taste on YouTube:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k46GCnPi5Js&feature=share).

And you can hear the entire recording of Eight Nights at: http://eightnights.bandcamp.com/album/eight-nights.

Here’s what it is:

Brothers Lazaroff 2nd Annual Hanukkah Hullaballoo: Saturday, December 8, at Off Broadway (www.offbroadwaystl.com), 3509 Lemp Avenue, 63118, in the historic Cherokee Lemp District.

This year the proceeds from the concert will go to One Life – Whole World Project of Congregation Neve Shalom: Jewish Prison Outreach, Jewish Attention to Mental Illness, and Shalvah Outreach on Addictions.

Advance tickets can be had online at : www.ticketweb.com/snl/VenueListings.action?venueId=18478

Physical tickets can be had at: Central Reform Congregation Front Office, Shaare Zedek Front Office, B’nai Amoona Front Office, Washington University Hillel.

General admission tickets are $8 each.
Hope to see you there.

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