About the Breslov Bar Band
From melancholy midnight meditations to funky/punky affirmations of the One, the Breslov Bar Band explores musical expressions of the Breslov Chassidim from the traditional to the contemporary.
Blending Klezmer/Hassidic music with Middle-Eastern, Rock, Jazz, Reggae, Punk, and other musical styles in an organic manner, the band puts on a high-energy show that is both visually and musically compelling. Members are powerful improvisers and no two performances are alike. In addition to keyboards and vocals, BBB bandleader Binyomin Ginzberg plays the vibrandoneon -- a mouth blown variation on the Argentinian bandoneon -- which adds an intriguingly exotic component to the group's sound.
About the Guys in the Band
Binyomin Ginzberg has been called “one of the most interesting and engaging musicians in Jewish music today” (Teruah-Jewish Music). The musical director of JewishMusician.com, he has played with numerous Jewish music artists in the traditional and New Jewish music scenes. He is an in-demand keyboardist, vocalist, and bandleader on the NY Simcha circuit and has taught Chassidic music at KlezKamp and Yiddish Summer Weimar. The Breslov Bar Band is his outlet for exploring Breslov music in all its myriad forms.
Mike Cohen is a versatile saxophonist and woodwind player residing in New York City. A full-time working musician since the age of eighteen, Mike has performed with the Duke Ellington Band, Ray Vega, Steven Bernstein, Arturo O’ Farrell, and Harvey S, to name a few. He performs throughout the country in venues as diverse as Lincoln Center, Birdland, Tonic, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Mike is the clarinet player and bandleader of the Kleztraphobix, whose latest record, Another Bottle of Vodka, has been described as "defining an exciting, driving sound that makes New York the place to listen to Klezmer" (Klezmershack). Additional recording and performance highlights include composer Bill “Apollo” Brown, Rebecca Garfein’s Golden Chants in America, Fado singer Fatima Santos CD Nostalgia, and R+B band Ellis Island. Recently, Mike traveled to Uganda to produce a CD of African Jewish folk music titled Music from Putti: When I Wake Up, to benefit the struggling Ugandan community of Putti.
Zach Mayer leads his own seven-piece Jazz/Rock/Funk band, titled Zach Mayer, for which he composes, arranges, and sings his original songs. He tours the U.S. playing baritone saxophone with EMEFE, an eleven-piece Afro Beat band led by the drummer of the Antibalas Afro Beat Orchestra, Miles Arntzen.
Zach manages and performs with the Ayn Sof Arkestra, a sixteen-piece, neo-Klezmer avant garde professional big band, featuring Frank London and tenor saxophonist Greg Wall. He also plays baritone sax in Zion 80, a Jewish Afro-beat band blending the music of Shlomo Carlebach and Fela Kuti. He has performed with John Zorn, and plays with GRAMMY Award-winner Frank London in the Shekhina Big Band.
Zach founded the City College Klezmer Band and has been on the faculty of KlezKanada for eight years, instructing and arranging an ensemble of twenty-six teenagers. He attended the Rimon Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is currently a senior in the BFA program at CCNY for Jazz performance. Zach can be found playing around NYC including such venues as the Highline Ballroom, The Bitter End, The Stone, Sullivan Hall (alongside the Sun Ra Arkestra), and the Knitting Factory. www.reverbnation.com/zachmayermusic
Allen Watsky is a guitarist with broad experience in all styles of music, starting with pop and blues as a kid, and jazz and funk in his late teens, with a bit of old-time country thrown in for flavor. He then toured the western USA with regional R&B and funk bands and studied classical and Flamenco styles at the Mannes College.
Allen has spent the last few years traveling the globe with David Krakauer, SoCalled, and Fred Wesley, performing on tour and recordings with their funk klezmer project Abraham Inc. His recent musical explorations have infused his playing with a Mediterranean flavor and Middle Eastern rhythmic textures, while staying true to his American roots. His participation in the Breslov Bar Band is an extension of his interest and appreciation of Hasidic music in general and Breslov music in particular.
Yoshie grew up in a musical family and began playing the guitar at age thirteen. Though he was spending most of his time transcribing Jimmy Page solos and listening to Nirvana, he got his first gig playing with his father's wedding band. After spending a year studying at a Jewish seminary in Israel and playing on street corners for shekels, he began school at the University of Maryland, where he studied guitar and took lessons with faculty guitarist Gerry Kunkel and area jazz guitarist Paul Wingo. While in college, Yoshie became involved in a number of musical projects including Juez, a rabble rousing avante-Klezmer group that traveled all the way to Moscow to showcase their shenanigans; Bellflur, an ambient post-rock group heavily influenced by bands like Radiohead and Pink Floyd; and M-Theory, a jazz/fusion quintet with some of Yoshie's compatriots at school.
Yoshie now freelances around the New York area on guitar and bass, playing with groups like Asefa, Soulfarm, Chana Rothman, Yiddish Princess, and the Breslov Bar Band. His band Pitom, which plays music he has dubbed "punkassjewjazz," is about to release their second album on the Tzadik label. www.yoshiefruchter.com
Percussionist Richard Huntley plays a wide variety of music including jazz, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, klezmer, and other styles. He has played or recorded with many great musicians, including Mulgrew Miller, Cameron Brown, Scott Robinson, Jack Wilkins, and pop singer Natalie Merchant. He has recorded two CDs as a co-leader with the Danish saxophonist Emil Hess on the Storyville label, and has been a faculty member of the the Manhattan School of Music pre-college division since 2004. Recent performances include Montreal, Berlin, Vienna, Tampiere, and Genting Malaysia Jazz Festivals. www.rlhuntley.com