A Little About Jewish Bluegrass...
Nefesh Mountain are the pioneers of a new sound where Jewish Spirit and Soul meet with Bluegrass and Old-time musical traditions. Founders, husband and wife team Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff, blend their love for both of these rich traditions and have created new genre that marries these two seemingly disparate worlds. Since the recent release of their Debut album with bluegrass greats Sam Bush, Mark Schatz, Scott Vestal, Rob Ickes, and Gary Oleyar, they are winning the hearts of audiences nationwide.
“There is common ground here,” says Lindberg, “for centuries Bluegrass and Old Time music have been embracing the Old Testament, and through the years have created a powerful vehicle for spirituality and expression.” The origin of Bluegrass music itselfbegan as a melting pot, fusing African instruments and sensibilities, with that of Western Europe and the Scotch/Irish traditions.
Zasloff adds, “Today, Bluegrass music is an outlet for so many cultures and their own traditions to come through. I can fall in love and connect with Chinese, African American, or Irish cultures though the music. Likewise, as Jewish Americans, we want to share our background with the world through the art of Bluegrass.”
“Nefesh” is a hebrew word which loosely translates as the soul or animating spirt of all living things. The Mountain is a cross-cultural symbol used widely in Jewish text as well as in Bluegrass and Old-Time musical forms. “We’ve found that another commonality is that both traditions unapologetically celebrate and honor our natural world.” says Zasloff.
Doni Zasloff is a beloved presence on stage throughout the country and is regarded as one of the most influential Jewish Performers in the twenty-first century. Her unique backgrounds in Singing, Musical Theatre, & Judaism make her one of the most in demand and unique artists today, and she brings these multi-faceted talents directly to Nefesh Mountain. With band Doni brings her unlimited Spirit to the songs in her words, melodies, and music.
Multi-Instrumentalist Eric Lindberg brings his background in Jazz and Classical music to the acoustic stylings of Bluegrass and Old-Time music. His works as a Singer, Guitarist, and Banjoist in Nefesh Mountain are known widely in the Jewish and Bluegrass worlds today. Eric is constantly searching for new ways to break down the barriers between musical genre, race, and religion through the magic of music.
Alan Grubner graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College where he received both the 1998 MacDonald-Smith Music Prize for High Achievement in Musical Performance and the Heiman-Rosenthal Ensembles Award for High Achievement in the Creative Arts. He continued graduate studies in jazz performance at Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory. Some of Alan's more recent work on fiddle is featured throughout the groundbreaking film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival. His work on violin and viola is also featured on multiple episodes of the Emmy Award-winning TV series, Louie, starring Grammy Award-winning comedian, Louis C.K. In 2010 Mr. Grubner released his debut album, Long Road Home, and represented the U.S.A. as a featured soloist at the World Expo in Shanghai, China.
Tim Kiah began his musical studies at the Boston Boy Choir School at a young age where he had the opportunity to perform with Leonard Bernstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. Tim studied composition at the Eastman School of Music while obtaining a degree in Nursing from the University of Rochester. He also received an MFA in Music from the City College of New York where he studied composition with David Del Tredici and double bass with Ron Carter.
Upon moving to New York in 2002, he formed a group called Nurse Kaya in an effort to emphasize the healing nature of music. Comprised of string players and percussion, Nurse Kaya composed, rehearsed, and performed as a collective. As part of the group's mission to bring new music to challenged audiences, the ensemble, dressed in medical attire, performed in hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons. In 2005, Nurse Kaya was awarded a grant from Chamber Music America to tour the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado and was featured by ASCAP and on NPR.