There is much more to Jewish music then Klezmer and World Folk Music Artist Gary Cohen knows it all!!! Gary Cohen has been collecting Jewish songs for many years and has amassed an extensive repertoire of both religious and secular music. This includes Yiddish Folk Songs, Israeli Folk, Chassidic melodies, as well as classic Mizrachi songs (sung in Hebrew), Ashkenazi songs (sung in Yiddish and Hebrew), and Sephardi songs (sung in Judeo-Spanish known as Ladino).
Gary shares his vast and varied knowledge of Jewish music combined with his unique Middle-Eastern guitar stylings, masterful lead Doumbek (Israeli hand drum) playing, and soulful Judeo-Spanish vocal inflections. With his partner Amber Woods providing back up Middle-Eastern percussion and an occasional vocal, they perform together as Kouskous.
Kouskous brings “ruach” and fresh interpretations to traditional Jewish songs and is able to meet the musical needs of the entire Jewish community from the Secular Humanists to Chabad.
Kouskous provides music for many “simchas” including weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, Yom Haatzmaout Celebrations, as well as Purim and Chanukkah parties. Kouskous also provides the perfect musical accompaniment as background to parties as well as for ceremonies that mark life’s cycles, and milestones.
Kouskous has participated in fundraisers for repairs to the synagogue in Victoria, and presented concerts of Askenazi, Mizrachi and Sephardi music in Victoria, on Vashon Island Washington and at a conference for small Reform congregations held in Everett, Washington. Most recently Kouskous presented a workshop called Not Just Klezmer: An Annotated Exploration of Jewish Music at the 2010 J-West Conference sponsored by the Peretz Center in Vancouver.
Highlights of Recent Accomplishments:
- From West to East: Concerts Spanning the Musical Traditions of our People Presented in Victoria, Vashon Island, and Everett Washingt
- Artists in Residence for Victoria Society for Humanistic Judaism
- Yom Haatzmaout Celebrations
- There is Love Concert
- Music for Shabbat Services with Kolot Mayim (Reform) Congregation
- Teaching Songs and Folk Dancing with live music at Reform Hebrew School
- Chanukah for the Central Island Jewish Community
- Chanukah, Tu B’Shvat and Purim Parties
- Kabbalat Shabbat, Conservative Shul
- Jewish Love Songs and Stories Show, Stories by Nature, Celebrating Light with Maggidah Shoshana Litman Find out more Jewish Stories Set To Music
- Not Just Klezmer: Exploration of Jewish Music J-West Conference Peretz Center Vancouver
- Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Weddings Graduations and other Simchas