|Duvid, Swirsky (left) and Yehuda Solomon|
The musicians in Moshav grew up playing music together in a cooperative community of farmers known as Moshav Mevo Modi'im, a musical village in Israel founded by the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. In 1995, vocalist Yehuda Solomon and guitarist Duvid Swirsky formed a band that would blend traditional Jewish music with contemporary rock. A year later the band performed its first public concert for an audience consisting mainly of American students studying abroad. Not knowing how to publicize the show, the organizer of the event billed the musicians as the "Moshav Band, " and the name stuck. A group of American students traveling in Israel heard the band play and raised money to bring Moshav to the states for a college tour in the late 1990s. In 2000, Moshav relocated to Los Angeles, California. Moshav's seventh and most recent studio album is 2014's Shabbat Vol. 1, influenced by their sabbaths with Rabbi Carlebach. Moshav presently consists of Solomon, Swirsky, guitarist Geoffrey Parry, bassist Matt Cheadle and drummer Tamir Bar Zeli.
"Are you Jewish?" a man in the audience asked other men as he assembled a minyon for night prayers during intermission. Moshav is more than a band, it is a collective of musicians and audience sharing a singular heartbeat. At the Highline Ballroom tonight, the band, along with additional musicians and a guest spot by rapper Kosha Dillz, celebrated how a youthful, joyful approach can marry the traditional with the modern while remaining steadfastly loyal to the soul and essence of its genuinely heartfelt music. Some of the musical arrangements leaned towards an ephemeral, exotic folk music, while other songs were more closely aligned with alternative rock, funk, and even reggae. Whether sung in English or chanted in Hebrew, and whether the songs built to a crescendo or meandered into a groove, the energetic and the pensive songs were equally stirring. Enjoying the live performance made one a part of a Moshav community, at least temporarily, regardless of one's gender or religion.
Visit Moshav at www.moshavband.com.