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The Sweet Sound Of Jewish Music: Getting Real With Eitan Katz

By Rochelle Maruch Miller

He is blessed with the ability to touch the heart and stir the soul with his gorgeous voice and beautiful, heartfelt musical compositions. As one of the most-sought-after performers on the simcha arena, Eitan Katz is a unique and fresh young talent, a musically gifted performer who learns at Yeshiva Sh’or Yoshuv. Eitan’s quiet hasmadah belies the high energy level of his music. The essence of a true ben Torah, Eitan, together with his lovely wife, who reside in Far Rockaway with their children, practice the “open door policy” of opening their home and hearts to those in need.

Music is not just for the ears; it permeates the soul. Music possesses both the power to move us to tears and the spirit to infuse us with joy. Transcending generations, music can bring us closer to one another and closer to Hashem. When orchestrated to perfection, music fuses sound and spirituality into a unique symphony which touches all of our senses. Which is precisely what Eitan masterfully accomplishes.

In composing his music, Eitan demonstrates a special regard for words which help us feel the power of the music. With meticulous attention to every detail, the music is carefully chosen from throughout tefillah and Tanach, each song perfectly conveying the true meaning of the words.

It was inevitable that Eitan would pursue a career in music. “I grew up in a home filled with music and my father is in chazzanus,” he explained. Even as a young child, Eitan’s musical gifts were evident, and he honed his talent in the ensuing years, inspired by such legends as R’ Shlomo Carlebach, z’l; indeed, in Eitan Katz Unplugged (2007) and Eitan Katz Unplugged 2 (2011), he covers the music of R’ Shlomo, whom he describes as having been one of his mentors.

Eitan’s music has a unique, signature style that has garnered an international fan base. “Whether for a simcha or for a concert, people call me when they are looking for authentic, sweet Jewish music,” he says. “Following a performance, they walk away having experienced something real.”

But lest you harbor the misconception that Eitan plays only slow music, read what he himself has to say on the matter. “People often ask me, ‘So you play weddings, too? I thought you only play slow kumzitz music.’ There is nothing I enjoy more than playing weddings. Don’t get me wrong; I have tremendous enjoyment and fulfillment from the CDs I release and the concerts I perform. But a Yiddishe wedding… there’s just something different about it; being a part of a Jewish home, and being in charge of the music, which can set the tone of the spiritual level of a wedding, is a great responsibility but an even greater privilege.”

Performing at simchas in venues near and far, Eitan and his band have enhanced celebrations in Israel, South Africa, Toronto, Montreal, Utah, Los Angeles, Florida, Detroit, New York, and New Jersey, and the bookings keep coming! Affording each simcha the signature service and energy-infused performance that has become his hallmark, Eitan customizes every affair to the client’s specifications. Then, setting the tone of the simcha, “the band explodes into leibedik spiritually charged music. We’re very musical, we’re all great friends and love playing together.”

Eitan adds, “I do my best to infuse the wedding guests with a sense of real, emmesdik simcha.” He explains that you can have people dancing to a beat of music or to the beat of a niggun. “The two might sound the same but oh, are they different! When dancing to real, beautiful Jewish music, the entire wedding changes. Everyone is so much happier…you leave feeling as if you were part of something beautiful and holy.”

Additionally, Eitan states that neither roaring electric guitars nor aggressive rock beats are used in his music. “At weddings, I direct the band very clearly that I don’t play any ‘rock’ music. It doesn’t help me accomplish what I want to accomplish, that is to infuse the people with a sense of kedushah. We all know how powerful music is and how it can affect our neshamah in the most meaningful way. I am well aware of this and have it in my mind from beginning to end.”

“WOW is the word that comes to mind when I think about the music that Eitan played at our wedding,” say Mr. and Mrs. T. “The music was so incredible, each person danced their heart out. It is not only the voice and the instrumentals but it is the spirit that fills the room when Eitan starts to sing and play. The music is something that really makes a wedding magical and Eitan makes sure of that! Eitan Katz took our wedding and enhanced it in a beautiful way.”

“Eitan Katz is literally amazing!” concur Neal and Tali. “After our wedding people came up to us and asked us if we were personal friends of Eitan. We wish we were, but we simply answered ‘no,’ he just really gets into the simcha. Eitan has a way of elevating the crowd and really enhancing the dancing with his heimish music. He creates a truly leibedik atmosphere, and truly connects with not only the crowd, but with the chassan and kallah as well. People have told us that our chupah was the most fun chupah they have ever been to, and we truly owe this to Eitan Katz. He is amazing; if he is not available on the date of your wedding, you should change the date!”

“Awesome music! Real ruach!” rave Michal and Periel. “The one word that comes to mind when I think of Eitan’s music is ‘emesdik.’ It was chill at times, wild at times, and just great! Highly recommend!”

The aforementioned are but a sampling of the many accolades from highly satisfied clients whose weddings Eitan has enhanced with his energy-charged music and infectious enthusiasm. “No matter what type of crowd there is at the wedding, whether it be yeshivish, Chassidish, or modern, my goal remains the same—to uplift the wedding through the power of music.”

That magical power, so evident at every wedding and event at which Eitan performs, defines Shuvu, his highly anticipated, just released album. Featuring ten tracks, each composed by Eitan and a stand-out in its own right, Shuvu is the artist’s fifth CD as well as his third CD as a solo performer. “I decided on having ten tracks because I want people to take the time to listen to each one.” For Eitan, bringing the album to fruition has been, in his words, “an emotional roller-coaster of a project;” he wrote some of the niggunim on this album several years ago and spent many months of studio work painstakingly focusing on every detail. The result is a musical masterpiece that is sure to become a classic. With the release of Shuvu, Eitan has raised the bar in Jewish music, “I am trying to make a big statement of what Jewish music should be,” he says. “I really believe that Jewish music has a history and that the niggunim are perushim.” By meticulously selecting each song, focusing upon the words, and maintaining the integrity of the music, Eitan is, in effect, keeping the music pure and honoring the kedushah of every word. This he accomplishes with incredible success, whether energizing the crowd to dance the night away at a wedding or stirring souls with heartfelt niggunim.

Clearly, Eitan regards Shuvu as a labor of love. Ask him to name his favorite track on the album and he will reply, “It’s like asking a parent to name their favorite child; they are all special to me!” He adds, “The album begins with an Elul niggun that reflects what I go through in Elul, what Elul is about. I chose to open it with this because it captures the vibe of my musical career. This song is very close to my heart. Close your eyes and listen to Shuvu—8 of the 10 tracks will be danced to at weddings.”

Whether you have the pleasure of experiencing Eitan Katz perform in person at a wedding or in concert, or are enjoying your copy of Shuvu, you’ll see why he is eliciting critical acclaim the world over—and success could not have happened to a more deserving person!

Eitan Katz can enhance your simcha with his beautiful voice, exceptional musical talent, and high-energy performance. For booking information, please contact Simcha@eitankatz.com or call 718-770-7973 or 240-687-7348. Shuvu is available at Jewish music and Judaica stores. v

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Posted by on February 21, 2013. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.