neighbors

welcome, holy brothers and sisters —

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  I’m an multi-award-winning educator/songwriter, based in El Paso for 20 years, and highlights are below. My original songs based on Jewish text/values/culture (e.g., my album Sparks) are not just for the various Jewish audiences I’ve played for, but also aim to be accessible and engaging for non-Jewish audiences. I love offering tailored bridge-building empathy-emboldening classes/workshops or concerts where I strap on my acoustic guitar and share my music followed by Q&A/dialogue to make bridges of mind, spirit, and heart that yield more understanding and empathy.

my latest album (24 songs!) Sparks :

  • 4-time Finalist (Album of the Year, Best Bluegrass Song, Best Humorous Song (winner!), and Best Religious Song) at the New Mexico Music Awards, a statewide GRAMMY-style competition; also, Semifinalist in the International Songwriting Competition
  • songs are highly original, non-liturgical, and non-denominational with lyrics virtually all in English
  • critical praise from national artists, journalists, authors, educators, clergy
  • sparked by Nance Pettit and David Wilcox’s album of mystical wisdom from/across major spiritual traditions, and my album’s musicians span Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — an Abraham jam!

my singer-songwriter background:

  • I write Jewish songs, contemporary folk songs, and math songs – with 26+ songs (spanning all 3 types) airing on TV/radio and 30+ song awards (spanning all 3 types) such as first place in the National Museum of Mathematics’ Pi Day of the Century song contest!
  • my 4+ decades of songwriting have yielded 130+ published songs, including 33 songs on my albums and songs (e.g., “Healing Song“) covered on 4 other artists’ albums
  • performed at national conferences, statewide music award nights, regional festivals, community events, etc.; have also opened for diverse nationally-touring artists (e.g., Chava Mirel, Beth Hamon, Roy Zimmerman, Charlie King & Karen Brandow) and here’s a clip from my opening for Opera UTEP; my live performances include some humor (e.g., “Spiritual Not Religious” and “The Bark Mitzvah Song“)
  • interviewer, reviewer, letter-writer, parodist in national music periodicals (e.g., Songwriter’s Musepaper, Sing Out!, Performing Songwriter, Acoustic Guitar)

my educator/speaker/author background:

  • 3+ decades of full-time college and high school teaching experience yielded several major national/state awards and I’ve won National Science Foundation funding to create interactive educational songs
  • 200+ (inter)national talks include conference keynote performances as well as sessions sponsored by Folk Alliance International, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, etc.
  • my 130+ peer reviewed papers in national education journals include a dozen specifically on music/song and several that connect Judaism to music or math

selected experience with diverse religion programs/spaces: