Tributes (“SPARKS PLUGS”)

“Larry Lesser is a rebbe sharing a beautiful Torah in tune, and doing it with passion, wisdom, and love – of all Jews, of the entire tradition, and genuine appreciation of how each of us journeys with it. An amazing accomplishment, Sparks packs an incredible amount of Torah – along with equal measures of sweetness, beauty and joy – into just over an hour of music. One could spend years unpacking the texts which inspire this album’s tracks, which add up to a method for living with greater meaning, purpose, and love – both of one’s self and of others. What more could we need? And when could we need it more?”
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield
President, CLAL (The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership)

“Your songs are well done – a great delivery system for sharing your unique (and uniquely Jewish) point of view. Hatzlacha rabbah.”
Peter Himmelman
Award-winning film/TV composer, singer-songwriter, recording artist, corporate trainer

“Larry Lesser’s new album is both playful and soulful. His music not only creates
the setting for his poetic messages, it also lifts the spirit. Larry’s thoughtful words
shaped by Jewish ideals and values inspire thought and self-reflection.”
Rabbi Jerome M. Epstein
CEO Emeritus of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and President of NACOEJ

“The music rocks and the meaning rolls. Sparks brings joy to the ear and heart.
This is Jewish soul in every sense of the term. Reflect and enjoy!”
Alan Morinis
Founder of the Mussar Institute

“With multiple layers of meaning and ways to connect, Larry’s album engages
those new to Jewish learning or observance as well as those with long histories of
loving and learning Judaism. The songs can be readily used to spark, apply, or
reinforce Jewish learning – and they’re fun to listen to!”
Rabbi Eli Gewirtz
Director of Partners in Torah

“The depth of his songwriting, social consciousness, Jewish awareness, and his
legendary sense of humor makes him a true standout in the canon of Jewish
contemporary music. Sparks sparks deep thought, great laughter and is an album
that, like our Torah, you will turn to again and again.”
Robbi Sherwin
President of the Women’s Cantors Network (and member of touring band Sababa)

“These songs are rich in Torah-Jewish content and values in a very adorable and
unique style. I marveled over your ability to express so beautifully the words of our
Sages Z”L from the Talmud and Mishnah and you capture the essence of their
deep meanings with your incredible lyrics.”
Rabbi Shmuel “Torah Fiddler” Geller
Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Yaakov Yeshiva (in Zichron Yaakov, Israel)

“Many Jewish musicians have come along to share powerful music. Very few
create and share powerful music which also inspires the listener to follow them
down the deep well of Jewish knowledge like Larry does. This album is for you,
no matter how you engage with Jewish tradition (or don’t)!”
Rabbi Ben Zeidman
Temple Mount Sinai (El Paso)

“So awesome that these songs are grounded in amazing midrashim!  I love the Two Pockets song — so beautiful! Glad to have new music to share as teaching tools!”
Rabbi Josh Warshawsky
Nationally-touring Jewish educator, musician, songleader, and composer  M

“There are some lovely delicate moments in your chord structures and expression
that simply don’t happen with a flatpick. The textures you’ve chosen seem almost
reflective of where you live in a hard-to-pin-down way – that’s cool. ‘Spiritual Not
Religious’ is hilarious, smart, and awesome. ‘Stack the Stones’ is really powerful
in its simplicity.”
Beth Hamon
Jewish educator, recording artist, songleader, and cantorial soloist

“The songs on this album are a new form of Midrash, expounding on Torah and
Talmudic stories. The music brings the characters, ideals and lessons of Judaism
alive. ‘One-Way Train’ and ‘Stack the Stones’ will move the listener to tears,
bringing the lessons of the Holocaust into our lives and hearts.”
Karen I. Treiger
author of the award-winning book My Soul is Filled with Joy: A Holocaust Story

“it’s pretty rocking … witty lyrics and really nice guitar riffs as well!”
Ari Lesser (no relation)
Jewish rapper, singer, songwriter and spoken word artist

“Each song is very different. You hook the listener as soon as the laser touches the
disc…the music is just incredible.”
Louie Saenz
Host of weekly “Focus on Campus” program, NPR-station KTEP-FM

“the CD feels like a maggid singing stories”
Mitch Gordon
Host of weekly Jewish music program Shirim, KCUW-FM

Sparks is chockful of gems….It breathes new life and perspective into seemingly
stodgy ideas….Lesser is a warm and thoughtful communicator, which shines
through on Sparks.”
Rabbi Tzvi Gluckin
Speaker, educator, author, recording artist, guitarist, music journalist

“A project that no one else could have done. A unique blend of things that you
value brought forth in cleverness, humor and tenderness.”
Nance Pettit
co-songwriter/artist (with David Wilcox) on Out Beyond Ideas; healing arts practitioner

“Wow! This album has so much variety. And so much heart. The world needs to hear your message.”
Joy Jordan 
award-winning educator and mindfulness teacher

AIRPLAY

SONGS:
KTEP-FM (El Paso, TX and vicinity NPR station): airplay includes “Sparks” and
“One-Way Train” on the February 22 and March 21, 2020 Dan Alloway’s “Folk
Fury” shows, “Shabbos Keeps the Jews” on the July 18, 2020 Marina Monsisvais
“State of the Arts” show
Jewish Rock Radio (internet station): airplay includes “Sparks” played by host Joe
Buchanan on Episode 34 of “Emerging Artist Showcase” each Monday and
Thursday in March-April 2020
WCUW-FM (Worcester, MA and internet station): airplay includes “The Stone”,
“Rowboat”, and “Stack the Stones”, “Sparks”, and “Two Jews, Three Opinions”
played on March 15, March 22(&29), April 19, May 10, and May 24, 2020,
respectively, by Shirim program host Mitch Gordon

INTERVIEWS:
15-minute interview (of me and album flutist Sabiha Khan) by host Louie Saenz on
his February 21, 2020 “Focus on Campus” program, KTEP-FM;
13-minute interview of me by host Marina Monsisvais on her July 18, 2020 “State
of the Arts” program, KTEP-FM

PRINT MEDIA 

“Sparks of memory light the way home” story in  Spring/Summer 2020 issue
HaLapid, biannual journal of The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies

“heartfelt and educational”
KosherToday, leading trade publication on kosher for the food industry

“Former Austinite releases Jewish album” story in Feb. 2020 issue
The Jewish Outlook, monthly newspaper for the Austin, TX community

“deep, thoughtful, and sometimes funny songs”, in Nov. 2018 issue
The Jewish Voice,  monthly newspaper for the El Paso, TX community