High Holiday Musicians

Lior Tsarfaty

Lior Tsarfaty is an internationally touring musician and recording artist.  He uniquely weaves music and various healing modalities to create transformative experiences for his audience and clients.  He does music “peace work” with Muslims and Jews and offers mindfulness and chanting workshops in the Bay area, Israel and China.  Lior is the founder of Village Song, a school and a movement that brings the power of music to Alzheimer communities.

His groundbreaking work is featured in the film “There Is A Place.”

Kiki Lipsett

Kiki Lipsett is a musician, vocal coach, and prayer leader in the Bay Area. She grew up at the intersection of Judaism and music, and finds much joy in creating prayerful Jewish music with others. Kiki enjoys facilitating singing workshops, combining vocal technique, somatic practices, and breath work. Additionally, she writes Jewish plays and children’s music, leads preschool music classes throughout the East Bay, and teaches private music lessons to at-risk youth in San Francisco. She is delighted to bring her love of liturgy and music to the Chochmat HaLev community for Shabbat and the High Holy Days.

Eliyahu Sills

Eliyahu Sills is a highly acclaimed musician of many instruments and deep knowledge of multiple musical traditions, from spiritual music of the Middle East and India to American musics of Soul and Jazz and their African roots. He is a leader and collaborator of many projects, most notably, The Qadim Ensemble, which brings together diverse cultures of the Middle East, BOLO, which blends infectious rhythms of dance music, the improvisation of jazz, the cultural depth of world music, and the soulfulness of devotional kirtan; and The Ladino Project, which present music from the Sephardic music tradtion. Eliyahu also performs as a solo artist and with his duo, playing Hindustani Ragas, Middle Eastern Sufi music, and Jewish songs on the oud, ney, and bansuri.

Mike Perlmutter

Mike Perlmutter, originally from the greater Boston area, has made his home by San Francisco Bay since 1998.  He performs klezmer, Balkan, and Jewish ritual music on clarinet, bass clarinet, and saxophone for Chochmat HaLev, Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band, and Inspector Gadje.  Mike seeks to connect his music to the full range of feeling and expression of spirit, mind, and body – from the deeply contemplative, to the ecstatic.  Mike loves bringing this intention to musical services at Chochmat Halev, where the teachings, text, and liturgy, the music, and the participation of the congregants come together so uniquely and deeply to touch so many levels of human feeling.  Outside of music he is committed to his family (wife and toddler daughter), the environment, and his work supporting volunteer efforts to clean, green, and beautify the City of Oakland. He’s also known for his pickling.

Shira Kamen

Multi-instrumentalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring early and other intriguing styles of music, and was a member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, Medieval Strings, and Fortune’s Wheel. She performs and teaches throughout the United States and internationally. Shira has been a part of the Shabbat and High Holy Day musical leadership team for Chochmat HaLev for several years now, plus over a decade before that with Jhos and Julie at the Coastside Jewish Community. She is beyond grateful to have a place where music and spirituality and community reside together in a dynamic, interesting and beautiful context!

Shira Kamen
Aharon Wheels Bolsta

Aharon Wheels Bolsta has played with Chochmat’s Shirat HaLev ensemble since 2002 and appears as the drummer and percussionist on the Shirat HaLev CD. He plays North Indian tabla and bansuri as well as drum set, Middle-Eastern percussion, West African percussion, cajon, and many other instruments. Aharon also regularly plays sacred Jewish music with the Saul Kaye/Elana Jagoda ensemble at Temple Beth El in the Peninsula and with Cantor Ilene Keys at Temple Sinai in Oakland, and he performs and teaches at Wilderness Torah festivals, synagogues all over the country, and with leaders such as Mia Cohen, the Kirtan Rabbi, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Achi Ben Shalom, Ibrahim and Issa Abdurrahmani, Hyla Shifra Bolsta (The Illuminated Kaddish), and many groups playing Sephardic music, Klezmer, Sufi, Turkish Classical music, Classical Indian music and Aharon’s own original sacred music. See his website at www.aharonwheelsbolsta.com.

Michaelle Goerlitz

Michaelle Goerlitz has been playing drums and percussion since she was eight years old. After attending college in the Midwest, she moved to San Francisco in 1980 to continue her studies, which have led to exploration of Brazilian, Afro Cuban, Venezuelan, and Middle Eastern rhythms (plus jazz, R & B & funk). She was a founding member of two renowned & long-term projects, the Blazing Redheads and Wild Mango. Both groups blended many different styles which showcased Michaelle’s versatile percussive skills. Among the list of people Michaelle has played with: VNote Ensemble, Venezuelan Music Project, ‘Chelle & Friends, Wayne Wallace, Mark Levine, Tom McDermott, Tammy Hall, Paul McCandless, Holly Near, Anthony Brown, The Brazilian Jazz Project, Ojala,  rhiannon, Yair Dalal, Naser Musa, Barbara Higbie, Jami Sieber, Tuck & Patti, Jai Uttal and Samba Rio. In 2007 she was named a “rising star” in Downbeat Magazine.
In addition, Michaelle has many years’ experience doing school presentations through the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music program, as well as teaching – at numerous music camps as well as privately.

Bouchaib Abdelhadi

Bouchaib Abdelhadi, a native of CasablancaMorocco, has had a distinguished musical career on both sides of the Atlantic. As leader of the Orchestre Abdelhadi, he performed throughout the Kingdom of Morocco in the 1980s. Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Abdelhadi has been much sought out as a multi-instrumentalist (oud, Moroccan violinpercussion) and as a vocalist in Middle Eastern and North African traditions such as al-Ÿqa (Andalusian), Gnawa (Sufi trance), and Chaabi (“popular”).  Abdelhadi enjoys working with artists from diverse musical traditions such as klezmerHindustanijazz, and rock.

Sheik Issa Nissim Baba

Shayk Issa Nessim Baba has been playing at Chochmat HaLev since he was a teenager.  Now a leader of his own services, he brings his own gentle wisdom and deep teaching.  A talented singer, multi instrumentalist and specialist in Turkish music, Issa will be directing the  Aswat Sacred Music ensemble beginning in mid-September. where he will be working on pieces from the şuğul repertoire, Arabic sufi hymns that entered the Turkish Sufi repertoire starting in the 19th century.