Ross M. Levy and the Levites are bringing the Reform Jewish liturgy into the 21st century with their music. They take the melodies familiar in the Reform movement and put them on top of an irresistible groove. They also compose completely new melodies and chordal structures for some of the prayers, resulting in what are ostensibly original songs. Elements of soul, rock, jazz and folk music are combined into an energetic fusion that is at once spiritual, joyful and yes, danceable too!
The band features:
Ross M. Levy has been a force on the Jewish music scene for the past few years playing for congregations, camps, and youth groups around the country. He has received accolades from congregations up and down the East coast for his original style of music, which combines a unique sound with witty lyrics that keeps audiences captivated and coming back for more. Ross has performed hundreds of shows, including performances at NFTY National Convention, URJ National and Regional Biennial Conventions, and CAJE Conferences. He was crowned the winner of the Rising Star competition at CAJE in Vermont. He has released two albums of original Jewish music and has been featured on three separate URJ RUACH compilations. When asked about what kind of music he makes, he smiles and simply says, "Jewish music that cooks!"
As a jazz flutist, Marc Adler has a uniquely identifiable style that places a high value on the improvised line, extended techniques and a sophisticated and continually evolving approach to harmony using both traditional and nontraditional structures for creative improvisation. Although he has been recognized over the years for his improvisational skills by critics and by the PA Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, nevertheless, he continues to evolve and to develop his skills with new challenges and projects. With each project he devotes time and energy to, Marc strives to feature carefully crafted compositions spanning the whole range of human experience – from hard-driving and intense to sensuous and lyrical - all stamped with his characteristically rich full-bodied sound and joyous improvisations that skillfully weave through often complex harmonic terrain with rhythmic maturity and melodic inventiveness.
Drummer Adam Guth is a multi-directional musician, composer, producer, arranger and sound designer, combining disparate influences in a unique, organic style all his own. He has performed, recorded and toured internationally with bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, guitarist Jef Lee Johnson, saxophonist Ben Schachter, flutist Marc Adler, bassist Steve Green, saxophonist Byard Lancaster, and many more. Adam is known for his deep "pocket" - the feeling he gives the music. He is also at home in the electronic music world, programming beats and synthesizers. Ross dubbed Adam "The Shaman" for his inherently, and perhaps somewhat mystical, spiritual nature.
Jerry Bailis, Adam's neighbor, left music in his 20's, became a ESL teacher, and started a wonderful family. One day, Adam asked him if he wanted to play in the synagogue band. Jerry's eyebrows rose about an inch and a half as he contemplated the idea of returning to his first love, playing music. The rest, as they say, is history. If you ask Jerry, he'll say, "They pulled me out of mothballs." Jerry's bass style is simple and to the point, filling in the low end to give the music earthy impact, and he'll occasionally surprise us all with a super tasty and well-placed melodic fill that makes us smile.
For more info on Ross M. Levy and the Levites, visit them on Facebook.