Singer-songwriter Julie Geller unplugged: Debuts new Chanukah song on this week’s Radio Chavura
A new Chanukah song from noted singer-songwriter Julie Geller incorporates the traditional Al Hanisim Hebrew lyrics in a modern, folk rendition blended with her own original wording in English. The song will have its world broadcast debut Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. on Radio Chavura in Denver.
Just on time for the Jewish festival of lights, singer-songwriter Julie Geller has released her latest song, Chanukah Hymn, which like the holiday itself, celebrates the miracles in our lives.
Geller will perform her song – which incorporates the traditional Al Hanisim Hebrew lyrics in a modern, folk rendition blended with her own original wording in English – on this week’s edition of Radio Chavura, airing on 990 KRKS AM radio in Denver at 6:30 p.m. on December 9th.
She will also be performing Chanukah Hymn and other seasonal favorites live at 11 a.m. on Sunday the 9th at the Allied Jewish Apartments, 22 S. Adams Street in Denver, in a joint concert with local musician David Ross. Admission is free and will be followed by Chanukah refreshments.
The eight-day Chanukah holiday begins at sunset tonight and continues until Sunday night, December 16th. In keeping with tradition, Jewish families begin on the first night placing one candle in the menorah, and light an additional candle on each subsequent night. (An additional candle, the so-called Shamash – or attendant – is used to light the other Chanukah candles.)
In addition to her radio performance and live concerts, Geller has produced a video version of Chanukah Hymn that is available for viewing on YouTube. It was filmed in her hometown of Denver.
Geller, in an interview with Radio Chavura co-host Maxwell Rotbart, explains that her motivation in writing Chanukah Hymn was her own personal need of “a miracle, a light, something positive” to give her strength in a world that is filled with too much hate and darkness.
During the Chanukah and Christmas season, Geller notes, “we gather with all sorts of lights but, as always, the lights that shine the brightest are those that originate within each of us.”
Chanukah Hymn is Geller’s contemporary take on the traditional Hebrew Chanukah prayer, Al Hanisim. Its lyrics include this verse:
Sing to G-d, for G-d has done wonders!
Come sing to G-d for G-d has redeemed us,
For G-d is our salvation in every generation,
From ancient times until this very day.
Geller’s recorded Jewish folk tunes are featured on each edition of Radio Chavura, which each week celebrates Colorado’s Jewish vibrant community, organizations and culture. The broadcast began in July 2012 and attracts a loyal listening audience in Colorado, as well as globally on the Internet at www.Chavura.com.
On this week’s edition of Radio Chavura, which coincides with the second night of Chanukah 2012, Geller performs four songs “unplugged” – using only her voice and accompanying herself on guitar. Each of her tunes is notable for its devotion and thankfulness to G-d and its roots in traditional Jewish prayer or biblical verse.
Geller, who has recorded four full-length albums – available at www.JulieGeller.com – has a loyal and growing following throughout the United States and in Israel. In addition to her own performances, she conducts workshops on how to access one’s creative potential and how to succeed as an independent musician.
Geller is very spiritual in discussing her own creative process and inspirations, crediting G-d for bestowing upon her the skills she relies upon to write, perform and promote her songs.
She is an honors graduate of Harvard University and earned a certificate of contemporary improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music. At the Conservatory, she studied with Ran Blake and Hankus Netsky (The Klezmer Conservatory Band). Geller also spent a year studying enthnomusicology at Bar Ilan University in Israel.
Around Denver, Geller and her husband, Josh, are well known. They are active in a variety of charitable and Jewish causes. The couple has three young children.