"Named One of the Most Beguiling and Relevant Releases of 2015"- New York Music Daily 

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A New Album

Crypto Jewish Melodies: Semitic Sounds of Russian Extraction

         Lara Traum is proud to release her album, Crypto Jewish Melodies: Semitic Sounds of Russian Extraction, a project of COJECO Blueprint Fellowship, funded by the UJA-Federation and Genesis Philanthropy Group. The album features Lara Traum on vocals, Ljova Zhurbin on violin/viola, Alex Greenleaf on harmonica, Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch on piano, and Jordan Morton on bass. Sound recorded and engineered by Michael Brorby.  


The Album's Mission :     

     Many people assert the universality of music as a language to connect communities, but there is a particularly unique relationship between the tunes of Russian heritage, Jewish liturgy, American Song Book standards, Klezmer songs, and Israeli folk music. Russian Jewish immigrants who walk into a synagogue are surprised when they recognize a melody being sung by the cantor, just as they walk out of a musical production on Broadway perplexed by why they feel they've heard these songs before, and wonder why the sounds of Israeli Kibbutzim resonate with the gusto of Soviet marches. Why is it the Russian Jewish immigrant in particular whose ears draw those connections? It is because a disproportionate majority of the world's composers are members of the  Russian Jewish experience. 

     Soviet Russia was very successful in depriving many Russian-speaking Jews of their Jewish identity, teaching them to embrace atheism and see their Jewishness only through the eyes of their persecutors. Just as they came to the United States with foods that seemed neither American nor Kosher and ideals that seemed neither capitalist nor communist, Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union came to the United States with their guitars and violins, singing songs that seemed merely Russian. Alas, their Jewish roots traveled with them, sometimes even unbeknownst to them. Crypto Jewish Melodies: Semitic Sounds of Russian Extraction traces the melodies of Russian Jewish Diaspora, exposing the Jewish identities of famous composers and songs. 

This project is part of COJECO Blueprint Fellowship,
funded by the UJA-Federation of New York 
and Genesis Philanthropy Group

Purchase New Album

Lara Traum, Ljova Zhurbin, Alex Greenleaf, Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch, Jordan Morton: Crypto Jewish Melodies: Semitic Sounds of Russian Extraction


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