Listen Up! has delivered harmony, humor and vocal pyrotechnics for 22 years as the "house band" (sans instruments) of the Greater Chicago Jewish Folk Arts Festival. The quartet brings warmth and sheer vocal power with a confident, easy manner that wins hearts (and ears) of audiences of all ages. "Our music creates a special connection", says musical director, Steve Singer. "We are building that relationship from the first note... to energize and inspire. By the end of the show, we're family." With wit, humor and diverse Jewish musical traditions, Listen Up! leaves no audience unaffected by their performance.
Members: Steve Singer, Michael Mann, A.Y. Karsh, Kevin Kirshenbaum, Noah Mishkin
Listen Up!: Al Hanisim
When the world's only pop,klezmer,jazz,Yiddish,Hebrew,country,western band (with no instruments) has too much time on their hands, there is cause for concern. True!! They wrote that on the back of this, their second CD. Vocal inventions are of increasing importance such as the vocal calliope and violin with hand clap metronome on Ner Li. Then there's the four-square gospel version of "Maoz Tzur" which has you wondering just what in the world is going on just before the medley transition into "Rock of Ages." Unusual juxtapositions of musical styles and forms are the delight of Listen Up.
Listen Up!: Jewphoria
Although Listen Up! has two excellent recordings, "Shimu Na" and "Al Hanisim," in our catalog, we're happy to welcome their latest CD, "Jewphoria," to the Primarily A Cappella label. Listen Up! is Rebecca Singer, Moshe Mann, Michael Mendelson and Steve Singer. Here are 12 fresh and appealing, often funny, mostly Jewish doo-wop songs: "Oy Mamme Bin Ich Farliebt," "Etz Chayim," "Tzena," "Yom Shabbaton," "Al Kol Eileh," "Tzaddik Katamar" (w/violin accompaniment), "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," "Under the Chuppah" (a takeoff on "Under The Boardwalk"), "Hineh Ba Hashalom," "Tum Balalaika," "Nisayon" and "Hatikvah." What comes across in all songs is a love for singing, a lot of talent and a sense of fun & celebration - an im-pressive third CD. Listen Up! - we want to hear more!
Listen Up!: Shimu Na
To use the term crossover for Listen Up is a little bland. How about we use extreme crossover? That comes closer to describing a group whose Jewish roots are found in Hebrew chant, whose rhythmic roots are Klezmer, whose environmental roots are doo-wop, and whose goofy roots are country. Thus we find a liturgical blessing mixed up with "Under The Chopah" (if the Drifters performed at a Jewish wedding), "Jewish Food Jive" which stereotypes most of the traditional cuisine, and back and forth among the religious and secular leavened with with a heavy dose of humor throughout.