Vocolot brings a joyous fusion of folk, jazz and cantorial vocal traditions into the contemporary a cappella world. Their music, rooted in universal heart, social conscience and Jewish soul, communicates a powerful vision of world peace and reconciliation.
Vocolot sings in English, Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish, and Arabic, blending lush harmonies, soaring melodies and global percussion in original works and new renderings of ancient songs and texts.
Left to right: Talia Cooper, Liz Stuart, Shana Levy, Linda Hirschhorn.
Vocolot is a California Arts Council Touring Artist and performs internationally, uplifting and enthralling audiences of all ages with songs of celebration, community and Jewish heritage.
Vocolot has released four critically acclaimed recordings: Heart Beat (2002), their newest album, which won CARA Awards for Best Album and Best Song (La Comida); Behold! (1997), which was nominated for best World/Folk album by the Contemporary A Cappella Society; Roots And Wings (1992); and Gather Round (1989).
Director, founder and primary composer for Vocolot, Cantor Linda Hirschhorn has released two songbooks and eight recordings of original material (four with Vocolot). Her songs and choral arrangements have been published in major folk anthologies, are performed by professional and amateur groups around the world and have been used in video, radio documentaries and dance scores. "Circle Chant," the most widely covered of her songs, is sung around the world. Linda organized and directed the first Jewish Women's International Chorus in Kiev (1994). In 1999, Linda was commissioned to compose works for "Seeds of Peace," an international project that brings youth and national delegates from areas of conflict throughout the world into dialogue and creative collaboration. Linda has been Cantor at Temple Beth Sholom, San Leandro, CA since 1988, and was one of the founding members of Kehilla Community Synagogue in Berkeley. She is the mother of two children. "Holding one's own while singing in harmony" is the paradigm by which she thinks communities will survive and thrive. To find out more about Linda Hirschhorn, visit www.lindahirschhorn.com, and to find out about wedding celebrations, visit www.weddingcelebrant.org. Linda's latest album, Becoming, was released July 2007.
Elizabeth Stuart plays percussion with several Middle-Eastern ensembles. She has performed live as a percussionist with Anne Bluethenthal and Strong Current dance companies and composed and recorded original music scores for 3 modern dance pieces choreographed by Chimene Pollard. She has arranged, sung, played keyboards and composed for musical theatre, rock and new music genres and has over 12 years experience as a sound designer and video game producer. www.myspace.com/lizstuartmusic
Shana Levy's vocal experience goes back to early childhood, as she comes from a very musical family. Vocolot is Shana's third women's a cappella group, after the nationally recognized collegiate group, the California Golden Overtones, and professional ensemble, Calamity Jane. Shana has performed extensively in musical theater productions and is an accomplished dancer.
Talia Cooper is a singer/songwriter, who has been singing since birth. She speculates that more musical notes have escaped her mouth than words spoken. In pre-school Talia apparently wrote songs about cows, despite growing up in the non-farm areas of Oakland and Berkeley. Performing under the name Entirely Talia, these days Talia's original songs weave together her family traditions of activism, humor and Jewish culture. Her voice has been most compared to her heroes Dar Williams, Joni Mitchell and Ani Difranco. Talia's songs poke fun at cliches and expose realities, with tones ranging from full on sassy and humorous, to politically contemplative, to love songs with a twist. Talia rejects the notion that artists are "special" and instead speaks to the creative parts in all of us.
When she is not playing music she is the Director of Jewish Youth for Community Action (www.jyca-justice.org) where she has the privilege of working with high school activists.
For more, you can find EntirelyTalia on facebook, wordpress, twitter and youtube. Or email EntirelyTalia@gmail.com to join the mailing list.