Musical Ancestries: Jewish Music and Culture

Additional Resources…Explore our Community!

Jewish Community Center, “The J”
The following programs are hosted by the Jewish Community Center:

  • Gesher Music Festival
    A week-long series of chamber music concerts and community events, this festival presents strikingly unique programs of chamber music performed by professional musicians from throughout the U.S. Based on the Hebrew word Gesher, or bridge, the festival’s programming reflects themes inspired by the Jewish experience. From traditional concerts in formal halls to outreach performances for underserved audiences, the Festival connects across all communities and walks of life through culturally relevant themes.
  • New Jewish Theater
    The New Jewish Theatre is dedicated to the exploration of universal themes and issues and the examination of the full range of the human experience filtered through the lens of the Jewish experience. Through the medium of theater, they build bridges of multi-cultural understanding, tolerance, communication and education. of Cultural ArtsZelda Sparks, 314-442-3169
    info@newjewishtheater.orgThe New Jewish Theatre is located in the Wool Studio Theater in the Arts & Education Building of the J’s Staenberg Family Complex.
    2 Millstone Campus Drive
    Creve Coeur, MO 63146
  • Sababa Jewish Arts and Culture Festival
    Sababa: Sah-báh-bah, Modern Hebrew Slang: Awesome, cool, that’s great. Sababa is St. Louis’ premier Jewish Arts & Culture Festival. Sababa is an outdoor festival showcasing the vibrancy of contemporary Jewish culture. The festival features local, regional and national visual art exhibitors, culinary experiences and musical performances, as well as activities from local Jewish organizations.
    Sababa Program Coordinator, Diane Maier, 314-442-3190
  • St. Louis Jewish Book Festival
    The St. Louis Jewish Book Festival is an annual celebration of authors, books, and ideas during early November, with additional author events year-round. The range of author topics is vast: business, cooking, economics, family, fiction, history, music, religion, sports, and more. People from all backgrounds and religions come to Festival events to hear premier speakers, share their thoughts, and ask questions.
  • St. Louis Jewish Film Festival/Jewish Film Society
    Participants watch thought-provoking films and then take part in group discussions.
    Zelda Sparks, Festival Director, 314-442-3169



Ha-Shemesh, instrumental ensemble
Ha-Shemesh (The Sun) has performed for families and organizations throughout St. Louis as well as in Kansas City and Illinois since the mid-1970s. Our repertoire includes music of liturgy, songs of Israel, and Yiddish, Ladino and Yemenite melodies.

Michael Lyss, 314-452-7477

Klezundheit, Klezmer Big Band. The only Klezmer big band in Missouri
Lauren Buchsbaum, 314-882-2788

An inclusive, multi-generational Jewish women’s choir. Performs a variety of Jewish, Hebrew and popular selections.
Betti Blumhoff, 314-757-6683

Jewish men’s a capella singing group
Fred Blumenthahl, 314-772-2171

Rick Recht
With his home base in St. Louis, Rick Recht is one of the top touring musicians in Jewish music in the U.S. and abroad. Rick has revolutionized the genre of Jewish rock music. Rick is also the founder and Executive Director of Jewish Rock Radio, the very first international Jewish rock online radio station.

Shir Ami
Hebrew for “Song of my People,” Shir Ami aims to please all age groups by performing Jewish music from a variety of countries and styles. Committed to keeping alive beloved Yiddish, Hebrew/Israeli, Jewish/American, Hassidic, and Ladino songs. Singers are accompanied by guitar, mandolin, accordion and Middle-Eastern drum.

Carol Kaplan-Lyss, 314-997-2887

St. Louis Circle of Jewish Music
The St. Louis Circle of Jewish Music was founded in 1970 as an association for area cantors and other musicians professionally involved in Jewish congregational music to enhance the level of Jewish music in St. Louis and provide scholarship aid to young musicians.

Cantor Seth Warner of Congregation Shaare Emeth, President
11645 Ladue Road, St. Louis, Mo. 63141

St. Louis Israeli Folk Dancing
Weekly instructional dance session for all ages and skill levels. Israeli circle, line, and couples’ dancing.

Rachel Persillen-Armoza, 314-706-7149

Facebook: Israeli Folk Dancing-St. Louis, MO USA

YIDN Klezmer Band
A 4-piece Klezmer band with mandolin, violin, bass, and clarinet.
Paul Wexler, 314-780-8310



St. Louis Jewish Light
The St. Louis Jewish Light—a nonprofit, independent news source—informs, inspires, educates, and connects the St. Louis Jewish community.

Jewish Federation of St. Louis
Committed to:

  • Expand and strengthen an engaged, vibrant, and flourishing St. Louis Jewish community
  • Secure the well-being and safety of individuals within the Jewish community
  • Strengthen our connection to Israel and the Jewish people worldwide
  • Develop the financial and human resources, and infrastructure, needed by our community



We are happy to add to this list! Please send suggestions to