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Monday, September 13, 2010


Ya'akov-Yisrael Costello (his friends call him Jim) presents an eclectic blend of spiritually-uplifting and soul-searching music, as well as kids music with a touch of depth.

Jim's original songs explore the universal truth of Torah, the depth and power of Chasidic niggun, the groove of Phish & the Grateful Dead, the lyrical mastery of Dylan, Eminem & Talib Kweli, the story telling of Woody Guthrie, uplifting optimism of Bob Marley and the unprecedented love of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.

As Jim points out "When Bob Marley sings something that the Ba'al Shem Tov teaches, we should pay attention."

After a seven year mission in business and legal world, Jim has resurfaced in the world of spiritual programming and exceptional music; he brings renewed vigor, new songs, and a slightly better understanding of the universe than he has ever had before.

Raised on the music of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Jim’s quest for words took him to Boston University where he studied with Elie Wiesel and Saul Bellow. He began his spiritual quest in earnest under the continued guidance, tutelage and love of Rabbi Joseph Polak at BU Hillel. It was during his junior year in Israel that he discovered his profound love of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s legacy of music and Torah, introduced to him by Rabbi Avraham Arieh and Rachel Trugman.

Subsequently Jim spent two years studying Talmud at Yeshivat Darché Noam in Jerusalem, and two years singing, learning and teaching in Albany, NY under the auspices of Rabbi Moshe Bomzer. After law school, Jim worked on multi-million dollar complex commercial litigation cases in and around New York City by day, while exploring the Manhattan and Brooklyn music scenes by night. He has performed at NYC venues such as the Knitting Factory, the Sidewalk Cafe and the Carlebach Shul, but his favorite venues remain rooftop kumzitzes.

Most recently, Jim has been busking in Philadelphia, singing Woody Guthrie, Shlomo Carlebach and original songs in the open air, as well as writing and performing kids music, “folk songs for kids ~ kid songs for folk.” He is thrilled to be part of the Radio Free Nachlaot community and soon hopes to bring his body back to where his soul is.

Please check out to hear, download and link to all of Jim's projects.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I started to sing from the age of 10 months old – My Mother had heard me singing a famous Hebrew song and she knew that I would one day become a singer. At the age of 12 I started to take vocal lessons taught by some of the greatest vocal teachers here in Israel. I have a Soprano singing voice. I am known in Israel as "The singer with the gentle voice”.

I am involved with a large recording studio here in Israel called "
SPS” ('Sound Productions Studio') which is run by the musician Ofer Hamerman. I have released 3 Cd’s with all original songs in Hebrew & I also have several original songs in English, all with the music production by the musician and composer Ofer Hamerman, who is also my music manager. My repertoire also includes well known songs in English and in the Hebrew languages. I regularly perform in several concert venues around Israel. I also have a number of songs that I have composed & also wrote the lyrics for.

A song of ours called 'I'm All Yours' was recognized as 'an entry of merit' in the 2003 Unisong International Competition in the U.S.A. Another song that I wrote the lyrics for called "Keep on Moving”, with music composed by Ofer Hamerman, was chosen as one of the top 20 songs in the Dance/Electronic song category in the 2005-2006 “Unisong” International Competition in the U.S.A. Also, in the same competition, my latest release "See the Stars Tonight" (lyrics by Paul R. Thomas / composer, instrumental & music production by Ofer Hamerman) was chosen to be in the top 20 of the Honorable Songs Ballad category 2009.

Also, I received an honorable award from the great Venture Radio station (run by the presenters Tracy Clark & John Peters) for been the most popular artist in year 2008.

I was also chosen to be one of the 'Special Mentioned' artists in the Best Female Solo artist category of the Music Aid competition in 2009.

I have performed a number of concerts in France, at Toulouse, Marseille & Nice which were very successful. I was interviewed there by a popular French radio station after which they played an original song of mine on air. I have also been interviewed by a popular music station here in Israel after which they also broadcasted a number of my songs. I have also performed on the Russian TV channel & also recently on the Romanian TV channel "Antena1" on the "Duminica in Familie" family entertainment show with Michaella Radulescu, as well as here on Israeli TV on culture shows. At present, I am planning to release my first International album with my lyricist Paul R. Thomas.

I am also proud to announce a new version of the 'Ray of Hope' song, a duet performed by me with the UK singer Ade Carr (lyrics written by the President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, composed by Ade Carr & arranged by both Ade Carr & Ofer Hamerman who also produced the music), and in just 2 weeks our song has reached number one in the ReverbNation song site's local chart in Israel.

The Israeli President Mr. Shimon Peres wrote the lyrics in dedication to Peace. He is a visionary and felt that through the site a message to the world will be conveyed for peace and unity through music. Having Musicians collaborate from over the world with their own language and represent their country of origin will exhibit unity and spread the message of peace all around the globe.
Both International CD’s of “Ray of Hope are now on sale at
I hope you enjoy listening to and supporting this great cause.

Also, I have to mention that my Hebrew version to Ray of Hope is appearing on track number 14 on the second International CD:

Here you can watch my clip to my Hebrew version of “Ray of Hope” – Enjoy! :)

I am pleased to announce that the album ‘The Lyricist – The songs from Paul Thomas and Friends’ was released on the 22ndof March 2010 by the UK record label ‘All Round Music’ and two of my songs, “See the Stars Tonight” and “If You Could Have Loved Me” appear on this album (tracks number 5 and 9). The album is available exclusively through iTunes:

Orly Vardy’s sites:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Monica Chapman was born in Romania and came to Canada
with her family at the age of nine at which time she began to study piano. She attained her degree in piano performance(A.R.C.T.) and voice at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree from York University.
Her early interest in musical theatre led to a role with the
Toronto Operetta Theatre Company in their production of
The Widow in 2004. She also appeared in several musical
variety productions at the Grand Theatre in Fergus and other theatres in Toronto and beyond. In 2004 she recorded a CD titled Sincerely, featuring Broadway show tunes.
From classical music to musical theatre,Monica has evolved into a jazz performer over the past five years and she appears
at jazz venues throughout Toronto and beyond. She has been
backed by talented renowned musicians.
Monica is inspired by such jazz legends as Ella Fitzgerald,
Sarah Vaughan and Cleo Laine, but makes the music you
are about to hear very much her own.
Heart's Desire is her debut jazz recording.
Contact & Bookings:


Shayna Bracha Farber was born Joanne Sigel in Chicago, Illinois in 1955. She was also given the Hebrew name Shayna Bracha which means “beautiful blessing.”

In 1995 she was stricken with Raynauds phenomenon, a circulatory abnormality which developed into fibromyalgia and then chronic fatigue syndrome. In March of 2001 she attended a retreat with Peruvian Master-Shaman Juan Nunez del Prado to learn about energy fields surrounding the body and how to use stones and crystals to affect the chakras and remove negative energy. Shayna used these teachings in her process toward total recovery.

This was the beginning of her artistic spiritual quest; creating art was an important part of her recovery process. She noticed that her artwork was not like other artists. In her creations, butterflies, angels and lions’ heads started to appear. Shayna’s creation of art is a sacred process.

Shayna began combining these techniques and sacred Kabbalah texts with art instruction, teaching brush strokes and colors, as well as use of visualization, meditation, vocalization and aromatherapy to free the artist within.

Shayna is from the non-objective school of art. Her distinctive style is influenced by Kandinsky and Klee, and Master Artist BenTzion with a touch of M.C. Escher. Shayna’s art has been called visionary and prolific, expressing world peace and compassion from the heart.
Shayna Bracha’s work has exhibited in galleries in Chicago and Houston.

Shayna is a Certified Sound Healer, trained by Chant Master Jonathan Goldman. She has also studied vibrational aromatherapy through Ixchel Susan Leigh, the author and teacher of Aromatic Alchemy. Shayna has studied Kabbalistic healing techniques at the Hebrew Seminary of the Deaf in Skokie, IL as well as continuing the process of Torah study with various pious teachers.

Shayna’s passion is educating others through lectures, workshops and seminars as well as taking private students.

Shayna Bracha lives with her husband and son in Skokie, Illinois. Take a look into her world of light and color at
Contact her at


Ofer was born in Jerusalem, left, returned, left, returned with an M.A. in Music therapy, left, came back with Marion. Stayed.

They are blessed with 2 children. A boy and a girl. Both feature in his songs.

Ofer is a working musician (BIRMAN, BLAZE and everywhere else that pays in Jerusalem) who teaches others how to be working musicians and learns from his students.

Writes, records, performs and practices being happy and answering with deeds – what is a good Jew. Is hopeful, idealistic, naive, and never killed any mammals. Doesn’t have a television or credit card. Eclectically creative O produced 9 CDs and is the present
אדמו"ר of AKHOTKHA – a musical – band – happening – film . You can see him


PAUL ROBERT THOMAS (David Ben Avraham)

Paul Robert Thomas, Song Lyricist

Hi & Shalom! My name is Paul Robert Thomas, my Hebrew name is David Ben Avraham, & I am a published song lyricist (try saying that after a few beers:)!
I was born & grew up in North London with Camden Town, Swiss Cottage, Primrose Hill & Regents Park as my playgrounds.
I now live (or try my best to live) in Israel. I have some Welsh blood in me too as my mother & grandmother were from Swansea in Wales.
My musical & lyrical roots are drawn from English Folk, American Folk & Blues, Christian/Gospel with influences from English nursery rhymes and church hymns.
I am always writing song lyrics and I work with bands and artists from all over the world - England, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Germany, Israel & The USA.
I am a member of the MCPS-PRS Alliance (ASCAP), London (CAE 497904008) and the International Songwriters Association.
I write lyrics so that songs can be created from them, so if you are a singer/songwriter/composer then feel free to contact me via Facebook, my e-mail at or via my music site at or my secondary website at (I will only work with people who have manners and are looking to share 50/50 - I detest and have no time for those too many in the 'music world' who are looking to make a 'fast buck' on the back of someone else)! - Cheers & wishing you all the best & of course ‘Shalom’ - Paul:)!

Homegrown's Allright With Me!

Radio Free Nachlaot's HOMEGROWN HOUR has quickly become our most popular weekly segment! Artists from around the World are sending us their MP3 files to play during our HOMEGROWN HOUR, Tuesdays at 7pm Jerusalem Time ... if you'd like your music to be considered for play, please email us your MP3 or .wav files to: and we'll sample your homegrown - if we like how it tastes, we'll share it!