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 yaakov-yisrael.com to hear, download and link to all of Jim's projects.