The musical ensemble Sulam (Hebrew for “ladder”) meets on Sophia Street in Vancouver.
Inspired by music from the Middle East and Africa, as well as Flamenco, Klezmer, Yiddish, Gypsy and Jewgrass, Sulam explores Hebrew text through Jewish World Music.
Sulam’s members include: Elana Brief (violin); Martin Gotfrit (guitar, mandolin, vocals); Charles Kaplan (guitar, oud, vocals); Laura Duhan Kaplan (spoken word, vocals); Dave Kauffman (clarinet); Joe Markovitch (bass, vocals); Wendy Rubin (keyboard, flute, melodica, vocals). Click for detailed bios.
Sulam is available to play for Jewish prayer services, Jewish holiday gatherings, Inter-religious sacred music events, folk festivals, and other special events.
(We do not usually play for weddings or bar/bat mitzvah parties, but are happy to refer you to someone who does!)
LISTEN TO A LIVE CONCERT: SULAM AT VST
LISTEN TO SAMPLE RECORDINGS
Ani Ma’amin: I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah — even if it is delayed. On that day, God will be One and God’s name will be One. (Set to the Lebanese folk tune Bint El-Shalabiyya)
Adon Olam: God existed before anything took form, and will exist after everything else ends. Into God’s hands I place my spirit; I shall not fear. (Set to James Stone Goodman’s variation on the “Amsterdam” tune)
Odessa Bulgar: An instrumental klezmer piece played in the Ahavah Rabbah (phrygian) melodic mode with an 8/8 beat and a freylach (festive) mood.
WATCH SAMPLE VIDEOS
Lecha Dodi: Come my friend, let’s greet the bride! A Kabbalistic hymn offering praise to the Sabbath, a spiritual wedding between Creator and creation. (Set to Ashkenazi Eastern European and Sephardi Mediterranean melodies.)
Yah Ribon Olam: God, master and creator of all worlds, You saved Daniel from the Lions Den. Save us now! (A 16th century poem by Israel Najara set to an Arabic-Jewish melody.)
Selected Recent Events:
Raise the Roof Benefit Concert: A Dance Set, Or Shalom Synagogue, Jan. 26, 2019.
Pesukei D’zimra (Morning Psalms) a capella prayer service, Or Shalom Synagogue, Dec. 22, 2018.
Shabbat With a Difference: Kabbalat Shabbat Service, Congregation Beth Israel, Vancouver, April-August, 2018.
Flamenco Havdalah Celebration, Limmud Vancouver, April 14, 2108.
Hanukkah Concert, Louis Brier Home and Hospital, December 17, 2017.
Piyyut: Traditions of Jewish Liturgical Poetry, Vancouver School of Theology, November 16, 2017.
Kabbalat Shabbat, Or Shalom Synagogue, November 10, 2017.
Shabbat With a Difference, Congregation Beth Israel, Vancouver, April-August, 2017.
Rabbinic Ordination Celebration, Or Shalom Synagogue, Vancouver, February 11, 2017.
His Mercy Endures Forever, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, November 8, 2016.