Founded in 2001, the Shabbatones are the student-run Jewish a cappella group at the University of Pennsylvania. One of the premier Jewish a cappella groups in the country, the Shabbatones are known for their energetic arrangements and entertaining performances.
Specializing in popular American, Israeli and Jewish music, the Shabbatones have performed for a variety of audiences both at Penn and at other venues throughout the country. All musical arrangements are written by group members. The group has recorded eight CDs, most recently releasing One in a Minyan in April 2017. The Shabbatones have also appeared on each album of the Best of Jewish A Cappella CD compilation series.
The Shabbatones have a great spirit about them and are very sincere in their efforts. However, when you hear them live and not in a recorded, controlled environment, they are off key and not in sync. As a group they do great, but once the current lead singer (she is also the Musical Director) begins to sing on her own, the whole performance becomes quite dissonant. She is off key, flat and not blending with the rest of the group. If they can work on this and resolve this, the group is a joy to listen to. They just need a lead singer that can sing on key. Perhaps if she had an ear monitor, she could hear herself and that will help her stay on key with the rest of the group. Most singers wear these as it is hard to sing without one.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 15 - 90 minutes
Languages: English, Other
What to Expect
A Shabbatones concert will bring the energy of a college campus to your event at professional level, as the group's performances feature original arrangements and complex harmonies. Audience members should expect to be entertained by a unique and exciting blend of cultures, brought to them by a group of passionate and dedicated college students.
Shabbatones members are University of Pennsylvania students studying a wide range of subjects, from economics to political science, from English to chemistry. All members come from a variety of Jewish backgrounds, representing all levels of observance. Though group members' homes are scattered across the country, they are unified by a love for music and a commitment to being the voice of one of the largest and most vibrant Hillels in the nation.
Aside from bi-annual concerts on Penn's campus, the Shabbatones also perform all over the northeast and have toured across the United States and internationally. Recent tours include Houston, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. The group placed third and were voted “audience favorite” in the 2011 Kol HaOlam national Jewish a cappella competition, and even had the opportunity to open for Committed, winners of NBC's hit show "The Sing Off."
The Shabbatones enjoy bringing their music to synagogues, Hebrew schools, music festivals, and private events. Realizing that every audience is unique, they customize their performances to fit any event. In addition to concerts, the Shabbatones offer workshops in which they teach kids about a cappella music and help them learn to sing with the group. The Shabbatones also offer question and answer sessions about living a Jewish life in college and about enjoying Jewish culture as active participants in the Penn community.
Additional Booking Notes
The Shabbatones are a pluralistic group and our members come from a variety of Jewish backgrounds. However, to make our most observant members comfortable, we keep Shabbat as a group. The only technical implication of this is that we do not use microphones on Friday nights or Saturdays.
The Shabbatones' current repertoire includes...
American Popular Music:
Valerie (Originally by Amy Winehouse)
I Want You Back (The Jackson 5)
Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay)
Feel Again (One Republic)
Shake It Out (Florence and the Machine)
Fine By Me (Andy Grammar)
Israeli Popular Music:
Karusela (Sarit Hadad)
Haor Baenayim (Ido Lederman)
V'Ani Shar (Shlomi Shabat)
Nigmar Behazara (Ifty)
Ktsat Acheret (Roni Dalumi)
Traditional Jewish Music:
|Aaron Zell||President, Vocal Percussion|
|Sophie Beren||Musical Director, Mezzo|
|Jacob Pardo||Tour Manager, Bass|
|Mira Nathanson||Vice President, Soprano|
|Nicole Granet||Performance Manager, Soprano|
|Sophie Mintz||Marketing / Publicity Manager, Alto|
Influences & Inspiration
While the Shabbatones are a Jewish a capella group, their repertoire covers a wide range of music. They try to maintain a 60-40 balance of Hebrew to English music, yet beyond that the Shabbatones choose songs from a variety of American and Israeli popular artists. Group favorites have included Rihanna, Dor Daniel, the BeeGees, Michael Buble, Synergia, One Republic, Selena Gomez, Van Morrison, and Harel Skaat. The Shabbatones also sing traditional Jewish music, creating their own arrangements of prayers and other Jewish texts.
The group prefers to use microphones, but will perform without them if necessary.
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