Aliza Hava
Gig Seeker Pro

Aliza Hava

Band Rock Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Building a Record"

by Bob Margolis

Sure, the vibrato in the voice of Aliza Hava reminds one of the Righteous Babe, but let's not go crazy with the Ani D comparisons. As annoying as they might be, placing an artist in a context of others in a similar genre allows a potential concertgoer or listener to know roughly what to expect. Thus, the urgency of DiFranco is evident in Hava, as is the right hand that slightly echoes Melissa Etheridge.

The New Paltz-based songstress's self-produced Rise presents her in a variety of contexts - some solo, a few with a backing band - but all declaring that she is truly her own independent nation. Through this almost stripped-down affair, she projects an air of graceful and relaxed elegance, bringing warmth and laughter to what can be an alienating experience: putting living songs onto wax. Calling her production entity Fire Music Faerie makes sense, for this is a craftsperson willing not only to caress a listener but also to speak truth to power. For those who have heard the record or caught her opening for Richie Havens and the Persuasions, you already know. Hava plays a solo gig at the Colony Café in Woodstock on January 2.

The Colony should be a nice room for her. Being effective both within quiet, introspective songs and the melodic strumfest, Hava should make use of the Rock City Road venue's decent acoustics and size. Rise is, as she states in the record's notes, a work in progress; and word is that when the required elements are in place, a full record with a working unit is to be expected. She consistently builds songs, which allows for a melodic through-line on every branch, and uses words like leaves on that branch that infuse the melody. So one hopes that she will allow space on the new project for a solo song or two.

- The Alamanac

"Rockin' Mama"

Four years ago, I wrote a piece on Aliza Hava for another publication. It’s not often that I seek out an artist twice, anxious to give that person more ink. But that certainly would be the case with someone like Hava, who is so freakin’ astonishing in every way. For those who don’t know her work, let’s cut right to the chase: This chick is a powerhouse. Her voice is dynamic, commanding. Her guitar playing is passionate. She’s spiritual yet grounded, emphatic yet gentle. She’s what you’d call a sister, like Ani DiFranco or Julia Butterfly Hill. Though some of her songs are politically charged, she doesn’t wish to be trapped in that box. Recently, she’s gotten some notice because of her association with the whole equal marriage rights/Jason West/New Paltz brouhaha; she was appointed as wedding coordinator and made a musical appearance. She also played at last month’s Civil Rights in the Park, a concert in response to a New Paltz visit from Fred Phelps, the Kansas minister who runs a virulently anti-gay Web site.

“I’m not really a gay-rights activist,” Hava explains in her soothing, laid-back manner. “I believe in human rights, and I got involved because I was on the campaign committee for the Innovation Party; I was treasurer.”

Hava, a metro-area transplant who’s currently a resident of High Falls, is partially responsible for the rise of Jason West, Rebecca Rotzler, and Julia Walsh to the New Paltz village government; she went to college with West and ran two student organizations with Rotzler (Hava studied music therapy at suny). “I’m not a politician,” she says. “I don’t want to be a politician, and I generally don’t even like politicians. I got involved because I love New Paltz, and I didn’t want to see gentrification and destruction of all the woods and wetlands. I did what I had to do to prevent that from happening.”

She admits to going through a strong stage of activism in college, and that passion still creeps through on her latest comfort-rock release, Rise, a follow-up to her 2000 ep FireMusicFaerie. The title track was written with Death Row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal in mind, and the fiery “Julia” is an anthem of devotion to two of her heroes, Walsh and Butterfly Hill. “I still feel like I want to say something important, but now I have less drive to make a statement with every song I write. I have more of a feeling to just express what’s in my heart.” A good example of that expression would be the sweet love song, “A Little Bit of Heaven.” Also in her heart is a song she’s currently composing with the Children of the World Choir, an international kid’s chorus which promotes peace through music.

There’s no doubt that Hava is going places, both artistically and physically. Recent and future events from her calendar: Party for Peace, a musical event to motivate young people to get involved in the United Nations (Manhattan, April 18); a women’s songwriter circle benefiting Women’s Studio Workshop (Mudd Puddle, New Paltz, May 22, 1pm); Sacred Evenings meditations/drumming with friend Zzi Bellin (Manhattan, ongoing); and a very curious event—she’ll be singing at The Apollo on June 9 in a semi-finalist scenario; winners appear on “Showtime at the Apollo,” which airs each week after “Saturday Night Live.” You know the one—it launched the careers of Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. Hava writes about her surreal audition for “Showtime” in detail on She laughs about it with me.

“It was craaaazy!” she exclaims. “So I passed that, and now I’ll be singing at their weekly amateur night; it’s like level two. I have to win to be on the show. I’ve seen it maybe’s really about soul. It’s not pretentious like ‘American Idol.’ People keep saying to me, ‘You should go sing on ‘American Idol.’ Hell, no!” Hava cracks up. “It’s stupid. It’s meant to humiliate people. One of the judges is constantly criticizing everyone. These people act like they’re gods of the music industry. It’s a microcosm of how the industry chews people up and spits them out.”

Hava isn’t seeking a record contract from “Apollo”; she’s just doing it for the fun and experience. “Fame is a double-edged sword,” she says. “People can either become a product of fame and fortune and use it to glorify themselves and their egos, or they can use it for a good purpose. Unfortunately, most famous people have nothing to say, and they walk through life just wearing nice clothes, they have nice houses, they drive fancy cars, whatever. I feel that my music has the capacity to reach people, and that’s what’s important to me. It’s a powerful thing when I affect people, and that’s why I do music.”

There are two more prominent events on this grrrl’s calendar: her own June wedding and a pilgrimage to India in August. Her draw to India is an interesting story. “I was told by a mentor that I should go there. There’s something about the energy of that place. So I wanted to go, but I didn’t know when. I’d de - Chronogram

"Songs to save humanity by"

"We must rise, now/ stand upright/ we will burn like candles in the night/we will learn to sing, not to fight/ unless it's for our freedom right/ we will hold each other's hands/ try hard to understand/ liberty is our demand/for we are one people, one land. " —from "Rise," by Aliza Hava

The musical harvest of Aliza Hava yields some noble fruit. The New Paltz based singer/songwriter recognizes her calling in life: to deliver her views on social justice and to help heal others through the power of music.

"I began to observe how I was writing songs when I was feeling something, putting it on paper and getting it into concrete form. I would play it out somewhere—putting my heart and soul into it—and every time I would do that, it would heal me and help me to process the emotions that were stored inside. I feel really connected to music in that way, as far as healing on an inner level. Music does something to your soul. It's pretty intense."

Hava's muse first visited her at the age of nine when she began writing songs about social justice, child abuse, and homeless children. At 16, she started playing the guitar. "I realized a lot when I was a kid, so I had a tendency to put a message of light or a spiritual approach into my songs."

With an interest in the relationship between holistic health and music, she started studying music therapy at SUNY New Paltz. "It spoke through a different aspect of my personality," she says. "Music therapy is a pathway to healing that can act on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels simultaneously."

Her thoughts gear towards the political in "Rise," a cut from her recently released 4-song EP, FireMusicFaerie. The song was inspired by a protest she attended for death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, and she sings it with fervor and devotion, sweetness and pain.

"There was an uncovering of some of the propaganda that had been against Mumia," explains Hava. "I was at a rally in which a lot of witnesses came forward, and we watched a documentary of all those who said they were threatened by the police. They said they were told that if they didn't lie, they were going to get into trouble. One woman, a former prostitute, was threatened by police who told her if she didn't testify against Mumia, saying what the police wanted her to, she would have her children taken away and she'd be put in jail. So, what would you do? It was a shady situation, so she lied. She later came forward and said she felt horrible about it, and that the police bribed and threatened her. I really feel this woman wasn't lying."

While at the rally, Hava started writing in a book she carries with her: "My brother's been shot down." which is a direct reference to Abu-Jamal. She then started thinking about the troubles of the world. "My sister's been battered and used" points out the women who are being abused by their partners. "My Mother's been raped and abused" is a reference to the planet and the depletion of life and resources by humankind. "It really is rape," says Hava. She then refers to her own father who served in the Vietnam War by singing, "Daddy's got one foot in the grave/ He’s still crying over someone he couldn’t save."

"There are war veterans," she says, "who were at war and watched their friends die right in front of their eyes. They never get over it. And there are all these vets sitting in hospitals and hardly anyone pays attention to them. They're living people. My father has a lot of unhealed stuff from being involved in battle." The chorus is a cry of action against injustice, one which came to Hava at a later date. "This song was so powerful,” she remembers. "It was like the sky opened up, and the song just came down to me."

"Rise" features Rob Provitera on electric guitar and bass. In the first cut on the CD, "Did You Really," Hava introduces the listener to an ardent and gymnastic voice that is as comfy as a favorite pair of shoes. It's a tad folksy and couples well with forceful strumming on her acoustic guitar. "So Long," featuring the flute of Jami Johnson, is sweet and swinging. And in "Last Breath," Hava sings of the joys we don't always recognize when contemplating death and transformation, her crystalline backing vocals mirroring the lead.

Produced and engineered by Rob Provitera at Tera Productions in Paramus, NJ, FireMusicFaerie features a curious and colorful cover illustration. Done from a meditative perspective, Hava recreated a vision she had using brush pens, Sharpie markers, candle wax, nail polish and acrylic paint. The CD is available in the locals section of Jack's Rhythms in New Paltz and also at Esoterica in New Paltz.

Hava hosts an open mike at Oasis in New Paltz every other Wednesday. She is also currently part of a new trio, Red Moon. The band performs every Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Harvest Cafe in New Paltz. The other lead singer, songwriter of the band is Krysta Moon, who also studies music therapy at SUNY. The two of the - Woodstock Times


RISE, Released August 2006

Tracks presently receiving airplay:

Independent Nation
Worth of Water
Child of the Sun
RISE: Revisited


Feeling a bit camera shy


Aliza Hava is more than a musician. Fiery and heartfelt, she is a sister to remember. The way she expresses her soul while performing turns noisy audiences silent. Hava lays it down on rhythm guitar while her lyrics weave themselves into a listener's heart, drawing forth passion, inspiration and power. An emotionally expressive singer/songwriter, her well-versed lyrics explore the deeper levels of love, life, and the importance of positive social change.

Hava began writing songs at the age of nine, playing piano at twelve and guitar at sixteen. Her first performance of original songs was at a high school Earth Day concert. Clumsily strumming her second-hand nylon string guitar, her vocals rang through the auditorium. At 17, she was only beginning to find her voice. While in college, she sharpened her skills by majoring in music therapy, focusing on guitar and voice as her instruments. All the while, her natural inclinations toward spirituality became the primary focus of her songwriting. She wrote about changing the world, inner change, and looking to the Divine for guidance. Love and heartbreak also became major themes of her music as she experienced real-life disappointment and personal growth.

Havas debut, RISE, was released in August, 2006. Working with the acoustic tracks from her earlier demo, Hava went into the studio in April '06 with Chris Macchia (bass), John Trent (guitar), Dave Ellison (electric mandolin) and Hector Becerra (drums) to make the final recordings. Co-produced with Jimmy "Lonesome" Goodman of Leopard Studio, RISE is a rocking album of social and spiritual significance.

Hava has shared the stage with: Richie Havens, Matisyahu, Michael Franti and Spearhead, David Rovics, Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band), Derek Trucks, Deep Banana Blackout, Peter Prince, Vanilla Fudge, Tony Vacca and World Rhythms, and Love Scene Clear

She has performed at: Madison Square Garden (NYC), The United Nations (NYC), The Apollo Theater (NYC), CBGB's (NYC) The Wetlands (NYC), The Bitter End (NYC), The Rainbow Room (NYC), Yasgur's Farm Woodstock Reunion (Bethel, NY), The World Peace Sanctuary (Amenia, NY), Larkfest and Arts on Lark (Albany, NY), Anastasia's Asylum (Los Angeles, CA), Nashville Crossroads (Nashville, TN), The Colony Cafe (Woodstock, NY), Penny Lane (Boulder, CO), Barbi (Tel Aviv, Israel), The Pargod Theater (Jerusalem, Israel), The Washington Monument (Washington, DC) and many, many more........

Her music is being heard in New York on WBAI, WVKR, WUSB, WKZE. She has performed live on Woodstock Radio, WDST's Acoustic Breakfast, WBAI and New Artist Radio.