Chana Rothman
Gig Seeker Pro

Chana Rothman

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Band World Singer/Songwriter


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



"Chana Rothman's Beautiful Land: A Labour of Love"

New Music Review: Chana Rothman’s Beautiful Land: A Labour of Love

by Raysh Weiss [?] · Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

In today’s popular American culture, expecting celebrities often recede from the limelight while pregnant. In her new EP, Beautiful Land, singer/songwriter Chana Rothman actively embraces the opportunity to channel her creative energy into an unforgettable musical journey, specifically during her pregnancy. The result is a celebration of life, brimming with heartfelt empathy, mesmerising grooves, and earthy splendor.

In just six tracks, Rothman creates a universe, transporting the listener to a different realm, one in which emotional honesty and whimsical funkiness reign supreme. Rothman’s music resides somewhere between the intersection of pop, folk, and ethnic, but she transcends all of them. As Rothman’s music demonstrates, we live in a thoroughly cosmopolitan, interconnected time, when such designations are essentially irrelevant labels.

The opening track, Shine, offers a life-affirming message to young people, with its light, breezy groove. The title track, Beautiful Land, showcases Rothman’s impressive stylistic and thematic versatility. Inspired by her travels in Jamaica, Rothman wrote this loving, polyrhythmic reggae-infused piece as a tribute to its people. Accented with hints of a West African groove, Beautiful Land conjures up distant times and lands, while insisting on a temporal and spatial immediacy with its hypnotic rhythms and gentle melody.

Of all the pieces on this EP, Inadequate packs in the most nerve and verve, with its brutally honest lyrics, reflecting on body image. Other reviewers likened Rothman’s lyrically-driven Inadequate to Ani DiFranco—and this was my initial association. One could also compare this track to India Arie’s I’m Not My Hair, but Rothman’s upbeat and bluesy piece has much more flavor, political punch, and lyrical colour.

In Come on Home, Rothman shifts gears again, this time offering a poignantly understated elegiac ballad. A modern-day Psalm of sorts, this piece never names the subject of its mourning, but rather evokes a flood of feeling and taps the core of the experience of loss. The following track again radically departs into an entirely different feeling and space. Listening to Baby Do That Dance for Me, one almost expects Django Reinhardt to surface magically and rip into one of his legendary hot jazz guitar solos. This joyful and jazzily ambient piece certainly makes you want to rise to your feet and dance along.

Remember Your Name, the other ballad on this EP, is the final track and mourns the loss of Michael Jackson, while also reflecting on his legacy and memory. Enlisting Soulfarm guitarist C Lanzbom’s help on the slide guitar, this track serves as an apt coda to an album which amply attests to the restorative power of music. Beautiful Land, which is available in stores starting today (and will be available digitally beginning Thursday, December 8), would make a gloriously soulful Hanukkah gift for the music lovers on your list. -

"Chana Rothman Headlines at Cedars House"

t was kind of like planning a wedding, says Mt. Airy-based songstress Chana Rothman in regards to Saturday night’s “Sonic Spa” concert at Cedars House in Wissahickon Valley Park, which includes performances from Rothman along with Toronto’s Jory Nash and Shawn Taylor of Shelton, Connecticut.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and features two 45-minute sets of music.

Rothman says she got the idea for an event with a multifunctional space that can accommodate families with children. The rustic Cedars House fits nicely for with a wooden interior, along with decks and plenty of space outside. The venue is a health good café that offers arts and fitness classes along with massages, and is a prime stop for runners and cyclists passing through Wissahickon Valley Park near Northwestern Avenue.

“I love the woods and I’m also urban coffee shop place,” Rothman says. “It is the kind of show that an older kid could come to…it’s going to be a mellow night in the park.”

Rothman released her most recent album “Beautiful Land”- a colorful assortment of mostly upbeat acoustic guitar-driven numbers – last December, and she has immersed herself in the arts, music and community organizations in Mt. Airy by teaching music at the Germantown Jewish Centre and Mount. Airy Home School Co-Op.

Rothman says her involvement with Mt. Airy has helped her remain visible and gain followers, while she focuses on raising two young children instead of performing frequently.

“It’s not so much about music or accomplishment as it is about connecting,” Rothman says. “Really investing in your neighborhood is rewarding. I think people really appreciate that because it’s more authentic.”

Rothman, a Toronto native, will be joined by her country mate Jory Nash, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who tours the United States and Canada playing a mix of folk, American roots and storytelling.

Nash plays guitar, piano and banjo on stage, and cites Artie Guthrie as one of his favorite artists. But he’s also known to spin five-minute stories about his strange encounters on the road of life, like an arduous and protracted audition to star in a beer commercial that he ultimately was passed up on.

“The stories can be a change of pace, so I’ve learned how to use them in a way that becomes more interesting,” Nash says.

Connecticut-based songwriter Shawn Taylor rounds out the concert. Taylor has hiked through the Appalachian Trial a few times over, and his gruff voice rings of Americana when he croons lyrics like “take my liver but not my wine.”

While he is often compared to Bruce Springsteen, Taylor says he considers a Bob Dylan a bigger influence.

“Maybe it’s the difficult parts in life that are inspiration of my songs, the trials and tribulations,” Taylor says.

Saturday’s concert begins at 7:30. Tickets are $12. Visit The Cedars House for more information. -

"Next New Voice"

“I have heard thousands of demos in my time as the founder of Knitting Factory. But when I heard Chana's music, I knew she had something unique to offer. Chana blends the musical sensibility of a much more seasoned and older lyricist. She brings earthy vocals and poetic lyrics delivered to catchy rhythms.”
- Michael Dorf, Knitting Factory founder and Michael Dorf Productions
- Michael Dorf Productions

"Four Stars"

“We Can Rise” (Oyhoo). Here’s a promising debut from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Rothman. She offers a heady mix of liturgically based hard folk-rock and reggae-inflected and hip-hop informed rockers, all originals. She reminds me of a young Basya Schechter without the Middle Eastern influences, and her best writing (“Ana,” “Gates of Justice”) is quite good...I’m definitely looking forward to watching her evolve. Rating: 4 stars. - The Jewish Week

"Judy Collins meets Bob Marley meets Edie Brickell."

Chana plays a nice acoustic guitar as well as slide guitar and flute. She’s accompanied by other guitars, a varied collection of drums and percussion, bass, mandolin and violin. Her vocals are nice and smooth as she bounces back and forth between English and Hebrew. Especially the pleasant sounds of her voice, filled with emotion as she sings “Lay Down Your Swords.”

Her music is a blend, though, of the Folk music combined with some Reggae and a hint of Pop that makes her sound a bit like Edie Brickell. Edie with Judy Collins and Bob Marley? A very interesting mix.

The interior booklet is filled with photos and lyrics. It won’t surprise me to see Chana having an international hit once she has another album or two under her belt.

Four Stars -

"New Strong Female Voice"

Chana Rothman is a new strong female voice ... On the reggae infused “More Than One Way,” she sings, “Whatever you believe, and it must be true to you because there’s more than one way to be free.” Overall, the album is very unique... - Good Times Magazine

"Best of Brooklyn River-to-River Festival"

"Well worth checking out" - The New York Times

"Cool In Your Code"

Singer-Songwriters never go out of style and emerging artists of this genre are a plenty in New York City. One such artist is Chana Rothman whose earthy, bilingual pop album, We Can Rise, releases tomorrow. We sat down with this soulful songstress to find out what life is like for an up and coming musician.

When did you start playing music?

I’ve been studying music since I was 8. I started with the recorder and then studied flute pretty seriously. I actually learned guitar by accident. I was at a classical music camp for flute and I signed up for a guitar class and was hooked.

I’ve always been really good at self-expression through music. I’m classically trained but that’s not really for me. Being a singer/songwriter is a lot of work but I really love it. My music is an expression of how I see the world and what I think is important. It’s also an amazing way to reach people

How did you decide to pursue a music career?

Before I decided, when I’d go to my friend’s gigs I’d always feel sad that it wasn’t me up there. I used to write songs in secret and sometimes I’d call up my friends and play them a song. Afterwards I’d always thank them for listening and they’d say ‘Are you kidding? Thank you!’ I realized that it’s now or never and New York is the place to do it.

Describe your music and your new album.

Some adjectives I would use to describe my music are honest, earthy, lyrical, and rhythmic. It’s sort of a mix of folk and progressive worldbeat with some reggae and hip-hop mixed in. The album is called We Can Rise because I believe that it’s not about me or you but about all of us collectively empowering ourselves and one another. The album is a journey of the sights and sounds of the city.

How has New York influenced you?

Immeasurably. New York is completely interwoven into how I experience the world. As an artist my eyes and ears are always open. Things like music from passing cars, snippets of people’s conversations, or even graffiti make there way into my songs.

One of the songs on my new CD is called Gates of Justice and is completely inspired by the subway. It’s sort of a love song to the subway. The train is such a unique space that offers unbelievable insight. One of the lines of the song is, “the truth is about to give way on the subway.” I really believe that, it’s just such a unique window into life.

One of the biggest influences is hearing all the different languages people speak. I’m bilingual and sing in both Hebrew and English, so I find it inspiring to hear so many different languages throughout the day.

How does the bilingual thing play into your music?

I think it adds another dimension. I’ve been told by many people that they connect with my music whether they understand Hebrew or not. I think other languages bring another way to look at the world and any music done with honesty and integrity has the potential to hit home.

How has New York helped you as an emerging artist?

New York is full of so many opportunities as an artist; Opportunities to learn and collaborate and gain exposure to so many different things. One program, that sadly is no longer functioning, offered classes at the New School in their continuing education program. There was a class called Women in Rock. It was run by this amazing, experienced woman who taught me how to have confidence in my abilities. The class was also filled with so many diverse and talented people all helping one another realize their vision. I’m sad the classes are no longer offered.

What advice would you give to aspiring singer-songwriters?

I would say stick with it. The competition is brutal yet if you work your ass off you can make it happen. New York City is still this destination city where people from all over pilgrimage to, so the opportunity for new artists is like no other place. People in New York seem to understand and accept that people come here to pursue their dreams and as a result there is this constant energy and momentum.

Check out Chana Rothman’s CD release tomorrow night at the Mercury Lounge, 7:00pm - Metro News

"The most popular young female"

The 2007 Oyhoo Festival
Jewish Theatre, Israel - Oct 16, 2007
... the most popular young female Jewish artists on the NY scene for the first time: Basya Schecter of Pharoah's Daughter, Chana Rothman, and Shira Kline. ...
- The 2007 Oyhoo Festival

"We Can Rise!"

Giddy, ebullient, religious and irreverent pop songs that feel like a bunch of friends locked in a living room and having a really good conversation, only with instruments instead of words. Tinges of reggae, hip-hop and folk filter in and out of the songs, but they aren’t rock songs or reggae songs — at least, not in the way we know them. Chana Rothman’s songs are feelings rather than words, statements rather than movements…and, just, really good songs. -

"Chana Rothman - Conscious Vibe"

Meet Chana Rothman, a folk-rock singer-songwriter from Toronto who sings in English and Hebrew, with occasional snatches of rap. Rothman has been around the world and back with her eclectic mix of styles and landed in Brooklyn. Here's a sound you don't hear every day even in a city like New York. What's so interesting is how Rothman makes her music easy and accessible. Could she be the best singer-songwriter you've never heard?

It would be too simplistic to join the chorus categorizing Rothman as Ani DiFranco singing in Hebrew and English. The Righteous Babe is definitely an influence, but there are many others as well. With infectious, open-minded songs like "More than One Way," the provocative "Walk A Mile" and the free-spirited, subway-inspired "Gates Of Justice," this album bubbles with a conscious vibe that's capable of bringing people together.

Rothman is adept at using religious imagery and bilingual lyrics as a bridge rather than as a wedge. Her debut is brimming with talent—you should get familiar with her.

-Richard Antone - Elmore Magazine

"Danceable Pop, Introspective Folk and a Touch of Jazz"

Like New York Hasidic reggae star Matisyahu (with whom she’s shared the stage), Toronto-born, New York-based songwriter Chana Rothman blends her Jewish roots with modern production sensibilities to create something new-sounding but familiar enough to have popular appeal.

She’s certainly assimilated a lot of musical genres on her debut. It’s not just the three Rs – rap, reggae, rock – that collide with her powerfully sung half-English, half-Hebrew lyrics, but danceable pop, introspective folk and a touch of jazz, too.

...Ultimately, the LP’s title, We Can Rise, is a good predictor of Rothman future. - NOW Magazine (Toronto)


We Can Rise - Oyhoo Records
national distribution with Allegro
Ana (Pop/Rock)
We Can Rise (Pop/Groove)
More Than One Way (Pop/Reggae)
Summer (Folk/Pop)
Gates of Justice (Pop/Funk)
The Wind (Folk/Pop)
One Stone (Rock)
Walk A Mile (Pop/Hip hop)
Lay Down Your Swords (Folk)

Simplify - by Chana Rothman and C Lanzbom

A New Light - by Naomi Less, rap section by Chana Rothman

Radio appearances:
WFUV's Sunday Breakfast with John Platt
Streaming live on Jewish Rock Radio
Breakthrough Radio
XM Radio with New York's Oyhoo Festival
Radio Amsterdam

Television appearances:
360 Vision Toronto
Shalom TV - National Jewish Television
Aspen Cable Network



Canadian-raised, Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter Chana Rothman’s approach to performance is born of her life experiences as an educator and songleader. Her stage presence goes beyond a typical performer-audience dynamic: often, after a song is over, she applauds the audience for their contribution. “Music doesn't have to be a spectator sport," she explains, “It can be a dialogue."

“Rothman’s music bubbles with a conscious vibe that’s capable of bringing people together,” writes Richard Antone of Elmore Magazine.

Tinges of reggae, worldbeat, and folk infuse Chana's tunes with rhythm and positive vibes. After relocating from Brooklyn to Philly and becoming a mom, Chana continues to tour nationally and internationally. She
works independently in venues, camps, synagogues, churches across the country bringing relevant social commentary and positive outlook through a musical lens. Several recent community-based tours: in South Africa, combining justice work in townships with live performances, and in Berlin, presenting and performing for progressive European Jewish communities from across the continent. Chana's most recent accomplishment is the birth of her son, Izzy, and her entry into momhood. Her music is on iTunes,, and more. Stay tuned for her new album, produced by Grammy-award-winning producer/guitarist C Lanzbom, "Beautiful Land," a mix of African worldbeat, acoustic folk, and groove.
"Bob Marley Meets Edie Brickell" -
"Worth Checking Out" - New York Times

Israeli Stars Chana Has Opened For:
Habanot Nechama
HaDag Nachash

Some notable recent appearances:
Jewish Journeys Youth Conference (Berlin, Germany)
World Cafe Live Downstairs - opening for folk hero Vusi Mahlasela (Philadelphia, PA)
The LIving Room (NYC)
North American Folk Alliance Conference (Memphis, TN)
City Winery (NYC)
Limmud Conference @ Warwick University (United Kingdom)
Olgethorpe University (Atlanta, GA)
Highline Ballroom (NYC)
Symphony Space (NYC)
World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, PA)
The Yellow Door (Montreal, QC)
River to River Festival (NYC)
Hugh's Room (Toronto, ON)
Levontin 7 (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Cape May Singer-Songwriter Festival (Cape May, NJ)
Jewlicious Festival (Long Beach, CA)
Genghis Cohen (Los Angeles, CA)
Club Helsinki (Great Barrington, MA)
Langdon Street Cafe (Montpelier, VT)
Radio Bean (Burlington, VT)
Chicago Jewish Music Festival (Chicago, IL)
Oyhoo Festival (NYC)
New York University (NYC)
Knitting Factory (NYC)
Gladstone Hotel (Toronto)
CAJE Conference (Burlington, VT)
Mercury Lounge (NYC)

and many more.
What people are writing:

"She’s certainly assimilated a lot of musical genres on her debut. It’s not just the three Rs – rap, reggae, rock – that collide with her powerfully sung half-English, half-Hebrew lyrics, but danceable pop, introspective folk and a touch of jazz, too.
...Ultimately, the LP’s title, We Can Rise, is a good predictor of Rothman future." - NOW Magazine, Toronto

"uniquely crafted bohemian vibes"
- Jewlicious Festival, Long Beach, CA
"Four Stars"
- The Jewish Week, NYC

Radio Play
Northwestern University
Breakthrough Radio
Staten Island University
Acoustic Coffeehouse