Elisa Goldman
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Elisa Goldman

Band Jazz Funk


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The best kept secret in music


"Concordia knows what it means to miss New Orleans"

Concordia knows what it means to miss New Orleans
Students organize benefit concert taking place this Sunday
By: Noah Taylor

Before the devastation experienced by the people of New Orleans this past summer, the most common associations with the city were those of Mardi Gras, spicy food, and of course, the vibrant music scene. With its roots primarily in rhythm and blues, music and musicians have thrived in a city that welcomed their diversity of sound and expression for over a century. Pioneers such as Freddi Keppard, Louis Armstrong, and Sidney Bechet, to name just a few, have their roots in the warm city streets that became their platform to show the world a whole new cool. This long-standing tradition has carried on throughout the years, and a small group of Concordia music students are doing their part to help the music scene in New Orleans overcome the events which have recently befallen the city.

Upon returning for her final semester at Concordia as a jazz vocal student, Elisa Goldman wasted no time recruiting a group of individuals to put together a benefit concert for musicians affected by both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"After seeing what happened to New Orleans, anybody who considers themself a jazz fan must have felt affected by the loss. That's why, as a jazz singer, I felt I had to do something to help." With no budget, the primary resource became Concordia's music department and its students.

Also studying jazz at Concordia, Jelani Corbie and James Lynn joined Elisa in her efforts to program, produce, and promote the show. All three will also be performing at the concert.

Two months may seem like plenty of time to arrange an event of this scale, but for first time organizers, the task was daunting and sometimes frustrating. The original dates requested for the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall were denied on the grounds that the faculty was holding their own benefit show the week before. Fortunately, with a later date and a promise that the fresh collection of talent featured would create a show different in both style and tone than that of the earlier benefit, the venue was soon confirmed.

A difficult decision then had to be made that would effect the possibility of receiving Canadian corporate donations: Should an American charity be the chosen benefactor? It was through Red Cross that the organizers became aware of their ideal recipients. All of the money raised will go to the New Orleans Musicians Fund created by the Music Maker Relief Foundation as a response to the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the lives of musicians in the Gulf region. Grants from this fund are being dispersed for basic living expenses and instrument replacement as well as assistance with relocation, booking gigs and passport replacement. As they are an American foundation, there is no tax write off for Canadian corporate donations. Because of this, the organizers are relying almost exclusively on ticket sales and the donations of a few generous individuals to raise funds.

As the night of the show approaches, the business involved in the organization becomes trivial, and the significance of experiencing good music at a live show remains the students' primary concentration. The concert this Sunday will be showcasing seven of Concordia's finest student bands and vocalists. The audience will be grooving to a range of sounds from straight jazz , to jazz inspired forms such as funk, soul, reggae, and rock. Mixing it up a bit is an acapella tune with four singers including Jennie LaRiviere, who was recently awarded the prestigious Oscar Peterson scholarship Award.

This is a great chance to see the musical talent Concordia bases its good reputation on as they acknowledge their debt to the birthplace of the music represented in all of the night's performances.

Tickets for this Sunday's 8 p.m. concert cost $10 and are available online at: www.admission.com or by calling (514)970-1245.
- The Concordian, Issue date: 11/9/05 Section: Entertainment


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Elisa’s voice is uniquely her own. She exudes her own style and is always true to who she is. She sings everything from Jazzed up funk, to Hip hop soul, to Bluesy Rock. Her rich, light voice will make you want to hear more every time.

At age of 11, after the death of her older sister, Elisa found her voice. At age 13, she auditioned and won the lead role of Anika, in Brundibar, A children’s opera about the Holocaust. In the same year she performed the lead role in her school production of “Oliver”.

Born into a completely non-musical family, Elisa still credits her parents as musical influences. Growing up her parents listened to lots of different kinds of music, everything from the jazz greats like Bird, Louis, Ella, and Nina Simone to Motown singers like Aretha and Marvin Gaye. They also listened to folk music, so that helped develop my her and love of harmonies.

“ As I got older I discovered Hip-hop, and fell in love with the beats and power of words and rhyme. I am very influenced by the music of Blackalicious, India Arie, Erika Badu, Lauryn Hill and Saul Williams among others. My range of influences are so diverse, I could go on forever, but I also am influenced by Bif Naked, Dave Mathews Band, Indigo Girls, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Bobby McFerrin and Sarah McLachlan. ”

Throughout 1997 and 1998 as a high school vocal major, Elisa performed for fellow students in the schools production of “Alice”, and “Maytime Melodies” in which she won the only solo spot. During this period Elisa became very involved in social justice issues. She performed solo a at the 1997 Peace and Harmony Rally at Metro Hall in Toronto, as well as was chosen to sing for the President of Guyana upon her visit to Canada. Elisa performed at a benefit concert for Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee (Songs Under the Stars), participated in the Hamilton’s Children’s Hospital Telethon, and was also invited to sing on television (Israel Today) during Jewish Book week.
In 2000, Elisa was a semi finalist for the YTV Achievement Awards, under the vocal category. When the Jerusalem youth Orchestra came to Canada, Elisa was the featured soloist with them on Breakfast TV (CITY TV, Toronto). In the summer of 2000, Elisa attended Berklee College of Music in Boston for a 5-week intensive summer program. This program really helped her blossom into the musician she is today.
“ It was amazing to be surrounded by so many talented, driven musicians. I had never been around so many people like that. They really pushed me to work harder and gave me the drive that I still have to this day.”

After Hurricane Katrina and Rita tore throughout the southern US in August 2005, and destroyed the city of New Orleans, Elisa knew she needed to do something to help. She organized a benefit concert, which had 8 bands performing to raise money for the reconstruction of the birthplace of Jazz. They raised over $2000 for the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Elisa has always got a smile on her face, and she is ready to find the silver lining of any dark cloud.
Elisa’s fashion style can be compared to No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie, but her singing style is a unique sound that is all her own. She’ll captivate you with her energized, mature voice, and charming smile.