Joshua Lebofsky
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Joshua Lebofsky

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | SELF | AFM

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | SELF | AFM
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"Joshua Lebofsky: Play a Little Prayer"

Joshua Lebofsky: Play a Little Prayer
(self-released)

Canadian singer/pianist Joshua Lebofsky apparently gets around. His first email arrived from Dubai. Then his album arrived, packing inspiration, he says, from "prayers both sacred and secular" from sources including West African, Native American, and Judeo-Christian traditions. It's a lot he has bitten off, but not too much to chew.

The opener, "Cecil's Psalm," give credit to Cameroon, and serves as a jazzy invocation: "Oh Lord, open up my lips / I'll sing thy praise." More obviously African is "The Briss" from Ivory Coast, with insistent djembes, vocal harmonies, and a sizzling trombone solo sneaking into the mix. The first real taste of Lebofsky's voice comes on his bold reinterpretation of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," which takes on a sparse soulfulness well suited to his gravely-but-crisp tones. Lots of other flavors too, from the jazz-funk of "Demon Dance" to the slow "Nearer My God to Thee," on which Lebofsky shows off the more flexible gospel side of his voice. "Funeral Song" claims Native American roots, but sounds rather more like not-so-mournful jazz.

If you think sacred equals stuffy (or preachy), Lebofsky's ability to transform sacred songs may give you second thoughts. Or no thoughts at all, if you just sit back and soak in the inspiration. - Scott Stevens- SoundRoots.org


"The Briss- Jazz Song competition winner"

Dear Joshua;

My name is Alan Roy Scott, one of the co-founders of the "Unisong"
International Song Contest. Although you may be aware by now that you have won 4th Prize in the Jazz category with your very modern and interesting Jazz instrumental song "The Briss", I wanted to still contact you and offer my personal......... Congratulations!!!!!
.
Although as co-founder I am not directly involved in the judging process,
I do get to hear all the winners before they are announced and so I must tell you how much I thoroughly enjoyed the whole conceptual vison and execution you had for htis track. Well played and produced to boot. In fact, as a veteran 25 year songwriter myself (see my bio on our home page) in addition to overseeing "Unisong" as one spoke of my own career wheel, the highest compliment I can pay you is to say I wish I'd written it myself. And coming in 4th in one of our more popular categories in recent times, with over 400 entries in that category alone in this current edition, was surely no small feat either. I hope you can take that fact as the creative validation of your obvious talent it is meant to be and let it resonate for a while.
If you go to our website at www.unisong.com you will see your song and photo prominently featured and that as 4th Prize winner, your song can be listened to right on our site. Plus there's a link to your website if you gave us one. Please feel free to utilize this victory any way you wish in your own promotion efforts now and in the future. Over the last 11 years I am proud to say we have built up a pretty good reputation that should be of some value to you when listed or mentioned.

In closing, let me just say thank you again for your talent and support
of Unisong. We take great pride in what this annual competition offers and stands for in being "created by songwriters….for songwriters." And the personal touch is something we try to never forget about in dealing with our entrants.
Cordially; ALAN ROY SCOTT/UNISONG I.S.C. - Unisong Song Competition


"Montreal Gazette"

"Joshua Lebofsky may not be a household name but if you're into Quebecois music, chances are you've heard the richly talented keyboardist backing up the likes of Michel Pagliaro and Eric Lapointe. He also rounded up other top sidemen for a totally unique self-produced CD called Play a Little Prayer, nifty world-beat tunes based on sacred and spiritual texts. In a world dominated by warmongers, the album comes as both balm and inspiration. "


Montreal Gazette Aug 17 2006 - Montreal Gazette- Juan Rodriguez


"CD Reviews:Joshua Lebofsky"

CD Reviews:

Joshua Lebofsky

www.joshualebofsky.ca

Canadian pianist/vocalist and composer Joshua Lebofsky has conjured up a palatable blend of musical styles. His jazz-influenced piano is at the center of the musical exploration. His CD "Play a little prayer" offers up ten compositions based on themes of prayers. The re-working of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" casts the song in a pretty Memphis-Gospel groove. The song is stretched out and allowed to flow and build. The oddly-titled, "The Briss" puts forth a more intense, minor-keyed jam. Doumbeks and North African vocal chants lead the way and then when you least expect it a trombone comes out and plays a solo. Joshua drew inspiration from North and West African, Native North American and Judeo-Christian teachings, both sacred and secular, the music reflects a rich blend of world music influences. This is also evidnet of "Cecil's Psalm" which multi-lingual vocal chants together creating a hypnotic patchwork of sound.

Joshua has spent many years performing and recording with many other artists in the Canadian music scene as well as international artists. He was able to call on a wide variety of musicians to help bring his vision of Jazz-influenced World music to life. - World Rhythm Magazine- June 21 2007


"Jazz Magazine Vol 63"

See the scanned review of this in my photo gallery. In Italian only.
Trust me. its an in depth review, well written and well researched. - EmmeK punlications ITALY


Discography

Joshua Ell Trio - I Should Care...
Joshua Lebofsky - Play A Little Prayer

Photos

Bio

GRAND PRIZE WINNER in THE JOHN LENNON SONGWRITING CONTEST in The World Music category(www.jlsc.com)
Joshua Lebofsky has been actively involved in the Canadian Music scene for more than 25 years, having toured ,recorded and performed with the likes of Michel Pagliaro, Juno award winner Eval Manigat and Tchaka, Eric Lapointe, Daniel Lavoie and Guinean Griot songstress, Sona Tata Conde, to name but a few..
His interest in World music and jazz stems from his years of performing in both those styles and his latest CD “Play A Little Prayer” is garnering critical acclaim from musicians and fans from around the world.
As it’s title suggests PLAY A LITTLE PRAYER is a collections of ten songs based upon the theme of prayers– but don’t expect solemn oaths and amen choruses.
“Composers have always sought sources for the creation of new music” states Lebofsky. “This is in no way a religious CD. I simply took musical themes and text from various world traditions and reworked the motifs into vehicles for improvisation and extended grooves. I wanted to create a body of work based upon prayers that stresses common themes rather than those that divide us.”

http://www.wrwz.com/cdreviewsJoshuaLebofsky.html
Date: June 21 2007
From World Rhythm Webzine
Canadian pianist/vocalist and composer Joshua Lebofsky has conjured up a palatable blend of musical styles. His jazz-influenced piano is at the center of the musical exploration. His CD "Play a little prayer" offers up ten compositions based on themes of prayers. The re-working of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" casts the song in a pretty Memphis-Gospel groove. The song is stretched out and allowed to flow and build. The oddly-titled, "The Briss" puts forth a more intense, minor-keyed jam. Doumbeks and North African vocal chants lead the way and then when you least expect it a trombone comes out and plays a solo. Joshua drew inspiration from North and West African, Native North American and Judeo-Christian teachings, both sacred and secular, the music reflects a rich blend of world music influences. This is also evident of "Cecil's Psalm" which multi-lingual vocal chants together creating a hypnotic patchwork of sound.

Joshua has spent many years performing and recording with many other artists in the Canadian music scene as well as international artists. He was able to call on a wide variety of musicians to help bring his vision of Jazz-influenced World music to life.

Winner of the Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting competitition in the World Music category for his song "The Briss" 2007.

The performing ensemble is based around the trio of
Joshua Lebofsky– Keyboards,Piano and Voice ,
Alan Baculis– Electric Bass
Tony Albino– Drums
Added to the core ensemble are special guests including,
Vocalist Kim Richardson
Trombone and keys– Mohammed Abdul Al Khabbyr
Video will be available at
www.joshualebofsky.ca

For more info visit www.joshualebofsky.ca