Choni Goldman, aka Choni G, the fresh-faced ‘pop’ chazan of the historic Cape Town Hebrew Congregation, or Gardens Shul (the city’s oldest and most famous synagogue) and the 2012 winner of The Jewish Star competition, is known for gooseflesh-inducing renditions of ancient Jewish prayers and melodies. His debut album ‘5780’ is no exception.
The 16 track album showcases his distinctive sound: uplifting and emotive melodies that have their roots in Jewish spirituality, yet resonate with audiences from all walks of life.
‘5780’ came out in CD and USB format in December but only recently became available on all digital platforms.
“The album features a mix of dance, hip hop beats and a lot of soul with an African thread throughout,” says Choni.
A few of the album’s songs were recorded with an African choir called the Khayelitsha United Mambazo Choir.
“We’ve been performing together for the last few years,” Choni says. “I’ve always had a feel and resonated strongly with African rhythms and harmonies and it’s a great platform to showcase our ‘Ubuntu’ – SA’s word for unity within diversity.”
A household name in the South African Jewish community, Choni has performed at events around the world.
Some of the album’s tracks are originals and some are reimagined classics, with a few coming from the Anglo Shul scene.
“I grew up in a synagogue with a strong chazan and choir, which made a big impact on me and continues to influence my music. You could say that I’m remixing my childhood memories,” says Choni.
You can listen, stream or buy the album through this link :
Choni’s album launch concert in Cape Town