By COLlive reporter
Yisroel Leshes is transitioning out of the chazzonus world with his release of Yinger Velt, an upbeat jazz melody of hope for a better future. Filmed in the island Italian city of Venice last summer, the colorful video highlights Venice’s iconic settings – the Grand Canal, the Doge’s Palace, the Ponte di Rialto, the island of Burano.
For Leshes, who is the Assistant Cantor of Manhattan’s Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York City, this marks his first musical release of non-cantorial material.
Written by noted Yiddish poet Morris Winchevsky in the early 1900s and titled Di Tsukunft, this little-known tune is typically sung as a stately, measured anthem. Leshes collaborated with noted New York jazz arranger Adam Podd to transform it into an upbeat jazz melody.
While in Venice over the summer, Yisroel teamed up with local Venetian talents Fabio Tabacchi, Dean Lakić, and Gabriele Marcon to bring the song to life.
“Venice is the most colorful city in the world,” says Lakić, the video’s director. “It is a superb setting for a song about a brighter future.”
Leshes notes that Venice’s once-dark Jewish history adds an additional layer of meaning to a song about the future being brighter than the past. One example of that is an adorable cameo by his daughter Shira.
Leshes isn’t stopping at just releasing music. In November 2019, he launched The Mansion, a pop-up jazz house in Union Square with catering and bar by Crown Heights’s Boeuf & Bun restaurant. After three sold-out performances featuring Yanky Lemmer, klezmer legend Frank London, and Israeli jazz superstar Daniel Zamir, the Mansion had to close in March 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.
“I’m re-opening as soon as the city allows,” says Leshes. “The one piece of feedback I received repeatedly was ‘this is just magic!’. There is no venue in New York for unabashedly frum entertainment with food and drinks and the Mansion filled a real need. It’ll be back soon.”
Yisroel Leshes – Yinger Velt / Younger World (Official Music Video)
Directed by Dean Lakic
Cinematography by Fabio Tabacchi
Filmed in Venice, Italy
Composed by Morris Winchevsky
Arrangement by Adam Podd
Trumpet Solo: Riley Mulherkar
Piano: Adam Podd
Percussion: Peter Traunmueller
Horns: Riley Mulherkar, Owen Broder, Danny Lipsitz
Bass: Dave Speranza
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Joseph Branciforte
Recorded at The Bunker Studio and Grayfade Studio
Trumpet actor in video: Gabriele Marcon
Child in video: Shira Sophia