Shulem is the most recent rising star of the Jewish musical tradition that has been intertwined in the life, faith and culture of the Jewish people throughout their history. Whether it's prayers, psalms or contemporary classics, this youthful Brooklyn tenor finds in music something rich and affirming, an endeavor that makes the soul soar and the spirit rise and speaks to the human condition. In fact, Shulem feels music aspires to go beyond current historical context to illuminate what he sees as the perfect dream: when the world is at peace. There are some voices that have to be heard—and Shulem's is one of them.
Marking the first time that a singer from the orthodox Hasidic community has been signed to a major label, Shulem's debut album,
The Perfect Dream
, will be released on Decca Gold, an imprint of Universal Music Group's Verve Label Group. Produced by Jon Cohen, the album is an arresting arrival of a fresh voice—new to many—yet already seasoned by years of performing for his congregation and the Hasidic community. The Perfect Dream
finds Shulem masterfully embracing a broad range of material reflecting his varied musical tastes. His considerable vocal talents are supremely showcased in the two singles of the album, Les Miserables’ Bring Him Home
and Jerusalem Of Gold
"When I sing and perform, everything that I believe in my heart and soul is part of each note and every phrase which is what I strive to share with others. It's very exciting," Shulem says of this new step in his career, "and I am looking forward to being able to sing for more people and develop as an artist. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity." Decca Gold President Graham Parker adds that, "Shulem really does see himself as someone who can impact people in a meaningful, heart-to-heart way. People are touched by his voice and his ability to communicate a hopeful message. All the songs that are on the album come from a place of hope and inspiration—of thinking of things bigger than yourself. That's what makes him so special."
Growing up in Brooklyn's Boro Park neighborhood, Shulem was exposed primarily to the cantorial music preferred by his father as well as his older brother, who's now a synagogue cantor in Manhattan. Shulem, who was a featured child soloist in his community, explains, "There are many different kinds and forms of cantorial music. I was hearing a wide variety of styles and approaches which broadened my awareness." Opera, particularly Luciano Pavarotti, also became an important influence, along with Michael Jackson that led Shulem to artists such as Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban. "I listened to a lot of different things," Shulem says. "I will look up certain people and study what they do—how they achieve certain things either with their voice or in their career. I listen to their voices and think, 'Oh, I can do that or fit that in' and try to make that happen somehow. Music, like any creative endeavor, is fluid and a river of influences that constantly evolves."
Part of the Jewish Luminaries Series
Sunday, September 22
Schultz Cultural Arts Hall
$35 General Public | $30 Members & J-Pass Holders | $20 Kids (all ages) & Students
Contact: Michelle Shabtai | (650) 223-8718 | [email protected]
"His music is able to reach across cultural divides and touch people of diverse faiths and backgrounds." ~Tablet Magazine
"People are touched by his voice and his ability to communicate a hopeful message. That's what makes him so special." ~The Jewish Press
"Shulem's palate of sounds is absolutely extraordinary." ~Jon Cohen, Award-winning arranger and producer of The Perfect Dream
"Young, gifted and Hasidic." ~Haaretz