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Forget The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah,” kids can rock the kippah during a live performance with Rockmitzvah — an event company and band that integrates the bar or bat mitzvah into the actual performance, making them feel “Like a Rolling Stone.”
Musically-inclined teens in the Westchester or New York City area can let out their inner-Drake, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Adel, or Black Keys while being involved in every step of the creative process, such as selecting songs, rehearsing, and performing with a seasoned band at their party.
Rockmitzvah got its start in 2007 when Marc Jacoby, a former Columbia recording artist, saw an ad on Craigslist placed by a family in search of a real band to “jam” with their child at his upcoming bar mitzvah. That night at the rehearsal, the guitarist told his three band mates about the ad, and all agreed to help out. After meeting with the family and practicing with the bar mitzvah boy, the whole band played the event to huge success. On the drive back from the gig, the group decided to start a company, threw around a few names, and Rockmitzvah was born.
Rockmitzvah has played more than a hundred different reformed, conservative, and Orthodox bar and bat mitzvahs throughout the New York City area for the past five years. Even the band’s drummer, Jim Weingast, threw his son a Rockmitzvah back in April, 2011! The goal, according to Weingast, is to provide a fun experience for kids who want the alternative.
“What’s become the norm — the MTV, spring-break-style dance frenzy — isn’t right for every child,” says Rockmitzvah co-founder Jim Weingast.
Rockmitvah’s musicians have decades of musical experience and have played with some of the biggest names in rock ’n’ roll, including the Allman Brothers, the Bruce Hornsby Band, and even Eric Clapton. The band has even collaborated and recorded albums with the Dude of Life — the lyricist for the band Phish. Best part? Rockmitzvah, like many great musicians, is also versatile.
“If a girl comes to us and she’s really into Broadway show tunes or Katy Perry, we can do that, too,” says Weingast.
Many of the band’s members have taught or currently teach music in the Westchester community, and it’s this teaching experience that makes Rockmitzvah different.
“Anybody can do karaoke, but our band knows how to follow a kid who misses a beat,” says Weingast. “It’s not just our ability to perform as great musicians, but it’s our ability to work with children. That’s what makes us totally unique.”
©2013 Community News Group
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