"... ethereal, sometimes hypnotic....Obviously this has a niche audience, but a niche that stretches from here to eternity."                                                                                      David Farrell, New Canadian Music
     

BRIEF BIO

Lenka Lichtenberg is a Canadian composer, vocalist, producer and a bandleader who channels the rich, intercultural Toronto soundscapes in her unique brand of world music. With a voice often described as angelic or ethereal, this award-winning artist (Canadian Folk Music Awards -Traditional Singer of the Year) aspires to build bridges among cultures as she transcends boundaries between folk, jazz and world music in a passionate and often highly spiritual celebration of her roots. A child star in her native Prague, Czech Republic, she is a multilingual vocalist who sings mostly in Yiddish, English, Czech, and Hebrew, and a bandleader with 7 solo CD releases and several collaborations on her resume. Lenka is in the midst of a diverse international concert career, travelling across continents as a solo artist, with her Canadian ensemble, or with one of her collaborative projects. Her last two albums (Yiddish Journey 2016, and MASARYK, 2017) were released on the U.K. label ARC Music.) 

Awards and nominations:

2017: One World Music Awards (U.K.) Nominee: Best World/ Global Fusion Album)
2016: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, World Group of the Year  (Live in America)
2015: Nominee, The 14th Independent Music Awards, Album - World Traditional (Lullabies from Exile)
2015: Nominee, The 14th Independent Music Awards, Song - World Traditional (Perfume Road) 
2014: Winner, The 13th Independent Music Awards, Vox Populi, Song  - New Age ("Raise a Cup of Joy")
2014: Nominee, Toronto Independent Music Awards, "world music" (Embrace)
2014: Nominee, The 13th Independent Music Awards, Song - Eclectic ("Danse Suite Macabre")
2013: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, World Solo Artist of the Year  (Embrace)
2013: Winner, The 12th Independent Music Awards, Vox Populi: "Album - World Traditional"  (Songs for the Breathing Walls)
2013: Nominee, The 12th Independent Music Awards, Song - World Traditional (El Mi Migoalei Dam Etzak)
2012: Winner, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Traditional Singer of the Year (Songs for the Breathing Walls)
2012: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Traditional Album of the Year (Songs for the Breathing Walls)
2011: Nominee, Toronto Independent Music Awards, world music category (Fray)
2011: Nominee, Canadian Folk Music Awards, World Solo Artist of the Year (Fray)
2011: Winner, Porcupine Award, Musique de la monde (Fray)
2011: Winner, Songs from the Heart, multicultural category ("Peace is the Only Way")
2011: Finalist, John Lennon Songwriting competition, Session II. ("Peace is the Only Way")
2008: Winner, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Vocal Group of the Year (Sheynville Express)

Collaborations and projects (please visit the projects' dedicated page for audio samples and more information)

FRAY:
In Europe, they call it "ethno-jazz". Haunting original compositions in Yiddish, English, French and Czech, performed by some of the best world musicians in Canada. Albums: Fray, Embrace, Live in America

Lullabies from Exile:
A recording and concert project of Yiddish and Iraqi music intertwined. Collaboration with the oud and violin virtuoso Yair Dalal, with whom Lenka also gave concerts in Slovakia and Czech Republic, the U.S and Canada, and in Israel- most recently in 2017 (Vocal Festival, Abu Ghosh).  

Remixes by Eccodek
Collaboration with Eccodek's Andrew McPherson resulted in a remix of one of her songs, "Open My Eyes", which was picked as "Song of the Week" on CBC's Here and Now in 2014.  My Eyes (Peripheral Vision Eccodek Remix)" was so well received, that it was decided to continue. EP Lenkkodek: Open My Ears" was released in 2017. . 

Masaryk
Collaboration with the Czech composer - percussionist Tomas Reindl.

Sisters of Sheynville:
Yiddish swing-klez. Group co-founded with Isabel Fryszberg, who is the group's creative director. Lenka is the bandleader and principal arranger for this award-winning ensemble. Album: Sheynville Express. 

Songs for the Breathing Walls:
Live recordings of sacred songs in Hebrew with various international artists (David Doruzka and Tomas Reindl, Czech Republic; Christian Dawid, Germany; Alexander Shonert, Russia/Czech Republic; Yair Dalal, Israel; Alan Hetherington, Anwar Khurshid, Ravi Naimpally, Zita Petrak, Canada) in Czech and Moravian synagogues. Release June 1, 2012 (Europe), November 3, 2012 (North America).

Bridges
Lenka’s program with Roula Said, “Bridges: a Yiddish/Arabic musical dialogue", was presented by Small World Music at the Lula Lounge in Toronto in 2011. It was featured again on March 5, 2012, at the Al Green Theater in Toronto. The concert launched CD "Bridges: Live at  Lula Lounge". Please inquire for bookings!

English song-writing:
- Lenka’s original song “Phoenix” is included on “World Jazz for Haiti” compilation CD of some of Canada’s leading jazz and world artists (September, 2010).
- "Animals Trust Anthem" was written and recorded in support of the NGO AnimalsTrust  (2014)
- other songs in English are waiting to be recorded/finished, and released as an English-only album. 

DISCOGRAPHY

- MASARYK: Narodni pisne (September, 2017) Czech, Moravian and Slovak folk songs re-imagined. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg; assistant producer  Tomas Reindl. Label: ARC Music, U.K.

- Open My Ears: Lenkkodek   (January, 2017): EP -dance- electronica- new age remixes. Produced by Andrew McPherson

- Live in America (March 20, 2016): EP.  6 songs recorded live on tour in the U.S.A. in November, 2015. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg
- Yiddish Journey (February 26, 2016): 18 Yiddish songs, original and traditional. Label: ARC Music, U.K
- Lullabies from Exile
 (2014) : Eastern European/Yiddish, and Iraqi songs intertwined. Co-produced with Yair Dalal. Label: Magda
- Animals Trust Anthem - single. Fundraiser for AnimalsTrust. (2014). Sunflower Records. Produced by Galen Weston.
- Embrace (2013) : world fusion. Acoustic original songs in English and Yiddish., by Lenka Lichtenberg & Fray. Co-produced with Alan Hetherington. Sequence to Fray (1).  Canadian release at Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto.
- Songs for the Breathing Walls (2012):  Live liturgy recordings. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg
- Bridges: Live at Lula Lounge  (2012) Jewish and Arabic music in dialogue. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg
- Fray (2010): original songs in Yiddish and English, world music, by Lenka Lichtenberg & Fray.. Co-produced with Alan Hetherington
- Lomir Zingen: (2008): Collection of children's Yiddish songs. Produced by Lenka Lichtenberg
- Pashtes (2006) : all-Yiddish, all-original. Poems by Simcha Simchovitch. Music by L. Lichtenberg. Co-produced with Brian Katz
- Open The Gate (2003): Lenka's original songs in English and French. Produced by Levon Ichkhanian
- Deep Inside (1999): traditional Yiddish and original songs in English. Produced by Ken Whiteley

with Sisters of Sheynville:
- Sheynville Express:  (2007) - Yiddish swing-klez. Most arrangements and/or 3-part vocal arrangements by Lenka Lichtenberg. Produced by Eric Stein
 

COMPILATIONS

- The Most Beautiful Songs of the World - ARC Music.  Track #6: "Dremlen feygl" - April, 2016
- Best of Yiddish Songs & Klezmer Music - ARC Music. Tracks #3 and 15 - March, 2016
Independent No.1's Vol. 3 - WOA Records. Track: "2010" (from Embrace) - June 2014
see on iTunes
World Music for War Child - ARC. Tracks #3 and #11 (from Bridges, Lullabies from Exile) - January 8, 2015
see/buy on iTunes
GOA Chillout Zone Vol. 6 - WOA Records. Track #1: "Open My Eyes (Eccodek Remix)" - March 3, 2015
see on CD Baby

EXTENDED BIO, FESTIVALS, CONCERTS

Lenka Lichtenberg creates uniquely Canadian world music, channeling the rich Toronto soundscapes of Middle East, India and Brazil, and her own East European heritage. With a voice for the ages, this award-winning artist (2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards -Traditional Singer of the Year) melds innovative expressions of traditional song with her own contemporary compositions, combining folk, jazz and world into a unique celebration of her roots. She is a published composer, multilingual vocalist who sings primarily in Yiddish, English, Czech, and Hebrew, and bandleader with 7 solo CD releases and several collaborations on her resume. Lichtenberg was born and raised in Prague, in the former Czechoslovakia.. While probably best known today as a Yiddish singer, her background  did not include Yiddish as her Czech family was assimilated; Lenka's Jewish-born mother identifies as Catholic. Lenka learned to sing in Yiddish as an adult, and took Yiddish lessons. Lenka was a child star, recorded several Top 10 hits, performed in the musical theatre Semafor with Jiri Suchy, and in various television programs. She received her first formal vocal training at the Prague Music Conservatory, and continued her education at the University of British Columbia. She obtained her Master of Arts Honours degree in Ethnomusicology at York University in 1993; her thesis was on Yiddish music of the Holocaust. She has been teaching music at the Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto between 1997 and 2005.  Thesis:
Identity and history: constitutive factors in the Yiddish repertoire of Chana Erlich

She has now focused on work as a world music composer, performer and singer/songwriter, and on cantorial study and work. Her compositions were chosen for publication in 2013 and 2016 by Shalshelet International Festival of New Jewish Liturgy.  Lenka is in the midst of a diverse international concert career, traveling across continents as a solo artist, with a trio, her five-piece ensemble “Fray”, or with one of her collaborative projects. Most recently, Lenka toured in the U.S. with her band Fray in December, 2016, and had concerts in France, Germany, Czech Republic and Israel in summer and fall of 2017. 


RECORDINGS:
Her first CD Deep Inside (1999), produced by the Juno-award winner Ken Whiteley, received air-play on radio stations in a number of countries, including CBC Radio, which also carried her profile on the Global Village program in June, 2002 and again in June, 2004.

Her second CD Open The Gate (2003), produced by Levon Ichkhanian, is a collection of original songs in English and French.

PASHTES [simplicity] (2006) is based on a cycle of poems by the Toronto Yiddish poet Simcha Simchovitch. With music composed by Lenka and arranged by Brian Katz, Pashtes received critical acclaim and airplay in 23 countries.

Fray ("free") (2010), signified a new direction for Lenka's music. Seeking a very specific, global sound to reflect her personal beliefs and aesthetic preferences, she had enlisted the talents of a unique assemblage of musicians rooted in diverse musical traditions. From classical Indian, Egyptian, and Middle-Eastern music to North and South American styles, Fray is an adventurous melding of modern poetry - at first in Yiddish but now in several languages- with global musical influences. Blurring boundaries between styles and traditions, the album claimed a new space in contemporary world music as a unique, Yiddish-based genre. The Fray band has, meanwhile, moved on to shine as a prime example of an organic, naturally grown world fusion. 

Her Fray series of recordings (Embrace, 2013, follows the same concept) reflected at first her eagerness to see new Yiddish music embraced as a beautiful, meaningful and valid part of the global world music mosaic. While Lenka will always happily present an all-Yiddish program where it is in demand, her typical concert program now includes songs, mostly original though usually stemming from Eastern European traditions, in a number of languages. 

Sacred music
Time permitting, Lenka co-leads Shabbat and High Holy Days services at her spiritual home, Toronto's reconstructionist congregation Darchei Noam. As well, her interpretation of the sacred Kol Nidre has become an annual fixture at Oraynu, a congregation for secular, humanistic Judaism. One of Lenka's current projects is Songs for the Breathing Walls, recordings of traditional and new liturgy (including Lenka's own) in Czech and Moravian country synagogues. This project evolved into an attractive multi-media program, combining a concert with a slide presentation. Lenka has now performed this program in congregations and theatres in Miami, Prague, Cedar Rapids, Iowa,  and Toronto. Volume 2 of this collection is in its planning stages. 


TV

 - Director Jaroslav Hovorka's documentary film "Lenka Lichtenberg: Pisne pro ozivle steny" was broadcast December 28-31, 2011, on Czech national TV.

-   OziMenschlife TV, live interview with David Grossman, January 17, 2011. 

-   30-minute profile about Lenka's work in Jewish music aired in Canada in January and again in February, 2009 (OMNI TV1).

-   a documentary film based on Lenka's unlikely journey from a Czech child star with no knowledge of her background to an international Yiddish performer, Jewish music composer and cantor. Czech TV , "Cesty viry", October 15, 2006.
To view the documentary go to Cesty víry

-  A number of programs with the Theatre Semafor and as a soloist in the Czech Republic.


RADIO

SELECT RADIO AIRPLAY HIGHLIGHTS
 

  • !Earshot #19 Top International Album (December 2014)
    (charted on CKCU Ottawa, CFBX Kamloops, CKUA Edmonton, CSJW Calgary, CHLY Nanaimo, CKLU Thunder Bay)
  • Peaceful Radio (Netherlands)
  • SAOS (London, UK)
  • National Radio (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • CBC Radio One: Here & Now Song of The Week (January, 2014)
  • KAOS (Olympia, Washington) ~ #7 World Music Album (August, 2013)
  • KMUW Global Village (NPR-syndicated)
  • KALX (San Francisco)
  • KBOO (Portland, Oregon)
  • WHPK (Chicago)
  • KKUP (Denver)
  • CIUT (Toronto)
  • WMUA (Amherst, Massachusetts)
  • Solar Jazz World (Barcelona, Spain)


CBC Radio 1, Fresh Air: Karen Gordon interviews Lenka about her latest album "Embrace"  ~ April 28, 2013. Karen Gordon calls Embrace  "Absolutely exquisite."

Listen to it here

CBC Fresh Air: Mary Ito interviews Jewish-Canadian musician, Lenka Lichtenberg and Palestinian-Canadian musician, Roula Said to talk about their musical collaboration called "Bridges: Yiddish & Arabic Music in Dialogue". ~ April 2, 2011

Radio Proglas feature, Czech republic ~ February 2011

Radio Sefarad (program about Fray), Spain ~ October 2010

Mapamundi (Fray among Top 10 releases for 2010), Spain

Radio Vltava, Prague, Czech republic: Cajovna, interview with Peter Doruzka ~ September 20, 2010

Ethno Radio, Czech Republic, on playlist/rotation ~ September 2010

Featured on Australia's largest ethnic community Radio 3ZZZ - 92.3 FM ~ September 3, 2010

Radio Shalom Montreal: Program about Pashtes and Lenka's previous recordings. ~ September 4, 2007

Radio Sefarad, Madrid, Report about Pashtes - in Spanish by Jorge Rozemblum ~ July 6, 2007

Interview about Pashtes CD, CBC Radio 1, Arts Tonight ~ January 24, 2007

Profiles on Global Village, CBC Radio June 2002 ~ June 2004

Radio Centre-Ville, Montreal ~ August 2004

Airplay on CBC Radio (Roots & Wings, Round Up, Here and Now), world music programs on CHIN, CIUT,
CJRT (Absolutely Folk) in Toronto, CHRW in London, CKDJ in Ottawa, Vancouver Co-op Radio, as well as world music
programs around the world

Performance at the CBC Choral Concert ~ 1997

FESTIVALS:
 
Mutual Inspirations, Embassy of the Czech Republic, Washington, DC (2017)

Vocal Music Festival, Abu Gosh, Israel (2017)

Yiddish Summer Weimar, Germany (2017)

World Music Festival - JAZZ fm.91, Hugh's Room

Small World Music Festival - opening for Jorge Drexler

Mitte Europa  (trio), Chemnitz, Germany

Stratford Summer Works Music Festival, (Fray - quartet), Canada

Klezfiesta with "Fray", Buenos Aires, Argentina

ETNO Brno Festival, Czech Republic

Montreal International jewish Music Festival, Lullabies from Exile, Montreal

Jewish Music Ashkenaz Festival, Lullabies from Exile, Toronto

Festival MAZIF, Czech Republic

Small World Music Festival, Fray, Toronto

Jazz festival U reky ve Tremosne, Czech republic

Shalshelet International Festival of New Liturgy, Miami, U.S.A.

Festival Singera, Fray, Warsaw, Poland

Trebic Samajim Festival, with Yair Dalal, Czech republic

Winterfolk Festival, Fray, Toronto

Mitte Europa  (trio) - Ostrov, Czech Republic

World Fusion Music Festival, Fray, Sosnowiec, Poland

Boskovice Music Festival, Czech republic

Chutzpah! International Jewish Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver, Canada (Fray, Yair Dalal)

Etno-fest, Fray, Wroclaw, Poland

Folkove prazdniny festival, Czech republic

Brücke/Most-Stiftung’s Culture Festival, Dresden, Germany

Geneva Music Festival "La Fête de musique, Switzerland

San Francisco Jewish Music Festival, U.S.A.

Klezmore! Festival, Vienna, Austria

Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto, Canada

Klezfiesta with Christian Dawid, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mariposa Folk Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Washington Jewish Arts Festival with Sisters of Sheynville, Washington, D.C.

Festival of Yiddish poetry, concert with Daniel Hoffman, Daniel Galay, Kinneret Sagee, Tel Aviv, Israel

NXNE, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Distillery Jazz Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Yiddish Music Festival, Queens, with Zalmen Mlotek. New York, U.S.A.

Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Jewish Mosaic Festival, Toronto, Canada

International Yiddish Theater Festival, Montreal, Canada

Celebrate Toronto Street festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

North York Winter Carnival, Toronto, Canada

City Roots, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Mamapalooza, Toronto, Canada

Buffalo Music Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.A.

Leeds Performing Arts Festival, with Brian Katz, Leeds, U.K.

Winterfolk Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Mameloshen Festival, Sisters of Sheynville, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


MAJOR CONCERTS AND EVENTS:

Theatre Givatayim, Tel Aviv, Israel

DROM, New York

Nectar Lounge, Seattle

Ashkenaz, Berkeley, California

Genghis Cohen, Los Angeles

The International House, University of Chicago

Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The Washington, Iowa

Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto

Pearl Company, Hamilton, Ontario

Pride Week Interfaith Music Fair, Toronto

"Light of Understanding" concert, Prague, Czech Republic

Calgary Folk Club, Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominee Showcase, Calgary, Alberta

St. Lawrence Center for the Arts, Honeycomb Way Project, with Frank London and Yair Dalal, Toronto 
 
32e Congrès de Généalogie Juive, Paris, France

Hugh's Room, World Jazz for Haiti, Toronto

Teatro Alvear (Fray), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Lula Lounge, Bridges with Roula Said, Toronto

Jeruzalemska synagoga, Pisne pro zpivajici steny, with Yair Dalal, Christian Dawid, David Doruzka and
Tomas Reindl. Prague, Czech republic

Official Showcase - Folk Alliance International Conference, Toronto

Official Showcase - Bridges, OCFF, Toronto

Global Cafe Showcase - Fray, OCFF, Toronto

Free Times Cafe - Yiddish Chestnuts with Kinneret Sagee and Brian Katz, Toronto

Divadlo na pradle, with Yair Dalal, Prague, Czech republic

Al Green Theater, Bridges with Roula Said, Toronto

Cafe Babylone, (Fray), Quebec

Songs for the Breathing Walls - multi-media, Darchei Noam Congregation, Toronto

Historic Town Hall concert with Yair Dalal, Kosice, Slovakia

Official showcase - Ontario Council of Folk Festivals

La Sala Rossa (Fray), Montreal

Czech tour - Stara Synagoga, Plzen; Liberec Synagogue; Spanish Synagogue, Prague; Teplice; Prague, Zidovska radnice; Boskovice Festival.

The Spiro Ark, solo concert. London, U.K.

La Cappella, concert with Brian Katz, Bern, Switzerland

New Band! Di BAKL, at the Free Times Cafe, Toronto, Canada

Culture as Resistance"- Holocaust commemorative concert. With Mitch Smolkin and the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir. Miles Nadal JCC, Toronto, Canada

Etty Hillesum Centrum with Brian Katz and Kinneret Sage, Deventer, Holland

Jewish Book Fair with Simcha Simchovitch, Leah Posluns Theatre, Toronto, Canada

Solo concert, Hobart, Australia

Lenka led Bialik Hebrew Day School students in a musical exchange with Theodore Bikel, Toronto, Canada.

Klub Violino, solo and group concerts, Prague, Czech republic

Gladstone Hotel - New band! the Bohemian Village Band, with Eric Stein (mandolin, double bass), Alex Gajic (violin), percussionist Alan Hetherington. Songs in Czech, Moravian, Slovak, Russian, and Serbian

"Lider fun goldenem land": Celebration of Life & Work of Mordechai Gebirtig. Musical presentation and lecture. Beth Emeth, Toronto, Canada

Concert as a soloist with the Vancouver Folk Choir, Vancouver, Canada

Concert at the Czech centrum, Dresden, Germany

Rex Hotel and Jazz Bar, annual Latkapalooza with Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Prima Vista Music-Bar Restuarant, with Brian Katz, Baden, Switzerland

Concerts with Christian Dawid, clarinet, Teplice, and Prague, Zidovska radnice, Czech republic

Yom Kippur Services with Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, Kolel, Toronto, Canada

Rosh Hashana Services with Rabbi Tina Grimberg, Congregation Darchei Noam, Toronto, Canada

Yiddish Kavehoyz concerts, New York, U.S.A.

The Workmen's Circle, song workshop, New York, U.S.A.

Lenka led Bialik Hebrew Day School's Yiddish musical performance to celebrate the release of the CD "Lomir zingen in Yiddish", which she produced. Sponsored by Ashkenaz Festival for New Yiddish Culture.

Hugh's Room, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

Klub Hermes, with blues virtuoso guitarist Sue DaBaco, Prague, Czech republic

Brampton Folk Club concert series, Sisters of Sheynville, Brampton, Canada

Kol Nidre, Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, Toronto, Canada

Solo concert, Smolnice, Czech republic

Flying Club Folk Club, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada

solo musical program, Beit Leyvik, Tel Aviv, Israel

Leah Posluns Theatre, Sisters of Sheynville, Toronto, Canada
 

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