It was seven years ago when prototype Jewish jam band Hamakor first took the stage, performing at a very fitting location – Mevo Modi’im, the spiritual home of the late rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Today, the group has two albums to its credit, with a third in the works, and continues to play shows regularly.
Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Nachman Solomon comes from a family of musicians, also with an ear to combining Jewish roots and rocking music. His brother Yehuda is one of the original members of Moshav Band; another sibling, Noah, is guitarist and singer of Soulfarm; and a third, Yosef, is bassist and vocalist for Hamakor. The other members that make up the powerful group are lead guitarist and vocalist Ben Katz, drummer Chemy Soibelman and honorary ex-member Mendy Portnoy.
Nachman Solomon is the music director at Mike’s Place in Jerusalem and, as a result, Hamakor is a regular feature attraction. The next performance is scheduled for Israel Independence Day, May 5.
Having grown up in a musical home, pursuing that career was an obvious decision for the 27-year-old Solomon.
“After high school, I was doing different jobs when I realized that the only thing that kept me happy was music,” he says.
Solomon’s influences of classic rock, folk and blues are reflected in the songs he writes in English and Hebrew.
“Most of the songs are about love and my relationship with Judaism. English is my mother tongue, but I live in Israel and I want to reach out to an Israeli crowd,” he explains.
Hamakor’s success has spread through the band’s tours across the US, Europe and Canada, including a headlining show at the annual Jewzapalooza festival in New York in 2007 before an audience of 3,000.
The band’s upcoming album Lift Me Up is set for release this summer and will feature a new single of the same title.