Four women, one vision

The Hot Mamas vocal group serves up sophisticated songs with a sizzle.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
February 29, 2012 21:40
4 minute read.
The Hot Mamas

The Hot Mamas_300. (photo credit: Meir Zavroski)

 
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Veteran vocalists Adina Feldman, Sandy Cash and Alona Cole are joining forces in a new band – The Hot Mamas – that taps into years of professional stage experience and several lifetimes’ worth of womanly wisdom to create a scintillating stage show. The Hot Mamas will be performing at the Jerusalem AACI on March 13 and at the Netanya AACI on March 15.

Together with musical director and internationally acclaimed jazz pianist Judy Lewis, The Hot Mamas have created a sassy, in-your-face cabaret that celebrates the trials, triumphs and unlimited possibilities of grown-up women who refuse to be Photoshopped (though they’ll go shopping any time!).

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The Hot Mamas began when Adina Feldman – a New York-trained singer, dancer, actress and choreographer – began looking for partners for her latest project – a “girl group” that would celebrate the feminine spirit, while appealing to full-grown women. Thus The Hot Mamas was born.

The first “Mama” she brought on board was Sandy Cash, a singer-songwriter and folksinger with a professional background in theater and opera. Next came Judy Lewis, a classically trained pianist who took a mid-life detour, establishing a second career fronting an internationally touring jazz band, as well as a record label. The Mamas were complete when Alona Cole came on the scene. A versatile vocal stylist who won a recording contract with Sony records during an eight-year sojourn in Spain, Cole was teaching private voice students and doing the occasional role in musicals when The Hot Mamas changed her life.

Today, The Hot Mamas are touring with a musical cabaret. Equally at home with Andrews Sisters harmonies, Peggy Lee sizzlers and the manic, theatrical style that made Barbara Streisand everyone’s favorite Funny Girl, The Hot Mamas serve up a show that’s fun, filling and, well, phenomenal.

According to Women’s World Magazine, Feldman “has a warm, deep voice with an impressive ability on the high notes. She succeeds in creating a professional show that is pitch-perfect for general audiences.”

A singer with a three-and-a-half octave vocal range, Feldman has performed from Carnegie Hall to the Israel Festival and has created three successful onewoman shows. Professional training in acting and dance give this native New Yorker’s performances the polish and punch that have won her exposure on American and Israeli television, as well as leading roles in dozens of musicals. She is a choreographer and vocal coach who has served as a faculty member at the Hebrew University and the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. Currently, she teaches song presentation at Tel Aviv’s Hed College of Music. Adding songwriting to her list of accomplishments, in 2009 she released a disc of original songs entitled Here You Are.


In the words of Bob McKenzie of the Canadian Soundbytes, Sandy Cash has “the power and broad interpretive style of a Bette Midler or Barbra Streisand. She has a very special gift in that, more than a singer, she is an excellent storyteller.”

The American-born performer is a singer-comedienne who has been delighting audiences in Israel and abroad for mire than two decades. Raised on a steady diet of Broadway soundtracks and folk music in her native Detroit, Cash went on to develop a uniquely theatrical performance style. A veteran of dozens of plays and musicals, she has performed with the Israeli Opera and the Cameri Theater. An award-winning songwriter, she has released three solo albums, featuring original songs that touch on everything from magic mirrors to historical heroes, while laying out the challenges of childhood and motherhood – and the journey between them – with warmth, humor and intelligence.

Of Alona Cole, the Professional Women’s Theater’s Judy Clarke says, “She is an incredibly versatile singer whose repertoire runs from opera to pop to jazz.”

A native of the US, Cole has come a long way – both geographically and spiritually – since singing in her church choir as a child. After cutting her teeth on college operetta, the Virginian lived in Europe for eight years, where she provided the voice behind one of the most popular TV commercials in Spain. Her Spanish exposure led to a recording contract with Sony Records, with which she released a pop album featuring a single that reached Spain’s top 10. At the same time, her exposure to the Jewish community in Spain was leading her in a different direction – one that pointed toward Israel. Since 2001, she has been living in Gush Etzion, where she teaches voice privately. Cole appeared in the world premiere of Arsenic, the Musical and is currently rehearsing for a Jerusalem production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.

BBC Magazine critic Chris Parker wrote of Judy Lewis, “She has established herself as a star attraction on the international jazz circuit.”

Lewis’s years of classical training and performance blend with her love of jazz and popular music to create a piano style that makes her one hot mama. The Wisconsin native – who debuted with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17 – went on to establish the first high school Jazz Department in Israel. Today, she teaches at the Rubin Academy of Music, the Hebrew University and Musrara College of Music and Media. As a performer, she has headlined such international festivals as The Calcutta International Jazz Festival, the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival (Canada) and the Prague Solo Piano Jazz Festival. To date, she has released five albums under her own label, Visionary Insomniac Records.

The Hot Mamas will perform in Jerusalem on March 13 at 8 p.m. at AACI, 37 Pierre Koenig/2 Poalei Tzedek (02) 566-1181; and in Netanya on March 15 at 8 p.m. at AACI, 28 Shmuel Hanatziv (09) 833-0950.

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