Jewish Music Series

The Jewish Music Series at Sonoma State is a presentation of the Department of Music and the Jewish Studies Program. Now in its 7th year, the series is widely acclaimed for its breadth, depth, and musical excellence as it poses the eternal question of “What makes music Jewish?”
The concerts, a component of the “Survey of Jewish Music” class, run about 90 minutes in length, are Free and open to the public, $5 parking fee applies.

For more information contact the Department of Music at 707-664-2324 or Jewish Studies Program Director Brian S. Wilson.

If you would like to donate to the Jewish Music Series, please go to our DONATION PAGE and write "For the Jewish Music Series" in the comments. Thank you for your consideration! 

Past Jewish Music Series performers 


  • Sharon Bernstein
  • Scott Gerber
  • Heather Klein
  • Jewlia Eisenberg
  • Jeanette Lewicki
  • Stephen Saxon
  • Anthony Russell
  • Sharon Goldman
  • Roslyn Barak
  • Richard Neil Kaplan
  • Jeremiah Lockwood
  • San Francisco Choral Artists

Chamber Musicians

  • The Bridge Players: Randy Weiss, violin; Michael Graham, cello; Marilyn Thompson, piano
  • Kristie Janczyk, piano
  • Roy Zajac, clarinet
  • Daniel Nebel, horn
  • Matthew Vincent, violin
  • Jill Brindel, cello
  • Jennifer Wilsey, percussion
  • Noam Lemish, piano and Amos Hoffman, oud/guitar 
  • Brian S. Wilson, conductor


  • Veretski Pass
  • The Big Galut(e)
  • Safra
  • Qadim Ensemble
  • Frank London, Glenn Hartman & Jake Marmer
  • Invisible Guy
  • The gonifs
  • Kugelplex
  • Rebbe Soul
  • Isle of Klezbos
  • Lion Ben Hur
  • Trio Sefardi


The logo of the Jewish Music Series combines musical notation with Hebrew letters in a modern representation of "L' Chayim!" (To Life!). Concept and graphic design by Jerry Wilson.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Kugelplex band holding instruments and standing together

Jewish Music Series: Kugelplex, Klezmer Band

Schroeder Hall

Kugelplex is California’s rockin’-est purveyor of Klezmer and old-world party music. Formed in 2001, the group plays wild, soulful dance music at weddings, concerts and festivals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and beyond. Kugelplex has performed with Joan Baez, the Oakland Symphony, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and Frank London (founder of the Klezmatics), among many other great artists.

Kugelplex Website

*All in-person performances are subject to change if necessary. Notice will be given if a change occurs.View Event Details

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Cellist, violinist, and pianist standing together with their instruments

Jewish Music Series: The Bridge Players, Classical

Schroeder Hall

Chamber music for violin, cello and piano by two Jewish composers: Felix Mendelssohn – grandson of Moses Mendelssohn, founder of Haskalah “the Jewish Enlightenment” – and Sonoma State Music Professor and Director of Jewish Studies, Brian S. Wilson. Selections will include one of Mendelssohn’s Piano Trios; Wilson’s “Alchunun” for Piano Trio; and “Jumping in the Bay” for solo violin.

Randall Weiss, violin

Victoria Erlich, cello

Marilyn Thompson, piano

The Bridge Players include Randall Weiss and Leslie Ludena (violins), Natalia Vershilova (viola), Victoria Ehrlich (cello), and Marilyn Thompson...View Event Details

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Harriet Bennish Headshot

Jewish Music Series: Tears Joy and Hope, Yiddish Songs of the Jewish Ghetto

Schroeder Hall

Harriet Bennish, voice with cello and accordion

During a time when millions of Jews were facing death, music found a way into their lives. Jews composed music as they lived, fought and died in the ghettos across Europe. “Tears, Joy and Hope: Yiddish Songs Written in the Jewish Ghetto” were written by Jewish poets and composers who perished in the Holocaust. Everyday life in the ghetto is revealed through the rich, colorful and complex language of Yiddish. A PowerPoint presentation of historical photos and translations for each song will be projected onto a screen, as a professional...View Event Details

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Group Photo of Lion Ben Hur with colorful mural in background

Jewish Music Series: Lior Ben Hur, Contemporary Jewish World Music

Schroeder Hall

Born in Jerusalem, Israel with Greek and Iraqi roots, Lior Ben-Hur has traveled to over a dozen countries where he spent time learning, performing and sharing experiences with musicians and artists around the globe. Since 2004, Lior has made his home in San Francisco, CA. He formed his band in 2011, which in 2012 released an eclectic World music album under the name Sol Tevél. The album sheds new light with contemporary interpretations of old Jewish texts, ideals and mysticism.

Along with his 8-piece band, Lior Ben-Hur continues to focus on his passion for Reggae music, which...View Event Details

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Veretski Pass trio headshot

Jewish Music Series: Veretski Pass, Klezmer String Trio

Schroeder Hall

Klezmer String Trio

Cookie Segelstein, violin

Stuart Brotman, bass and cello

Joshua Horowitz, accordion and cimbalom

Veretski Pass is truly the “house band” of the Jewish Music Series, having shared their artistry with us each year since 2015. Taking its name from the mountain pass through which Magyar tribes crossed into the Carpathian Basin to settle what later became the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. The music of Veretski Pass can...View Event Details

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Three singers on stage with a piano in the background

Jewish Music Series: Bernstein Songs

Schroeder Hall

SSU Voice Students Justin Montigne, voice faculty

Voice majors from Sonoma State will present a concert of the vocal music of the late Leonard Bernstein, composer of such Broadway blockbusters as On The Town and West Side Story and Laureate Conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1943-1990. Selections will include music from Bernstein’s Musical Theatre and Classical songs.

Vocal Repertory Class is delighted to appear on the Jewish Music Series singing selections from the vocal music of the great Leonard Bernstein. The singers will perform songs, duets, and scenes from Bernstein’s incredibly varied...View Event Details