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Coolooloosh Brings Celebration And Joy To Joe's Pub
Coolooloosh seamlessly ties all of their roots and influences together to form an entirely new type of music
By Christopher Chhin
(more articles from this author)
2009-07-30
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"Coolooloosh" is a Hebrew word that means 'celebration and joy,' a fitting description of the band by the same name. Coolooloosh is all about the energy they share with their audience, and share they did during their July 23rd gig at New York's Joe's Pub presented by hip music promoter Fiona Bloom.

Coolooloosh's story starts in 2003 when five talented musicians from Jerusalem and Baltimore conspired to form a unique and dynamic musical force. The band brings together a diverse group of individuals, each with very different music styles: Rebel Sun (MC) brings a distinctive hip hop voice, Yuval Gerstein (guitar and vocals) plays riffs infused with Middle Eastern flavor, Ori Winokur (bass and vocals) mixes Jewish music into his playing, Yogev Shitrit (drums) adds elements of trance and club music to the beat, and Arik Levy (saxophones) includes Eastern European influences in his jazz. This blend of personalities and genres produces amazing results, bringing us through a timewarp as they merge hip hop, rap, jazz, soul, and funk. Coolooloosh seamlessly ties all of their roots and influences together to form an entirely new type of music. "Hip hop comes from Jazz," Rebel shared with me backstage after the performance.

This show drove home another key strength of the band: they own the stage. As soon as they started performing, the audience was transfixed - no more words, no more chatting, just sitting with their drinks, listening and enjoying what the band's energy and sound. The night ended with several audience members on their feet as they danced to Coolooloosh's infectious rhythms.

Another treat was soul music legend, the great Bunny Sigler, who joined the band for several songs and quickly established how he earned the nickname "Mr. Emotion" in the early 70s. A pop and R&B songwriter and record producer who collaborated extensively with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Sigler has worked with many artists associated with the Philadelphia music scene, including The Roots, Barbara Mason, Billy Paul, Stephanie Mills and more.

What's in store for Coolooloosh in the future? The band perhaps says it best themselves: "We want to do the same thing, but bring it to the next level". We can only hope that they will succeed in advancing their music and career to that 'next level' and hopefully play more shows in New York and across the country.


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