2016 LINE UP


Known for blending traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop sounds, Matisyahu is most recognizable for being an orthodox Jew and writing a number of songs based on his faith and beliefs. Since 2004, he has released four studio albums as well as one live album, two remix CDs and one DVD featuring a live concert. Through his career, Matisyahu has teamed up with some of the biggest names in reggae production including Bill Laswell and duo Sly & Robbie. 

Casey Abrams          Jaffa Road

ShirLaLa                    Kosha Dillz
                     Craig Parks

Bimah Beats             Kavannah

Hilly Rubin


Peter Yarrow

Casey Abrams

24-year-old singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and American Idol finalist Casey Abrams’ story is that of a born natural.  The walls of Casey’s childhood home resonated with, “the music of the 1950s and ‘60s,” he states. Even then, he was “hearing those blues riffs and little things that make a song what it is.” The incredible exposure to the entire range of timeless popular music had an intense influence on Casey’s development. He waxes rhapsodically about jazz icons like Oscar Peterson and Thelonious Monk and “the one song that really changed me: Cannonball Adderley’s version of ‘Autumn Leaves,’ Miles plays on it.”

Shir Energy Music Fest is an affiliate of Temple Solel

Copyright © Temple Solel. All rights reserved.

Billy Jonas

Singer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Chicago, Billy has lived in Asheville for 21 years. His first ensemble, the Oberlin Big Bang Theory, was the testing ground for his brand of recyclable, homemade instruments, and neo-tribal hootenanny-ism; Billy honed his songwriting and singing skills in the duo The Billys in the '90s, and subsequently has performed both solo and with The Billy Jonas Band.

Taylor Williamson

Hi I’m Taylor. I’m a comedian and the recent SECOND PLACE winner of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT!
I started performing stand-up comedy while I was a senior in high school in Del Mar, California. I now live in Los Angeles and travel the globe (if you don’t count countries other than America and Canada) telling jokes. I’ve performed at the prestigious JUST FOR LAUGHS COMEDY FESTIVAL in Montreal, Canada and I was the youngest comedian to ever perform on THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON. I’ve also appeared on MTV’s TRL, COMEDY CENTRAL’S LIVE AT GOTHAM, and I was a semi-finalist on the final season of NBC's LAST COMIC STANDING.

Hausman Quartet with

Yale Strom

Hailed as “an accomplished young foursome with a luscious sound and an experimental bent”, the Hausmann Quartet has become known for its powerful, dynamic performances and commitment to community engagement.  The Hausmann Quartet are violinists Isaac Allen and Bram Goldstein, violist Angela Choong and cellist Alex Greenbaum.

Yale Strom is most famous for his work with Klezmer and Roma music.  An internationally acclaimed film director, composer, photographer, playwright, and musician, he has performed with his band Hot Pastrami in venues around the world. 

The Maccabeats are one of the world’s premier a cappella singing groups.

Often travelling with little more than the shirts on their backs and the ties on their necks, the Maccabeats have entertained and inspired hundreds of audiences worldwide, from Alabama to (New) Zealand and everywhere in between. Using nothing more than the unadulterated human voice, a clean-cut presentation, and a little Jewish humor, this unique group of singers is able to connect with fans of all backgrounds and ages.
A cappella, which comes from the Latin for “instruments are too expensive,” is a style of music that has recently enjoyed an explosion in popularity and variety, and the Maccabeats have taken advantage of many of today’s cutting-edge techniques, technologies, and technicians in producing their recordings.  A cappella also holds a cherished place in the Jewish tradition, having been extensively employed in both the synagogue and the home over the millennia due to an ancient prohibition against playing instruments on Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath. Many of the Maccabeats got their musical starts at the Shabbat tables and shuls, places where they still perform to this day. Additionally, many Jews observe  two annual periods of reduced joy – sefirat ha’omer and bein ha’metzarim – during which they refrain from listening to any instrumental music. To date, the Maccabeats have released several singles and three full-length albums, all of which have been met with critical success.

Jerron Paxton

"BLIND BOY" PAXTON: Although only in his 20s, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920's and making them wish they could stay there for good. Paxton may be one of the greatest multi-instrumentalists that you have not heard of. Yet. This young musician sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling.

Shabbat Unplugged
Hilly Rubin
Craig Parks
Bimah Beats