Yosef Karduner (Hebrew: יוסף קרדונר, born 1969) is an Israeli Hasidic singer, songwriter, and composer. His biggest hit,[1] Shir LaMaalot (Psalm 121), appeared on his debut album, Road Marks (2000).

Yosef Karduner
יוסף קרדונר
Karduner performing at a kumzits (Jewish musical gathering) in Uman, Ukraine, 2013
Background information
Birth nameGilad Kardunos
Born1969 (age 53–54)
Petah Tikva, Israel
GenresContemporary Jewish religious music
Years active2000–present

Biography Edit

Born Gilad Kardunos, he was raised in a traditionalist Jewish family[2] in Petah Tikva, Israel. As a youth, he excelled in swimming and football. He placed second in a national competition in the 50-meter breaststroke, and competed with the Po'el Petah Tikva football team until he suffered a sprain to his ankle.[1][2][3]

In his early teens he studied music and in particular the bass guitar.[1][2] In 1987, at the age of 18, he was conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces where he played in a military musical troupe run by the Northern Command.[3]

Following his army service Karduner formed his own rock band and was the backup guitarist for the Israeli singer Uzi Hitman.[3] When Karduner was 24, he was introduced to the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and the Breslover Hasidim.[4] After discussions with Hitman and his father, who was from a Hasidic Lubavitcher family, Karduner suspended his career and began studying in a yeshiva run by the Breslover Hasidim for Jews who had turned to Orthodox Judaism ("baalei teshuva").[2][3] In the mid-1990s, as he became more religious, he changed his name from Gilad Kardunos to Yosef Karduner.[5]

During one session of secluded prayer ("hitbodedut"), he created the tune for Shir LaMaalot ("Song to the Ascents"—Psalm 121), and one of his teachers urged him to resume his music career, this time in a vein related to Judaism.[3] Shir LaMaalot became a hit in the Israeli religious world, inspiring other religious songwriters such as Aharon Razel to begin composing songs with lyrics from the Hebrew Bible.[5] Shir LaMaalot has been covered by numerous Israeli artists, including Sheva.[6]

Although he has released 11 albums, Karduner's work has not reached a wide audience due to his aversion to public relations and advertising.[7] He rarely gives interviews.[3] His albums are distributed in the US and he has conducted several live concert tours in New York and Chicago,[8][9] including annual appearances in Crown Heights, Brooklyn from 2011 to 2019 with Aryeh Kunstler.[10]

Karduner also joins Moshe Weinberger, rabbi of Congregation Aish Kodesh at the annual Hilula of Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, the rebbe of Piacezna. At those annual events, Weinberger preaches while Karduner performs.[11] He and his wife, Vered,[3] have seven children[2] and reside in Beit Shemesh, Israel.[1]

Musical style Edit

The teachings of Nachman of Breslov are a major source for Karduner's musical inspiration.[4] Karduner's early albums were described as a "refreshing breeze on the Hasidic music scene".[5] His melodies are simple and repetitive.[5] His music also reflects soft rock, rock 'n' roll, jazz, country music, pop and Latin music.[5]

Karduner often sets the words of the Breslover rebbe Nachman of Breslov's teachings to music, as well as composing songs based on biblical and liturgical passages.[5] He is sometimes called "The Nightingale of Breslov".[5][12] He has also been referred to as The "Sweet Singer of Breslov".[4]

Discography Edit

Karduner has released the following albums:[13]

  • Sha'ah Achat (One Moment) (2020)
  • Mesugal L'Teshuva (Capable of Repentance) (2016)
  • Menorah HaZahav (The Golden Menorah) (2013)
  • Dibur Pashut (Simple Talk) (2012)
  • Kisufim L'Shabbat (Yearning for Shabbat) (2010)
  • Kumzits: Live in New York (2010)
  • Mikdash Melech (Sanctuary of the King) (2008)
  • Breslever Melave Malka (2006)
  • Bakesh Avdecha (Your Servant Asked) (2005)
  • Osef L'yedidi (2003)
  • Bechirah (Choice) (2003)
  • Achat Sha'alti (I Asked One Thing) (2003)
  • Mekor Chachmah (Source of Wisdom) (2002)
  • Simanim Baderech (Road Marks) and Kol HaOlam (The Whole World) (2000, double album)

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d Eller, Sandy (19 October 2007). "New York – VIN Exclusive Video Interview With Israeli Breslov Hit Singer Yosef Karduner". Vosizneias. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cohen, Dudu (17 January 2013). "יוסף קרדונר – מוסיף ועולה" [Yosef Karduner – Adding Up] (in Hebrew). Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Rotem, Tal (28 July 2008). "Breslev's Sweet Singer". breslev.co.il. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Peled, Yair; Almog, Oz (2 March 2009). "פרק 25: מוסיקת נשמה יהודית ניאו-חסידית בחברה הדתית-לאומית" [Chapter 25: New Jewish Soul Music by National-Religious Groups] (in Hebrew). Shmuel Naaman Institute. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  5. ^ "קרדונר מעדיף שיר מורכב – ודיבור פשוט" [Karduner Prefers a Complex Song – Simple Talk]. Ynetnews (in Hebrew). 30 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  6. ^ Lax, Ofra (12 May 2011). "יוסף קרדונר, יוצר מלחין וזמר בעקבות דיסק חדש 'קומזיץ'" [Yosef Karduner, Composer and Singer, On His New Disc, 'Kumzitz'] (in Hebrew). Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Yosef Karduner US Tour Dates!". The Jewish Insights. 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Yosef Karduner US Tour Dates". The Jewish Insights. 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  9. ^ "9th Annual Yosef Karduner Concert in Crown Heights". The Jewish Insights. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Hilula". Congregation Aish Kodesh. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  11. ^ "יוסף קרדונר" [Yosef Karduner] (in Hebrew). BeChadrei Charedim. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Yosef Karduner". Israel Music. 2015.

External links Edit