drums in summer camp. Now you can find Eli
flying across the country and performing to audiences all over the
Such has been the astronomical rise to fame of Eli Gerstner. Barely
out of his teens and only two years after releasing his debut album.
Eli is an indisputable Jewish music celebrity. Hs answering machine
is overflowing with messages, his calendar is overbooked with chasunahs
and concerts and people rush over to collect his autograph wherever
But fame hasn't gotten to Eli's head. In fact his feet are planted
on the ground more firmly than ever before. As he continues to pursue
a career in the field of Jewish music, he keeps his finger placed
directly on the pulse of the listening public. And he has a keen
and unerring perception of delivering the music that people want
That's why "Hinei," Eli's first album, was such a tremendous
success. It actually sold out twice as fast as its producers had
originally calculated. The popularity of "Hinei" is largely
due to the fact that its songs and music reflect the tastes of the
Jewish music lovers in our community. Yet Eli's young and refreshing
style and his lively and energetic sound appeals to every segment
of the musical spectrum and are enjoyed unanimously across the board.
Since the release of "Hinei," a lot has happened in Eli's
life. He recently built his own recording studio. And, after voice
lessons from Cantor Hersh Einhorn, the celebrated trainer, he sounds
more confident and mature than ever. Eli has also made music his
full-time occupation. After learning with his chavrusa each morning,
Eli can be found in the recording studio, where his formidable talents
are bursting forth.
The overwhelming success of "Heini" has given Eli tremendous
self-confidence and allows him to maintain firm control on every
aspect of his music. He is now at the threshold of releasing "Yosis",
his second album, which he personally produced, composed and arranged
together with Yisroel Lamm. Of course he also sings. It takes lots
of courage and self-assurance to be the singular talent behind a
recording album. But Eli prefers to see it as a challenge, and he
is meeting that challenge with grace and aplomb.
Composing comes naturally to Eli. Eli has over 300 songs in his
collection already. Of those, he has chosen 10 of the best for his
new album. "Yosis" promises to sweep its listeners off
their feet, with a refreshing and tantalizing new sound that's a
little bit hip, a little bit daring and very, very entertaining.
But don't take our word for it. Just ask the Russian Symphony Orchestra
players who accompanied Eli on this project. These professional
players have been in the business for years. So you might think
that they'd be a little miffed at working under the direction of
an arranger and conductor who's half their age. Yet when they followed
Eli's compositions, they referred to him with the honorable title
"Maestro"! And when the songs were finally recorded, they
congratulated him and told him they loved the sound.
"Bo'ee B'sholom" is the quintessential Eli. The music
is high-tech, youthful, and spirited. The incessant drumbeat is
irresistible. Eli calls it "the song" on this album, perfectly
suited for our modern sensibilities and tastes.
Eli's songs sometimes enjoy popularity before they're even released.
"Mi Adir" is a powerful melody that Eli sometimes sings
at chassunahs, and it invariably receives a tremendous response.
Before you know it everyone's singing along with him. The song is
now being requested regularly at weddings and is a bona fide hit
before it's even officially on this recording.
Consider the fact that "Mi Adir," "Bo'ee B'sholom,"
and "Yosis" (written by Yossi Neuman) are some of the
songs on this album, and you can't help but notice that Eli has
chasunahs very much on his mind. "These are the songs that
people want to hear," he explains. "There's a special
energy and enthusiasm to wedding music that energizes people and
brings them joy."
As an Ambassador of Song, Eli recognizes his responsibility to
the community at large. He entertains on behalf of Chai Lifeline
and other similar organizations. "The most rewarding part of
being an entertainer," Eli confides, "is the moment when
you sing for a child in a hospital room and bring a genuine smile
to his face." Invariable the children and their parents are
very grateful to Eli for momentarily easing their pain and offering
them chizuk through music.
Eli once got a call from a young boy who wanted to attend a concert,
but the boy was too weak to come to the theater. So Eli went to
his hospital room instead. Together with a keyboard player, Eli
sang for him all night long. Eli was so moved by the experience
that he composed "Refoaynu," in honor of this brave young
boy who refused to allow his tragic circumstances prevent him from
enjoying his love of Jewish music.
There's a lot more happening in Eli Gerstner's life than meets
the eye. Aside from "Yosis," he is also involved in producing
an a cappella album in conjunction with Yisroel Lamm. Why a cappella?
"It's something I always wanted to do," Eli explains.
"When the vocalists sing in beautiful harmony without instrumentation,
they can't hide behind the music. Their singing has to be perfect."
Typical Eli. Always daring to reach out and tackle the great challenges
in the field.
As if all this weren't enough for anyone to chew on, Eli has still
another major musical project in the works. He is in the midst of
producing "The Chevra," a very energetic and leibedik
album featuring four talented young voices. Eli relishes the special
harmonies and unique sounds that define a group album. And he enjoys
the special thrill of producing and arranging this recording at
his own EG Studios. "I get a different perspective of the music,"
he points out, "From the other side of the desk."
As a result of all this activity, Eli is certainly getting a lot
of attention from the musical world. He's being noticed by the biggest
entertainers in the industry and is being heralded as a "true
talent" by some of the most respected names in Jewish music.
He's also being inundated by calls and requests from amateur vocalists
across the community. Eli doesn't mind giving them his attention.
"Some of the very best choirs," he points out, "are
made up of regular guys who happen to have lots of untapped talent,"
Like Eli, they may have been amusing their campers somewhere in
the Catskills or strumming a guitar late at night in a dorm. But
it's finally time for them to share their talents with the rest
of the world.
It's clear that Eli Gerstner is a force to be reckoned with in
Jewish music. And his refreshing sound will soon become part of
our collective musical conscience. He is about to release a succession
of distinctive albums and is already among the most popular entertainers
on the simcha and concert scene. Quite an accomplishment for someone
who barely had time to rise among the ranks. So the next time you
come across the name "Eli Gerstner", bear in mind: It's
a name you'll be hearing over and over again for a long time to