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Mama Doni Band

How would you describe your music?

"""Funky Music With a Jewish Twist for Everyone""

Quirky, funny, and always unpredictable, our music brings a fun new twist to family music, venturing through dance beats, Latin pop, ""Jewgrass"" hoe-downs, and dazzling disco ditties to making Yiddish expressions and Jewish culture cooler than ever.

The Mama Doni Band was the winner of the Simcha Award for "Inspiring Joy Through Music,” at the International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, Holland and was invited back last year to conduct a workshop.

The band embarked on their first national tour in the fall of 2009, with stops in Los Angeles, Rochester, Toledo, Houston, Kansas City, Worcester, Cherry Hill, Albany, Stamford, and Washington, DC. In 2010 they are playing venues in Cincinnati, Hartford, Hoboken, Virginia, Long Island, Michigan, and New Orleans.

Our music is unique and is all about celebrating Jewish culture in a way everyone can relate to.



What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

"I am the MAMA of my business. My name is Mama Doni, and that is exactly what I do. I am the boss, the decision maker, the creative director, the artist, the grapahic designer, the feeder, the marketing director, one who writs the checks. I have a wonderful team of people who works with me, but ultimately I am running this business wearing many different hats.

I love collaborating with my band to create the music, with my creative director to create the album/website designs, the booking agent to coordinate the programs, the publicist to generate press, but at the end of the day I am living, breathing, and loving this project in and out. "

Describe your gear.

"My first 4 albums were recorded either:

1. In my kitchen 2. In my basement 3. In a home studio in Brooklyn 4. In a home studio in Jersey City

Recognized in The New York Times, LA Times, The Jewish Daily Forward, New York Post, The Star-Ledger, The Record, Time Out New York Kids, New Jersey Jewish News, The Jewish Week, Jewish Woman International Magazine, and more....Performed over 175 concerts since May 2008."

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"I feel that being a woman and a mother has changed my whole life, and made the musician in me emerge. I think that giving birth to my babies empowered me to live my best and truest self. I feel that as a woman I understand audiences and people in a special way.

I do feel that as a performer it is hard to be a mother and travel and this is something I think about all of the time. I do not go on month long tours, I typically go away for one show or two, but having 2 small children, and a BIG dream and passion can be quite painful and confusing. I try each day to see who needs me and give to that person. Sometimes it's my daughter, sometimes, my son or my husband, my band, my booking agent, my parents, sister, and once in a while..... it's ME!"

Related Themes: Old School vs. New School

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

"I feel like I am in the middle generation right now. There are the young hipsters in their 20's, and I am not that anymore, I am a mother...

There are women who have been performing for years and years with established careers, and I am not that either...

I am in my mid 30's, a mother of two children, who after having had a different career before children, finally found my VOICE as a young mother. I feel honored to be part of the world of female musicians and know I can learn from everyone...I also know that I couldn't have done this in my 20's, I didn't know who I was then, and I certainly wasn't going to be singing this kind of music then....My music is not religious like traditional Jewish music, but it is also not totally secular because it is Jewish-themed, so often I feel like I don't fit in to any genre. If I was a younger woman I couldn't have handled this.

I think I needed every experience and moment of my life to bring me to this music and this spot. I needed every moment to give me the courage to put myself out there in this way, and to believe in my voice. I needed every moment to have the humility to stay grounded and humble during big successes and hold on during tough moments.


Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"I have been following my heart and my instincts along the way. Anyone who I speak to has told me to keep doing what I am doing.

For anyone starting out I would say: Even if you think nobody cares, or if you feel like you are all alone, if it feels right deep down inside, if you feel like this music is your truth, then keep doing it!!!


Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

The instrument I play is...ME! I have always been immersed in the arts, music, and Jewish life, and when this music came to me I knew this was what I was meant to do. I felt like there was nobody sharing Jewish culture in a light and fun cool way through music like this, and it became my passion to do it. I had an immediate heart warming response from kids, families, seniors, mothers, everywhere and I know feel that it is my life's work. This music is my heart and soul and I am so grateful to be able to create it and share it with people. I feel like it is my job to share Jewish culture with all audiences so everyone can get a little flavor of the richness of Jewish culture - weather you are reform, conservative, orthodox, reconstructionist, Half-Jewish, Not Jewish, married to a Jew, or "Jew-ish", this music will make you feel just a little Jewish! ;-)))

Related Themes: The First Time