By Tammy Mark
Singer Eli Levin made a splash last week with the release of his debut album. The 36-year-old singer celebrated his birthday and his new album, Hear My Prayer, at a beautiful outdoor waterfront venue, lighting up the night with a playlist of his latest melodies and a captivating surprise duet with superstar singer Gad Elbaz.
Levin, who’s known for his “hartzig” style of Jewish music, typically performs cover songs of his favorite fellow singers such as Ishai Ribo and Amir Dadon. Levin mesmerizes audiences at events around the world alongside bandmates Natan Harari, Sam Lowinger, and Pesach Nestlebaum. Levin’s yeshivish background and his contemporary stylings contribute to his broad appeal, and his mellow vibe has been an especially perfect fit for the small gatherings in the age of COVID.
The new album includes two original songs as well as his much loved covers. “Yehi Ratzon” and the title song “Hear My Prayer” are soul stirring prayer-like songs that were born out of personal and communal tragedy. Levin calls out to G-d while reflecting on the echoes of the Holocaust and the loss of two of his brothers, one who died with his fiancé in a tragic car crash in Inwood in 2018.
The atmosphere was festive yet relatively low-key as guests gathered outside at one of the first live events since the pandemic. Producer Victoria Zirkiev provided masks from her ongoing lashon ha’ra campaign, while enlisting some of the most creative names in the Jewish entertainment industry to celebrate Levin, including Elbaz and comedian Modi. The event team included hosts Charles Gros, Yehuda Jaffe, Censible Marketing, Events 360, Kosher Guru, and an impressive roundup of top-notch purveyors who collaborated to make the musical evening even more memorable.