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Join us for Todd Kessler Presents: Songwriters in the Round at Hey Nonny! This monthly event features a different group of singer-songwriters for each performance. Join the circle and get an up close and personal musical experience.
November will feature Chicago Farmer, Leah Shoshanah and Brandon Reisdorf:
Leah Shoshanah is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer, bandleader and cantorial soloist. She has released two albums, which draw from folk and jazz, and now she’s experimenting with more “electric” styles. As of Spring 2019, she’s spent the past six months exploring 70s funk, indie-pop and come round again to the unpolished sound of her acoustic guitar. She looks forward to excavating the sounds that authentically represent her experience being alive in these exhilarating and terrifying times. In the meantime, her newest single, Brave Woman, will be released on May 24, 2019.
Leah performs both solo and with bands. Sometimes she tours the US, but enjoys being part of a musical community in her hometown of Chicago. Her debut album, “A Child Like This” (2017), features an ensemble of nine musicians, her second release, “Stillness” (2018), is an intimate collection of solo Jazz and Brazilian guitar arrangements. Leah has played to rooms big and small, solo and with bands, from historic Chicago stages (Old Town School, the Green Mill, PianoForte Chicago) to synagogues, church basements, yoga studios and other grassroots community spaces.
As a Cantorial Soloist, Leah sings, plays guitar and writes original adaptations of Jewish prayer and spiritual texts. She enjoys digging through vintage songbooks in library basements and transcribing Youtube recordings of old Sephardic melodies. Leah is the resident Cantorial Soloist for Tzedek Chicago. She also works freelance with communities around the Chicagoland area.
As a violinist, guitarist, composer, songwriter, and educator, Brandon is at home with numerous musical genres and styles. Brandon picked up the violin in 1999, and the guitar a year later. Playing in various ensembles and orchestras growing up exposed him to a wide variety of music, which has provided opportunities to perform hundreds of concerts across the United States and Europe.
In college, Brandon studied composition with Dr. Michael Schelle and Dr. Frank Felice. He also had the opportunity to work with James Aikman, Christopher Young, Akira Kobayashi, and Rocky Reuter. During this time, Brandon participated in the Fingerlakes Chamber Music Festival in upstate New York, where his music was performed annually. Brandon graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN in 2012 with a dual-degree in Music Composition & Philosophy.
Since, Brandon has turned his focus toward improvised music and songwriting—immersing himself in fiddling, bluegrass, folk music, country (and even a bit of jazz). He has brought these skills to countless venues throughout the Midwest (and beyond) with a diverse range of ensembles and performance groups.
In recent years, he has increasingly focused on songwriting, with dozens of songs in his catalog, and many more in the works at any given time. Brandon’s experience with Music Compositon and Philosophy helps him to craft well-structured songs with meaningful lyrics and tasteful melodies and harmonies.
Brandon currently lives in the Chicagoland area where he performs as a violinist, singer/songwriter, and banjo player. He also maintains a private lesson studio for violin, guitar, and banjo students, as well as a home recording studio used for personal projects and collaborations with other local musicians.