American Jewish singer and songwriter Debbie Friedman, who changed the voice of American Jewish spirituality and prayer, died today in a hospital in Orange County, California. Friedman had been hospitalized with pneumonia.
Debbie Friedman has created a powerful and euphoric body of work.
New York Times
The heart of her musical activity is her emotionally stirring concerts.
She is one of the foremost figures in contemporary Jewish music
Los Angeles Times
Over the course of her 36 year career, legendary American Jewish composer, singer, and recording artist, Debbie Friedman, has released over 20 albums (selling in excess of 500,000 units) and performed in sold out concerts at Carnegie Hall and in hundreds of cities around the world. Her work has been lauded by industry critics and she has been honored by numerous national and international organizations with their most prestigious awards.
Debbie is credited with creating a whole new genre of contemporary, accessible Jewish music. From the beginning of her career, she has taken the prayers, teachings and melodies of the ancient Jewish texts and set them to contemporary music. Because of her own powerful commitment, her belief in the expression of the values found in the text, as well as the quality and beauty of her songwriting abilities, her music is beloved by people of all ages and religions.
Debbie’s songs have universal appeal in part, because they speak to each listener in an intimate and personal way. One of the most famous, Mi-She-Beirach (the prayer for healing), is sung in synagogues and churches across the nation. Indeed, Debbie’s music is now performed in more synagogues around the world than any other living composer. An overview of her 36 year career is encapsulated on the CD Songs Of The Spirit: The Debbie Friedman Anthology.
For more than three decades, Debbie Friedman has given the world music that is transformative; offering joy and comfort, healing and inspiration. It is music that makes one’s soul sing.
Debbie Friedman – may her memory be a blessing.
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Remembering Debbie Friedman by Robbie Gringras