The “Hasidic Hipsters” of the musical group Zusha are here to rock the world of music with their beautiful, Jewish inspired songs.
Musical groups that share a common faith are not uncommon, but many of those that have hit the mainstream are usually those of a Christian heritage. However, there is one band that is slowly gaining more and more mainstream fans, and listeners from all walks of life, that instead have a shared Jewish tradition. Zusha is a band that is made up of three members: Shlomo Ari Gaisin is the vocalist, the guitarist is Zachariah “Juke” Goldshmiedt, and finally Elisha Mendl Mlotek who is the percussionist.
Although all three of them come from very traditional Jewish heritage, and have gained the title of “Hasidic Hipsters,” all three men dislike the label of being a Jewish band. They do not like being described only by their faith, as they argue that it is just one part of their personalities, their lives, and what they do with their music. That being said, the Jewish influences on their music is undeniable. In fact, Rabbi Dov Yonah Korn, who has personally mentored the band in their early years, believes that their songs contain the search for the divine.
Many of Zusha’s songs contain beautifully haunting vocal performances without lyrics. The mumblings that carry the melody often have a poetic and prayerful feel to them. In their video performances, the band members often close their eyes and hold meditative looks on their faces.
When you see a photograph of the band Zusha, you can see the mixture of modern and traditional within them. They wear fashionable clothes with their yarmulkes, and Shlomo Ari Gaisen has grown out his hair into the payot, or the long curls common among Hasidic Jews. More than their beliefs, however, the band Zusha wants to be viewed as a band that makes spectacular music – and they certainly do.