And his CDs, full of original compositions, have earned glowing reviews—but his newest release will take him back to his musical roots—and his home: he'll be kicking off the release of his latest CD, "Todah Torah," with a release party and benefit concert at 1 p.m. Nov. 17 at Temple Beth-El.
This latest CD is different from his previous ones as it focuses on Jewish music for children. In fact, Komar recorded several of the tracks on the album with local synagogue religious school and preschool students where he performs and teaches, including Congregation Kehilat Shalom and Kindercapers Preschool
of Belle Mead; Barnert Temple Preschool of Franklin Lakes; Mountaintop
School for Young Children of Warren; and Temple Beth-El Religious School &
Early Childhood Center in Hillsborough.
The concert is will be open to the general public and admission is free—although as part of a benefit component of the concert, donations will be collected for the locally-based Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation.
Komar will be accompanied by drummer Kevin Werbel and bassist Bruce Cooper.
For two decades Komar has been sharing his unique brand of invigorating and inspiring music to synagogues, JCCs, camps, Hillels, and Jewish conventions nationwide. His vast performance experience runs the gamut, from preschoolers to retirees, and his advanced guitar skills are recognized among the most prominent musicians in the field.
His music has been described as “refreshing,” “hav[ing] a
sophisticated pop sensibility,” and “compelling and truly Jewish."
His debut CD—2003's "Notes from the Underground" is noted for the rockin’ “Mi Cha-mo-chah” and power-ballad for peace “Lo Yisa Goi.” His second effort, "Two Life" (2007) enlisted special guests Peter and Ellen Allard and includes the social action anthem “Justice, Justice.”
He ushered in 2011 with "Ripples," which features a High Holy Day hit “Return,” and a contemporary setting of Passover’s “Dayenu.” Many of his compositions have been featured in publications from Transcontinental Music, as well as on compilations from Craig Taubman’s Craig n’ Co.
Komar’s wife and two children are also featured on this album as the “Komar Family Korus.”
The album’s title—"Todah Torah"—fits in with his style as a Jewish teacher and
songwriter. "Todah Torah" literally translates to “Thank you, Torah” and Komar playfully uses this name to engage his students to learn from all the great teachings the Torah has to offer. He also used his creativity to help fund the production of the CD through the use of the popular fundraising website, Kickstarter.
All donations collected at the concert will directly benefit The Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation, a cause near and dear to Komar's heart. The Foundation was created to honor the memory of Meghan Bradley, who passed away in 2004 after courageously battling brain cancer. Meghan was a National Honor Society student at Somerville High, and participated in field hockey and track. Mr. Komar personally knew Meghan as a Hebrew student and also used the release of his second CD to benefit the charity.
The Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation’s mission is threefold:
- To raise public awareness regarding pediatric brain cancer through education and advocacy;
- To raise funds for pediatric brain cancer research in the hopes of saving the lives of other children in the future;
- To provide scholarships for local area school students for outstanding achievements.
Brain cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among young adults,
according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. For further information or to make contributions to the Foundation, contact Ileen or Bob Bradley at Ibradley@damonhouse.org.
For more information on Eric Komar, email him at Eric@KomarMusic.com or visit his website.