ASCAP Award-winning singer-songwriter LAURA WETZLER tours in over 150 concerts and lectures each year, singing critically-acclaimed Contemporary Folk / Americana originals, World Jewish Roots Music in Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) and the great classics of American songwriting. 

Her debut CD of original songs, Songwriter's Notebook receives airplay on over 600 radio stations around the world and has garnered great reviews for both her "impressive poetic gifts"-Bob Sherman, NY Times and her voice, "which grabs a listener and won't let go"-Seth Rogovoy, WAMC / Public Radio. 

In addition to her extensive Songwriter's Notebook concert tour, she created and performs in more than 20 different theme or tribute concerts / lectures, among them a unique duo show with gospel singer Janiece Thompson called "Jewels of the Diaspora-A Concert Celebration of African-American and Jewish Song."

The restless daughter of a truck driver and a choir director raised in North Babylon, New York, Laura seemed destined to hit the road singing. As a kid, she was alternately wailing old Beatles and Motown into a spoon mic, helping to select and time cuts for a Sunday morning Jewish music folk show her mother hosted on a local radio station and singing in her mom's choir. Teaching herself to play her $14 guitar by singing her way through Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins songbooks, she also counts Billie Holiday, the Child Ballads, Bessie Smith, sacred chant, Odetta, Bernstein, Sondheim, Carole King, Seeger and Shawn Colvin among her diverse musical influences. Laura began singing professionally at age 15, singing and teaching the traditional songs in Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish from the Mideast, Europe, Africa, and the Americas heard in her childhood. She began writing and singing her own songs, studied music, graduating from Hofstra University on a full, 4 year vocal scholarship as the Dorothea B. Hoag Scholar in Music.

All the while, Laura was working in synagogues and singing folk-rock and blues covers in L.I. and NYC clubs at night. Along the way, she also studied at the HB Studio in NYCand became a protégé of Joe Elias, a master of Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) folk song. Combining these many musical interests, she learned her craft at a hundred NYC café's, colleges, community centers, concert halls and street festivals, sometimes sharing her music for civil rights and anticensorship causes. Although her career has been focused on live shows, Laura's indie single, Jesse Helms Has Made A Radical Out of Me, received nationwide airplay, becoming sound track for the film, State of the Art: Art of the State, an anticensorship documentary screened on PBS and at the Whitney Museum. Today, Singout Magazine's Vic Heyman calls Laura "a road warrior…who can belt out a song with the best singers on the circuit", playing concert halls, arts festivals, clubs, colleges, museums, and on national TV and radio, having appeared with such artists as Richie Havens, The Klezmatics, Odetta, Disappear Fear, David Amram, Vance Gilbert, Laurie Anderson and many others.

Singer-songwriter guitarist Laura Wetzler’s discography includes the critically-acclaimed Songwriter’s Notebook (1999/re-issued 2011,) Kabbalah Music: Songs of the Jewish Mystics (2002) which made many world music top 10 lists and earned a spot in 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die; her inventive original kid’s CD Again! Again! (2009,) which is being considered for an animated TV series, and her newest CD, Flying (2011,) an unusually intimate collection of acoustic story songs. Hear music

She is featured on The Best of American Independent Music compilation Mp3 CD from MusicMatch, Crossroads Magazine Choice Acoustic CD, Outloud and the forthcoming Seeds of Peace CD with folk legend Pete Seeger. When not on tour, Laura divides her time between NYC and Cummington, MA.

 

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