|Birth name||Yehoshua Fruchter|
|Born||1 February 1982|
Silver Spring, MD
|Genres||Jazz, klezmer, world music, rock, heavy metal|
|Instrument(s)||Guitar, bass, oud, mandolin|
|Labels||Tzadik Records |
Blue Thread Music
Early life and education
Fruchter was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, in an Orthodox Jewish household, singing and playing Jewish music in his youth. His father is a musician, and his sister Temim is the former drummer of the indie punk band The Shondes. He studied jazz in the music department at the University of Maryland, and moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 2005.
Fruchter's debut solo album as composer and guitarist, Pitom, was released in 2008. The Wall Street Journal called it "a dazzling debut" and JazzTimes called the debut "audacious," describing it as klezmer music with a punk sensibility. "Pitom" is Hebrew for "Suddenly," and the album was named after his band, which, along with Fruchter on guitar, includes Jeremy Brown (violin), Shanir Blumenkranz (bass) and Kevin Zubek (drums).
Pitom's second album, Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes, was released in 2011. Fruchter again composed and played guitar, with the album further exploring Jewish music along with surf and sludge metal influences. The album was chosen by The Forward as one of the newspaper's 2011 Forward Fives, an annual list honoring five of the most important Jewish music releases of the year.
Fruchter's music combines elements of jazz, klezmer, rock, surf and heavy metal, while exploring themes of God, religion, repentance and redemption. Both Pitom albums have been released on John Zorn's Tzadik Records label. Fruchter has been described as a member of the "Radical Jewish Culture" scene, a term coined by Zorn.
In December 2014, Fruchter released Cantorial Recordings Reimagined, an album with a new band called Schizophonia, in which he arranged Jewish cantorial recordings for a progressive rock quintet, with world music influences. Also in the band are Shanir Blumenkranz (bass), Brian Marsella (keyboards), Yonadav Halevy (drums) and Rich Stein (percussion).
In 2006, Fruchter collaborated with his father, Chaim (Harold) Fruchter on Beyond the Book, an album of songs they co-wrote and produced that explore critical moments in the lives of various Biblical personalities.
Fruchter is a member of Jon Madof's 13-piece afrobeat group Zion80, playing guitar on the group's self-titled 2013 debut. In April 2014, Zion80 released its second album, Adramelech, an interpretation of John Zorn's Masada Book 2: The Book of Angels, on which Fruchter again played guitar.
Fruchter is also a frequent substitute with the instrumental rock quartet Abraxas, which also performs the music of Zorn's Masada; a member of Pakistani/American collaboration Sandaraa; doom metal band Deveykus; and Frank London's Shekhina Big Band, among other projects, many of which explore the relationship of Jewish culture, identity and music.
|2006||Beyond the Book
|2011||Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes
|2014||Cantorial Recordings Reimagined
|2004||Shemspeed Alt Schule||Juez||Bass|
|2007||Eitan Katz Unplugged||Eitan Katz||Bass|
|2008||Monkey Dance||Soulfarm||Guitar, bass|
|2009||Boruch Hu||Eitan Katz||Guitar, bass|
|Yiddish Princess||Yiddish Princess||Guitar|
|Have No Fear||Breslov Bar Band||Bass|
|2011||Eitan Katz Unplugged 2||Eitan Katz||Bass|
|Joey's Nigunim: Spontaneous Jewish Choir||Joey Weisenberg||Vocals|
|2012||Joey's Nigunim Vol. II: Transformation of a Nigun||Joey Weisenberg||Mandolin, vocals|
|Pillar Without Mercy||Deveykus||Guitar|
|Joey's Nigunim Vol. III: Live in the Choir Loft||Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble||Bass, vocals|
|Happy Hour||Breslov Bar Band||Bass|
|2014||Joey's Nigunim Vol. IV: Brooklyn Spirituals||Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble||Upright bass, vocals|
|Adramelech: Book of Angels Volume 22||Zion80||Guitar|
|2017||Cat Toren's HUMAN KIND||Cat Toren's HUMAN KIND||Guitar, Oud|
|2020||Scintillating Beauty||Cat Toren's HUMAN KIND||Oud|
|Ruthless Cosmopolitans EP||Ruthless Cosmopolitans (Eprhyme, Jon Madof)||Bass|
|2022||Holy Chutzpah||Breslov Bar Band||Bass|
- Matthue Roth, “Jazz Is the New Klezmer: An Interview with Yoshie Fruchter,” Jewcy, January 27, 2009.
- Mordechai Shinefield, “The Secret History of Jewish Metal,” The Forward, March 18, 2011.
- Christopher R. Weingarten, “Yes In My Backyard,” Village Voice, September 22, 2009.
- Paul Wieder, “E-pitom-izing Jewish Rock,” Oy! Chicago, March 22, 2011.
- Matthue Roth, “Genre Benders,” Tablet, November 6, 2008.
- Jim Fusilli, “They Don’t All Sound Familiar,” Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2008.
- Bill Milkowski, “Yoshie Fruchter’s Pitom,” JazzTimes, March 2009.
- Jason Bivins, “Dusted Reviews: Yoshie Fruchter – Pitom,” Dusted, April 15, 2009.
- “Forward Fives: 2011 in Music,” The Forward, December 19, 2011.
- Sean Murphy, “Pitom: Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes,” PopMatters, April 13, 2011.
- Jake Marmer, “5 Albums To Pick Up in 2015,” The Forward, December 31, 2014.
- “Golem / Schizophonia / Doppelskope / Brian Marsella’s Imaginarium,” NY Blueprint, October 23, 2014.
- “Biblical characters come alive in song; Father-son team creates ‘Beyond the Book’ CD,” Washington Jewish Week, February 23, 2006.
- Sean Murphy, “Zion80: Adramelech: Book of Angels Volume 22,” PopMatters, November 14, 2014.
- “Eyal Maoz’ Abraxas,” NY Blueprint, July 15, 2014.
- Sandaraa, The Montreal Jewish Music Festival, August 27, 2014.
- George Robinson, “Frank London’s Latest Project Is Really Big,” The Jewish Week, February 2, 2013.