Rock Band


Discover what really makes a band rock. Under the guidance of a professional musician, you will experience the art of songwriting, performance techniques, and the changing world of music. Working with your Artist in Residence you will form bands and learn what makes a band successful. Finish off your week by performing live at the ArtsFest Showcase for your peers from JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest—the grand finale of JCC Maccabi.

2014 Artist in Residence

Josh Nelson

Josh-NelsonOne of the most popular performers and composers in modern Jewish music, Josh Nelson brings his extraordinary message of hope, unity and spirituality to concert stages and worship services across the globe. Josh is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose work is celebrated and integrated into the repertoire of congregations, camps and communities around the world. Whether appearing solo or with an elite ensemble of world-class musicians, Josh’s presence and performance style is high-energy and captivating.

A classically trained musician who is equally versed in rock, jazz and world music, Josh combines his broad range of influences into a breathtaking musical style that is accessible to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Josh previously served as director of Jazz Programs and an adjunct professor at Boston University. While he performs professionally on as many as thirteen different instruments (though not at the same time), he is most widely considered an extraordinary guitarist, pianist, and vocalist.

Performance highlights include: International Symphony of Peace Prayers, Mt. Fuji, Japan; March of the Living, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland; South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin, TX; Limmud Conferences, Warwick, UK and Istanbul, Turkey; international conventions for each of the major youth movements in the USA (NFTY, USY, BBYO, etc.); URJ Biennial Conventions; the USCJ Centennial Convention; JCCA National Conventions; CAJE Conferences; & Jewish music festivals, synagogues, concert halls, and JCCs across the country. Josh is a returning Artist in Residence at JCC Maccabi ArtsFest, and has been a member of the extended JCC Maccabi family since the launch of the first JCC Maccabi ArtsFest program.

Audition Requirements – Rock Band 2014

What are we looking for?

  • An intermediate level of instrumental proficiency on any of the following instruments:
    • Guitar (electric or acoustic), bass, keyboard/piano, drums & percussion, trumpet, saxophone, trombone, cello, or violin
  • Ability to read simple music notation, chords, chord charts, and rhythms and familiarity with simple popular music styles is desired
  • Instrumentalists who double as vocalists are especially welcome
  • An appreciation for various musical styles and genres and a willingness to try new musical experiences
  • Experience playing in a small group setting

In addition to answering the questions below, you must also submit a video sample of your work. Please prepare a piece of your choice and record a video of yourself demonstrating your proficiency by playing any of the above-mentioned instruments. Vocalists can feel free to sing with their instrumental accompaniment.

Once you have recorded the video, please upload it to a site such as YouTube or Vimeo and copy and paste the link into your audition form.

Please answer the following questions in the text boxes provided on the application.

  1. Tell us briefly about your experiences in music at school, home, and in workshops/classes.
  2. How do you wish to further your work/skills in music while at ArtsFest?
  3. Why do you want to participate in JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
  4. Tell us about the piece you chose and why you chose it.
  5. Please list your top three musical influences.
  6. Please provide the link to your video audition.

* For basic instructions to upload a video to YouTube, please click here