Pinna Joseph – Cantorial Soloist
Pinna Joseph has been the Cantorial Soloist at Ruach Hamidbar for more than 25 years. She also offers workshops, classes, and individual sessions in chanting, relaxation, and breath. Pinna has Yoga of the Voice certification from The Vox Mundi School of the Voice and international singer, teacher, and music therapist Silvia Nakkach of The Vox Mundi Project. She studies voice with Valley jazz coach and pianist Charles Lewis, has studied with singer Susan Osborn, who teaches full expression of the voice, and with Valley voice teacher Catherine Dockendorff. She has traveled to Brazil and Hawaii to learn chants of those cultures while studying Tibetan, Hindu, and Sanskrit chanting. In her classes, Pinna also teaches Hebrew and English chants.
Andalin Shekhinah Bachman – Flute and Vocals
Andalin is an award-winning flutist, having received among other awards, the prestigious national Selmer Award for Excellence in Jazz Performance. She was looking for her soul-mate when Alan appeared on the set of a CBS television show Promised Land (she will tell you the story). She graduated summa-cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in business the week she met Alan! As she is a paralegal and Alan an attorney, both are Jewish, both are professional musicians, and both are parents of children the same ages, it was beyond love at first sight, and the two were married five-weeks later under the holy chupah within Rabbi Sarah Leah Grafstein and Steve Klemow’s Sukkah!
Fast forward 24 years, and Andalin’s bio mirrors Alan’s in community service and involvement including web work for the Interfaith Roundtable and NAIN, and countless live musical performances in secular, Jewish, and Interfaith worlds. Intuition and talent have allowed Andalin the foresight and strength to accompany Rabbi Alan through this journey. She emerges with her own set of new musical skills including vocal and indigenous flute work, a deeper understanding of renewal Judaism, and as a partner and emissary of light on this path. We welcome Andalin, on the wings of Shekhinah, as a musician and light-worker with Spirit of the Desert.
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Gary Karp – Guitar
Gary Karp has been a musician for almost his entire life, picking up guitar and learning Peter, Paul & Mary and Bob Dylan songs at the age of eight. He began piano lessons when he was nine, and had the honor of attending the Interlochen International Music Camp in Northern Michigan at the age of twelve. Gary began performing as a soloist in cafes and local concerts in the early 70s around the Detroit area where he grew up, and then in the Northern California Bay Area where he moved in 1984 for his computer graphics career. He was a presence in the Renewal community there, and had the honor of being backup guitarist with the Chochmat HaLev band led by Brian Schachter-Brooks until he moved to the Desert of the Sun in 2013. His work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a disability specialist kept him away for long stretches, but now as a reservist with FEMA, Gary is home more of the time, and able to play his blessed role as principle musician for Ruach Hamidbar.
Daniel Hirtz – Drums
Daniel is a gifted and joyfully energetic multi-cultural percussionist and is the founder of the Tune into Life Process, the Breathe for Peace project. Visit his website Daniel Hirtz. He is a regular at Ruach playing tabla and djembe, and is our sound technician. This year Daniel will be offering drumming classes through Ruach.
Jennifer Blohm provides office support to Ruach Hamidbar and enjoys helping congregants so they have a wonderful experience with Ruach both inside and outside of the services! On a personal note, she loves spending time with her husband and son and some of her pastimes include playing the mountain dulcimer, hiking, and swimming.
Eliyahu Eckelberg serves Spirit of the Desert as Treasurer. Eliyahu, known to have a sweet tooth, first discovered Ruach Hamidbar when he thought he was going to a “Spirit of the Dessert” event. Afterward, he realized it was all for the good because the services and the music were as sweet as the kiddish. Eliyahu knew he had found his spiritual home and became a member. Among many other things, Eliyahu was blessed to have assisted Spirit of the Desert in obtaining funding for its innovative Valley-wide Cool Kabbalah Event & Workshop series. In his professional life, he is a CPA specializing in personal taxes and wealth management. He is noted for estates and trusts and Canadian related tax matters.