Formed in 2019, Jacob's Ladder seeks to push the boundaries of contemporary Jewish music and traditional American Roots music within the context of Jewish communal singing and prayer. In combining these two musical identities, we tell our story through music; not only are we proud of our Eastern European Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewish traditions, but also of our American heritage and its influence on our lives and musical style. In doing so, we offer a unique spiritual and musical experience to those who are wrestling with their own identity, particularly regarding what it means to be an American Jew.
Our early inspirations were drawn from bluegrass icons such as Tony Rice, J.D. Crowe, and Bill Monroe, as well as original “Jewgrass” musicians from the 70’s and 80’s, including Andy Statman, David Grisman, and Stacy Phillips. Our newest record, "Beit El" takes a step away from the more traditional bluegrass path, and taps into multiple different genres, including rock, soul, choral music, and West African grooves.
With roots music as the bedrock of our expression, our melodies and songs are inspired by Shlomo Carlebach, Eitan Katz, Moshav Band, and Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble, to name a few.
Jacob's Ladder is rooted in the traditional liturgy that one might find in an Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or Traditional Jewish setting. We believe that Jewish liturgical music can expand beyond traditional melodies while maintaining its essence in a traditional prayer structure. Additionally, we believe in the power of these prayers to have meaning and purpose outside of a prayer setting. These age-old lyrics are at the heart of what makes up our music, and have been at the forefront of our Jewish story for centuries.
Our creative process incorporates different approaches and techniques. While all of our core band members are rooted in their own idiosyncratic musical styles and approaches, we joyfully approach the challenging process of weaving our stylistic differences into the fabric of new arrangements. Together, we strive to highlight each of our individual sources of inspiration into our group's ever-changing and evolving sound. At heart, we are all bluegrass musicians, and we center ourselves–and thus our new music—in its natural groove and language.
Ariel Wyner is an arranger, videographer, composer, producer, mandolinist, and vocalist based in Boston, Massachusetts. His musical works have pushed the boundaries of pop, bluegrass, jazz, and every style in between, all stemming from his strong foundation of classical training.
Before diving into other genres, Ariel studied Opera Performance at Northwestern University, where he was a Central Region NATS winner and Bel Canto Finalist. He went on to sing with Choral Arts Philadelphia, The Jerusalem Chamber Choir with the Israeli Philharmonic.
Ariel is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Contemporary Writing and Production, where he discovered his passion for American Roots music. He was commissioned in 2021 by Freshgrass at Mass Moca and Berklee College of Music to compose the "Bluegrass Concertos" alongside The Steep Canyon Rangers.
He is currently a High Holidays Cantor at Congregation Beth El in Yardley and tours with the Ruta Beggars, Boston's premier bluegrass band. He is the Founder and Creative Director at Auri Productions, a music, videography and live streaming production company based in Boston.
Sofía Chiarandini is a violinist, bassist, and vocalist. She is recognized as a performer of many styles of music, including classical, folk, bluegrass, and jazz. Performing with a number of ensembles as well as solo, Sofía has travelled to participate in concerts and festivals around the country. In addition, she has worked on many projects as a studio musician, and has taught group and individual workshops and lessons. When not playing with Kol Kahol, Sofía performs as a member of bluegrass band The Ruta Beggars and the modern stringband Acoustic Nomads.
Sofia is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, where she was honored to receive the Fletcher Bright award in her freshman year. In 2021, she received the Freshgrass Fiddle Award as a part of their annual instrumental competition.
G Rockwell is a banjoist, guitarist, mandolinist, vocalist and composer. G brings a progressive edge to his American Roots music, fusing his bluegrass background with influences of bebop, gypsy jazz and swing.
Performing and competing on stages around the country, G has won numerous awards for his banjo and guitar playing. In addition to performing with Kol Kahol, G leads the G Rockwell Band and also performs solo. His debut album "Spark" was released in March of 2019.
G is currently a student at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studies Contemporary Improvisation.