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One on One with Eli Gerstner


For our latest installment of One on One, we turn to Eli Gerstner.  A well known singer/songwriter/solo artist/the heart and soul of Yeshiva Boys Choir, the Chevra and so much more, Eli has made a significant impact on the Jewish music scene in a relatively short amount of time.  We managed to pull him out of the studio for just a few minutes (not an easy task) to share some thoughts with our readers...

JMR:  At what point in your life did you decide that you were going to become part of the Jewish music business?

Eli Gerstner:  I had been playing the drums since I was a little kid and in my mind it was “Wow!  I can’t wait to play drums at weddings!!”  I wrote my first song at fifteen and it occurred to me that maybe I could set my sights a little higher but the idea of really becoming seriously involved in the Jewish music took root when I was eighteen or nineteen and learning in Israel.  My chavrusa was a semi big figure in the Jewish music business and he is the one who really put the idea into my head in a big way.
JMR:  What CDs are in the sound system in your car right now?

EG:  Right now…considering it is Sefira I have three CDs of R’ Berel Wein on the history of the Jewish people.  They are really awesome and I highly recommend them.  And because my kids listen to it, I have the YBC a capella album but I really beg them not to make me put it on.  Also the first Chasidishe Otzros, which is unbelievable.  Dudi Kalish is super super talented.

JMR:  What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

EG:  Raisin Bran.

JMR:  What person has had the most influence in your life?

EG: I know people expect someone in the music business, but honestly, it would have to be my wife (who will never read this article…so no points for me.)

JMR:  What do you have in your pocket right now?

EG:  A Jewish calendar.  My keys to my car.  I wish it was more interesting than that, but that is what it is.

JMR:  If you could be any kind of fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why?

EG: I would want to be a pickle.  Who doesn’t like a pickle?

JMR:  What is your all time favorite song/album?

EG:  My favorite album would  definitely something from Avraham Fried, either Shtar Hatanyaim,Bracha V’hatzalacha or Aderaba.

JMR:  What is the ringer on your cell phone?

EG:  Very standard, basic old school ringer.

JMR:   If you were stranded on an island and could only have two things with you, what would they be?

EG:  My family.  It’s only one thing, but they are three people so that should count.

JMR:   Tell us an interesting fact or tidbit about yourself that isn’t public knowledge.

EG:  Before I dropped out of college, I was on a full scholarship and majoring in Psychology.  What is interesting is that I was there and writing all these psych papers and I started getting work at chasanas.  I started missing class and got called in by the dean who told me I couldn’t be messing around.  I decided to take one semester off and see where the music business takes me.





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