Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray Congregation Shir Shalom 46 Peaceable Street Ridgefield, CT 06877 203-438-5609 (study)
We are all indebted to Deborah Katchko Gray for this new publication which will preserve her grandfather’s music, complete with modern innovations, for generations to come to grateful practitioners of the art of HAZZANUT.
Hazzan Jacob Ben Zion Mendelson
Cantor-in-Residence – Wonderful Musical Weekend!
We were fortunate to have Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray at Temple B’nai Abraham as our Cantor-In-Residence for a wonderful musical weekend. Debbie led some of our services, had us singing new songs and melodies, and taught some wonderful holiday song parodies to our students, who then performed them for us at a Sunday Brunch. Oh…and we learned about her Cantorial heritage and heard some real Gems of her Grandfather’s Music. It was a homecoming of sorts as years ago, she became a Bat Mitzvah at our synagogue and her father had been one of our Cantors. Debbie connected with our members, young and old, and two of our students even asked after her Friday evening service if we could do this every month.
Rabbi Michael G. Kohn
Temple B’nai Abraham / Meriden, CT
Impressively eclectic, Deborah Katchko – another pioneer female cantor puts a refreshing, colorful spin on quintessentially Jewish songs and stories. Drawing upon Middle East rock, Country Western and traditional and contemporary Jewish melodies, Katchko’s powerful voice can sound both sensual and spiritual.
Just this morning, we were privileged to have our colleague, Deborah Katchko-Gray, as our guest artist/scholar at my temple in Amenia, New York. In addition to her co-officiation with me at the worship service, she presented the program, “Gems of my Grandfather: Music, Ideas, and Visions of Cantor Adolph Katchko,.” as part of our adult education. Although almost all of us have been deeply influenced by the music of Adolph Katchko, Deborah added a dimension of insight, examples I have never heard before, and even a duet of “Adonai Malach” which was truly inspiring. I would wholeheartedly urge you to consider Deborah as a scholar-in-residence or a guest lecturer. The congregation could not have been more moved or appreciative of this excellent program.
Rabbi/Cantor Jon Haddon
In telling her story of living history and astonishing discovery, Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray brings to life the love and faithfulness of holocaust survivors and the generations who remember them. People of faith will be embraced by Cantor Debbie’s generous spirit, learn first hand about the important of remembrance and rekindle their hope for a peaceful world.
Reverend Marc Delcuze
Nurturing our family’s Jewish identity is an art, rather than a science. Fortunately people like Deborah Katchko can help. Her three cds offer a rich array of traditional and contemporary Jewish music suffused with her warm and welcoming spirit.
Jewish Woman Magazine
Finding Family Through Song”- A Story – The presentation given by Cantor Katchko-Gray of Temple Shearith Israel of Ridgefield, CT on Thursday October 29th, 2009 was a remarkable presentation. This was an inspiring and moving story of music, faith and family beautifully told. We think it was definately one of the very best programs that the Mary Brewster Fund has offered!
Thank YOU Cantor Debbie!
You were a tremendous part of the event. Your guitar was very exciting and your song selections so uplifting. The moms loved your performance…It was a truly fun and inspiring time with you in the Sukkah.
Director Women’s Philanthropy / Program Manager, PJ Library / UJA Greenwich, CT
Hazzan Deborah Katchko-Gray supported by flutist Mattan Klein and Seeds of Sun…just rocked the house and blew the roof off of Beth Judah for almost two hours. A mix between Mid-East, Israeli, Jewish pop, cantorial, Yiddish and kid-family friendly favorites..add to that a rather hot Israeli jazz trio and you have an explosive, energetic reaction. Everyone was clicking on all cylinders and the crowd ate it up.
Debbie is the real deal and can deliver it all. She has a powerful and sweet voice that works well in various styles and involved us locals nicely.
Hazzan Alan Smolen
Connecticut based Cantor Deborah Katchko has wide appeal. With a strong and soulful voice, she covers a broad range of songs in several languages, exposing us to Jewish culture from various times and places.
Boston University Alumni Magazine
This edition marks one of the most innovative, important, and creative blending of guitar and Jewish music. It surely will not take away from those Cantors who wish to chant either capella, or with piano or organ, but for those Cantors skilled in playing guitar, this will be a loving and long lasting companion which, I am sure, will touch the hears and souls of the next generation of Jews to hear this incredible music.
Rabbi/Cantor Jon Haddon
Your American Jewish Songbook selections were a perfect blend of English, Yiddish and Hebrew-appreciated by all. Your stage presence and hamische introductions of hte band and the songs added and extra measure of charm to the beauty of your voice and the wonderful sounds of your group. Your lead guitarist David, and the pianist were particularly outstanding……we were all blown away by the warmth and family feeling you created on our stage/bimah.!!
Steve Stein, MD
Our Wedding Ceremony was PERFECT!
Derek and I want to thank you! The wedding ceremony was perfect! We got so many compliments on the ceremony! They loved the songs you sang, the Jewish traditions and how it was personalized for Derek and I.
Thank you so much for everything! We really appreciate everything you have done for us leading up to as well as on the wedding day.
Jessica (Moll) and Derek Sanderoff
One of our most successful Scholar – In – Residence programs ever ! She brings an accomplished voice, and a lively spirit that will fill your synagogue with music and joy. Cantor Debbie led Friday night and Shabbat morning services and a sing-along program for children and adults on Sunday morning. Her music, voice and personality enchanted all of our members.
Rabbi Martin I. Sandberg
Deborah Katchko is such a wonderful gift to our festival!
National Children’s Choir Director
If your tastes run to such classics as Yerushalayim Shel Zahav and you enjoy everything from Sephardic to Yiddish to contemporary pop, Katchko’s soprano renditions and acoustic rhythms are the perfect musical menu for you. Her inspiring version of , ” The Place Where I Belong” will have you singing along.
If a teacher had but one student- you- it would be Dayenu!……your songs bring joy to my heart!
Katchko-Gray can reproduce “ that old sound” by calling on melodies she received personally in true oral tradition.
Scales Out of Shul May 2007
Best Day Ever!
Thank-you for being such a special part of our wedding weekend!
Your music and spirit helped make it truly the best day…ever!
Ari and Darren Leva
I am almost without words to say how much I enjoyed your concert at Beth El on Saturday night. You are so multi-talented and you have a beautiful radiant quality that truly glows and really touched me. I was impressed with your story telling and also with the way you shared your personal experiences and your family with us. I hope I have the opportunity to see you and hear you again! WOW-thank you !
Your Wonderful CDs
I received the CDs yesterday. They are both great! Your voice is fantastic and the kids sound delightful. I also really enjoyed the instrumental arrangements. You did a marvelous job of singing, The First Candle We Light On Hanuukah. The flute was really cool. I loved it. And the instrumetnal version of Shabbat Means with the saxophone was inspired.
Thank you so much for recording these songs and for sending me the CDs. Good luck with the sales!
Regarding Shabbat Jam and Hanukkah Songs of Light and Hope
Larry S. Kaplan ( ASCAP)
I’ve listened to a lot of traditional Jewish holiday song recordings and most, for one reason or another should not have been made. But, this one is significantly different. First, Deborah Katchko has a warm, rich voice. Second, she sings honestly. What do I mean? There are no tricks to this recording, just Deborah and her guitar and she’s making music. Third, she includes 25 ethnic songs full of information and history. This is a Hanukkah gift for the entire family.
Thank-you again for a wonderful concert- Inspiring, beautiful and fun!
I find you to be a first-rate hazzan and a consummate artist…your cds are a shining example of what we should aim to emulate.