Hanu-Calypso

This weeks song of the week has been a favourite on my December Swingin’ Fitness playlist for the past few years. It is a humorous Hanukkah parody with a calypso-ish rhythm and it is ideal for your chair exercise program. If your older adult participants prefer to stand during class, this song provides the perfect opportunity to do more of a salsa or cha cha type move at a manageable tempo.

Hana-Calypso is the type of tune I get excited about because it joyfully celebrates the season with a different twist….you can do that too if you wish! Written by songwriter, performer Kenny Ellis who is also by the way a cantor, the song is from his 2005 debut release “Hanukkah Swings!”. The entire recording is top notch in all respects. The musicianship, production quality and arrangements are excellent which is no surprise as many well respected professionals in the business contributed their talents in the making of this CD. An added bonus in terms of appeal is the record’s big band sound which is familiar to the demographic of my classes because it harkens back to a time when they would go out to dance on Saturday night to “live music”. 

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As a note of interest, Kenny Ellis explains in his words how this recorded collection of Hanukkah classics and original songs came to be. “Part of my life’s work has been discovering entertaining avenues to show what Jewish life can be, and this time I happened to put it in a package that includes my deep love for the big bands my father loved and exposed me to when I was young. It’s a celebration of Jewish life and music, not just for people of our culture and faith, but for everybody….You don’t have to be Jewish to sing along!” …..or dance along. 

Song of the Week will be on holiday until January 4th.