Eric Hunker and Happie Hoffman have been traveling the world as indie folk musicians for years under the duo name Eric & Happie. Their debut album, It’s Yours, reached #11 on the iTunes Singer Songwriter Top 20, and they have played everywhere from SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas to the United Nations in New York City. At the same time, the duo has toured extensively playing Jewish music and working to build Jewish communities around the world through communal song and, until recently, those two worlds have remained two halves of a whole. With the release of their brand new EP, Hamavdil, Eric & Happie seek to bridge the divide and carve out a new space in the Jewish music world. Blending deeply rooted American Folk sound and Indie style harmonies with ancient Jewish texts and ideas, the duo is charting new territory – a genre they call Jewish Indie-Folk.
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Eric & Happie have a deep appreciation for Folk music. Growing up influenced by the sounds of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Carol King, they carry with them a love of Folk harmony and relevance. Their new EP, Hamavdil, is a collection of five original liturgical settings. Throughout their years of teaching and songleading in Jewish communities, the duo began to write music to pieces of text they were encountering in their work. Necessity being the mother of innovation, the duo crafted new music, which they felt would move and lift the communities they worked with. After years of playing and sharing this music, the duo is excited to release this music into the world.
The word “Hamavdil” means separation in Hebrew. The title track on the EP is a setting for the end of the Havdallah service, just as Shabbat is ending and the new week is beginning. The text marks a separation between the divine and the ordinary. It’s an appropriate title to mark their first foray into the Jewish music world. While this is the duo’s first recorded release in the Jewish music world, it certainly isn’t the beginning of their journey. Eric & Happie have played around the world this past year for communities in Ukraine, Moldova, England, and Israel. For the past 3 years, the duo has played in Auschwitz- Birkenau concentration camp to mark the ceremony on Yom HaShoa (Holocaust Remembrance Day) at the International March of the Living.
In many ways, Eric & Happie are a classic love story. The duo met at BBYO Summer camp when they were teenagers and were eventually hired to travel the country, elevating BBYO’s music culture. After working together and writing music together, the two musicians fell in love and continued their music careers in the Indie Folk and the Jewish Music world. With their latest release, those two worlds have come together, and it’s not something you want to miss.
Edited by: JV Staff
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