Aviva JR video shoot

“Aviva Chernick is a fearless musical adventurer. Her clear and persuasive voice takes us places we wouldn’t know to go on our own.”

Tom Allen – CBC Radio 2

Those who have experienced Aviva Chernick’s intoxicatingly soulful vocals never forget where they heard them first. Whether in her CFMA nominated, self-titled project of original devotional songs When I Arrived You Were Already There, as the former lead singer with the two-time Juno Award-nominated world music ensemble Jaffa Road, or singing the Balkan Judeo-Spanish repertoire, Aviva’s passionate voice blurs the lines between sacred and secular, asking, isn’t it all holy?

Writing, recording and touring an original combination of world music sung in Hebrew, Ladino and English , this multi-lingual singer collaborates with some of Canada’s best world music makers as well as international virtuosos such as Yair Dalal and Frank London. With each performance, whether for 40 people at a house concert or for 1000 at a music festival, audiences are moved and delighted by Aviva’s authentic presence and ease on stage.

Aviva’s collaborative recordings have garnered nominations and awards including a Canadian Folk Music Award (CFMA) Nomination for her recent release When I Arrived You Were Already There, JUNO nominations for both of Jaffa Road’s albums Where The Light Gets In (2012) and Sun Place (2010), a CFMA Award for Where The Light Gets In and a CFMA nomination for The Huppah Project’s Under the Canopy (2009). Aviva and her co-writers from Jaffa Road won the John Lennon International Songwriting Grand Prize for their rendition of “Lo Yisa Goy”, a prayer for peace. She also co-wrote “Sim Shalom” which was selected by CBC Radio 1 (Canada’s national broadcaster) for Here & Now (Toronto)’s “Song of the Week” and co-writer for “Ana El Na” which received an industry nod from OCFF (Ontario Council of Folk Festivals), winning the prestigious “Songs From the Heart” award.

Aviva is a prayer leader, leading with song and contemplative practices. She completed training as a Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. She brings all of her skills together, music, prayer, voice and mindfulness practices to teach and lead heart-based living to Jewish congregations, diverse communities and individuals in and around Toronto as well as around North America.


“Aviva’s crystalline voice graces the album… Voices and instruments come together beautifully on this record that has a distinctly hymnal vibe.”
Errol Nazareth, CBC Radio 1 Big City Small World

“Her melodies…. transport the listener with a meditative and transcendent character… The relationships of breath/spirit, creativity/divinity,nature/renewal, family and community are explored on many levels in this deeply heartfelt and personal offering.
Dianne Wells, Wholenote magazine

“Le titre s’écrit en lettres minuscules sans doute pour exprimer la proximité ou l’intimité de cette démarche spirituelle empreinte de beaucoup de recueillement. « Lorsque je suis arrivée, tu y étais déjà », une phrase en référence à l’amour divin ou charnel que lance la chanteuse à la voix éthérée, qui signe son premier album solo. Connue comme chanteuse principale du groupe Jaffa Road, elle laisse doucement traîner la mélopée en hébreu et en anglais, la sérénité dans l’âme et le coeur à la paix, en s’accompagnant de la crème des musiciens torontois, parmi lesquels Ernie Tollar, qui souffle délicatement dans le bansuri et les autres instruments à vent, ou Joel Schwartz, qui fait résonner ses climats très atmosphériques aux guitares. Aviva débute souvent par de courts moments a capella et se plonge parfois dans les harmonies vocales avec d’autres. Les percussions entrent très subtilement ou par vagues profondes. C’est d’une beauté très aérée.”
Yves Bernard, Le Devoir

“Aviva is pure, raw emotion who channels spirits from another world.”
Stephan Moccio – Award-winning songwriter, composer, arranger, producer

“As Leonard Cohen said, “we must build a fence around the sacred”.  Aviva Chernick has taken to the task at hand and crafted a musical space in which we can take refuge and reflect on this gift of life we all share…
Ralph Benmergui – Radio Broadcaster and Executive Advisor, Sheridan College, Toronto, Ontario

Performance Highlights 

  • Electric Messiah, Soundstreams (Toronto, Canada)
  • Limmud (Johanessburg, Capetown, South Africa)
  • Koerner Hall (Toronto, Canada)
  • Kleztival (São Paulo, Brazil)
  • State Fair, Friday night Shabbat workshop and mainstage (Haines, Alaska)
  • Folk on the Rocks Collaboration and mainstage (Yellowknife, NWT)
  • In concert with Flory Jagoda at the Library of Congress, (Washington, D.C.)
  • Mainstage/featured performances at International Jazz Festivals in Vancouver, Victoria, Halifax, Ottawa, St. John’s, Guelph, Markham, Toronto
  • Edge of the World Music Festival, Haida Gwaii, BC — Mainstage
  • Atlanta Jewish Music Festival Mainstage
  • Ashkenaz Festival (Toronto) — Mainstage
  • TD Sunfest World Music Festival (London) — Mainstage
  • Canada Day — Alianait Arts Festival (Iqaluit, Nunavut) — Headliner
  • Rocking Walrus Arts Festival (Igloolik, NWT) — Headliner
  • Stewart Park Music Festival (Perth, ON) — Mainstage
  • Chutzpah! International Festival of Jewish Performing Arts — Mainstage
  • Live on CBC Radio Nunavut
  • Live on CBC radio Big City Small World
  • CBC Radio 2 Canada Live (CD Release concert)