Bio


“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 new, CFMA nominated, self-titled project of original devotional songs When I Arrived You Were Already There, as the 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, English and French, 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.

2012 ended on a high note for Aviva — both her own solo project and Jaffa Road’s second album Where the Light Gets In were released to sold out houses.  As well as these ongoing collaborations, Aviva studies with ‘American Treasure’ and Sephardic musician Flory Jagoda, supported by an official apprenticeship from Virginia Folklife and Virginia University.

Aviva shines in Workshop settings, combining her various skills and passions to energize both large and small groups of participants.  Aviva, together with her ensemble, lead a soulful Friday evening, Shabbat Workshop, an inclusive singing session engaging spirit, dancing, music, contemplation and joy. In “Freeing the Voice”, Aviva leads an hour of vocal play offering an opportunity for participants — no previous singing experience necessary — to surprise themselves as they discover the pleasure of finding their voice and singing out in community.

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), and two more CFMA Nominations for Where The Light Gets In and 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 also a cantorial soloist, leading prayer at congregations in and around Toronto as well as travelling to congregations around North America as a guest leader, teacher and facilitator of her engaging group vocal and spiritual workshops.

Music for Prayer

Aviva has performed devotional music for and lead participatory sessions with communities across North America including:

  • with congregants and communities throughout Toronto (Temple Emanu-El, Shaarei Beth El Congregation, First Narayever Congregation, The Little Minyan, Makom, Pride of Israel Synagogue, Limmud Toronto, Tikkun Leil Shavuot at the Miles Nadal JCC)
  •  a regular, monthly Friday night music filled service at Holy Blossom Temple
  • an original Slichot service at the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto
  • Friday Night Live with Craig Taubman at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles
  • a weekend with Congregation Beit Haverim in Atlanta

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Performance Highlights 

  • 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, and host of Global Shtetl Cabaret
  • TD Sunfest World Music Festival (London) — Mainstage
  • Canada Day — TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival
  • 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)