Musician combines Jewish themes with reggae and hip hop

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Matthew Paul Miller, known by his Hebrew and stage name Matisyahu (“Gift of God”), is a Jewish-American reggae singer, rapper, beatboxer and alternative rock musician.

When Matisyahu first started touring to packed clubs more than 11 years ago, it was prior to the release of the now gold record, Live at Stubbs, and prior to that record’s single, “King without a Crown,” reaching No. 1 on alternative rock radio charts.

Matisyahu’s performances were a raw expression of his spirituality at that time and were supported by musicians who played a foundation of roots reggae augmented by the energy of a rock trio.

Fans latched on quickly for a variety of reasons, but in August of 2005, just months after the release of Live at Stubbs, Matisyahu found himself on stage at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival with the de facto leader of improvisational rock and roll, Phish’s frontman Trey Anastasio.

Many early fans of Matisyahu remember that moment clearly, not because of the songs he played in front of the 80,000 person crowd, but because of his seemingly unfettered confidence in helping lead Anastasio and his band through an improvisational display of beat boxing and lyrical gymnastics during the two songs performed.

It may have been unrefined, but Matisyahu’s passion for full band improvisation was laid bare and can be experienced live when he takes the stage at The Paramount on Sunday, March 24 at 8 p.m.

For tickets to the show, visit www.paramountny.com.

The Paramount is located at 370 New York Ave. in Huntington.

 

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