About Michael Hunter Ochs
Michael Hunter Ochs has quietly established himself as one of the more versatile songwriters in America today. His song “In Her Eyes” was recorded by international superstar Josh Groban. The soul-filled “On My Knees” was awarded Song Of The Year honors from both the Gospel Music Association (Dove Award) and the Nashville Songwriters Association International, and spent 14 weeks at #1.
Michael’s music is featured in numerous major motion pictures and television soundtracks including The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants Trilogy, The Simpsons and True Blood. He frequently travels around the globe to write for various pop stars and his songs have been recorded by international entertainers such as Helene Fischer, the number-one selling artist in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland; Natalie Grant and recently named 10 Best Male Country Artist To Watch 2014, M Callahan.
In addition to his success in contemporary popular music, Ochs is universally recognized as a breakthrough composer in Hebrew/Jewish worship music. On any given Friday evening his music can be heard in synagogues around the world. Since 2001 he has been Composer in Residence at Congregation Micah in Nashville, TN and is an accomplished pianist, guitarist and percussionist. Michael is often commissioned to write original compositions for various congregations throughout America, and has proven a highly popular performer and speaker on the lecture circuit.
It follows that Michael has been honored with performances at some of the most respected Jewish institutions and events around the world. These include the Center for Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), London’s Leo Baeck Rabbinical College, the Union for Reform Juadaism’s (URJ) Biennial, and The Jewish Museum of Berlin – to participate at the 70th Commemoration of Kristallnacht.
About Alaa Alshaham
Alaa Alshaham is a widely successful Palestinian songwriter and commentator. Alaa’s music often reflects the concerns of the Palestinian people. Mr. Alshaham believes that: “Music is not only a universal language; it’s a language for positive change.” His video “Obama Jai” pokes fun at the Palestinian welcome to President Obama’s visit to Palestine in March of 2013. The video was a hit on YouTube and featured on Aljazeera, MBC, Palestinian and Israeli TV and many other media outlets. Mr. Alshaham was told by staff at the US Consulate to Palestine that Obama himself enjoyed the clip! In November of 2011, Mr. Alshaham established the Big Dream Initiative Children’s Choir. Currently the choir boasts over 400 members on its way to one thousand voices singing together for Palestine and for peace. In 2014, Mr. Alshaham was awarded the Children Of The Earth Prize for his work with youth in conflict zone. Most recently he has become more involved in civil society with a high level of interest in Palestinian politics and current affairs. His political-satirical poems and music videos are garnering hundreds of thousands of views and shares across social media. Mr. Alshaham’s warm personality and keen sense of humor shine through in everything he does, including his appearances as commentator on various television and news shows in the region.
Alaa was born in Jordan and moved to Gaza in 1996 following The Oslo Agreement. He left Gaza for the West bank in 2007 – where he currently resides.