Joy's World Music Bio


Joy Krauthammer

Los Angeles, CA


Joy Krauthammer, MBA, a spiritual percussionist for thirty years, also plays crystal & Tibetan singing bowls (that she carried home from Tibet). Playing singing bowls, she is a vessel for sharing a symphony of meditational vibrational healing sounds which reverberate through one's body for relaxation, meditation, transcenDance, and for opening channels for flowing, allowing for abunDance of joy, love, unity, peace, prayer, blesSings and harmony in our UniVerse.

Conscious connection of wholeness, healing and Oneness, in the Four Worlds of spirit, mind, heart and body, is Joy's musical kavannah / intention. Joy is inspired by the call to "Serve G*d in Joy" (Psalm 100:2) and believes that, "Joy breaks through all barriers." - The Lubavitch Rebbe

Joy plays African djembe, Middle-Eastern dumbek, frame drums, timbrels, small ethnic percussion, and crystal and Tibetan singing bowls at spiritual events, holidays, New Moon/Rosh Chodesh ceremonies, women's retreats and pre-Pesach seders, temples, rituals - mikveh, life-cycle ceremonies, yoga studios, art galleries, theaters, publication and peace parties, festivals, conferences, writing workshops, poetry readings, drum circles, and for personal individual and group healing meditations. On full moons, Joy has served as Sound Healer for the inter-faith Spiritual Unity Movement.

Fun for Joy was playing maracas with Bizouro Moderno at the Marriott in Costa Rica. Joy Krauthammer joyously played for the Healing Beat, Mid-Summer's Magickal Eve, Gaia Festival, REMO's Women's Drum Day, Mandala Peace Party, LA Women's Music Festival-- Divine Lotus Healing Tent, and at Elat Chayyim in the Berkshires, and the Aleph Kallah in New Mexico, with the Klezmer Orchestra, Neshama Musikats, and Jospel Choir. She was delighted to play at Ruach HaAretz in Oregon, and with Shir Ecstasy in Oregon, Ohio and California. Playing for Greater LA's Hachnatsat Kallah benefit was a joy for Joy. Joy is uplifted playing singing bowls with Azamra's Breslover Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, and on djembe and timbrel enjoyed accompanying Jerusalem's Reb Sholom Brodt of Yeshivah Simchat Shlomo, and Young Israel's Farbrengans with Rabbis Nadler and Klein in their niggunim/ wordless melodies. As founder of Kindred Spirits, Joy brings an ensemble of 18 percussionists to play for spiritual gatherings. Joy enjoyed joining Sacred Singing Satsang with Presende/Tatrika. Was fun for Joy to jump in with Jug o' Punch playing at New Mexico airport. Playing Himalayan Singing Bowls at the historic Rancho de la Cordillera's Asian Mystique concerts every few years is a treat for Joy. A playing drum highlight was when Joy proudly played percusson at her daughter's wedding accompanying the Dale Schatz orchestra!

For Jewish spiritual monthly events over the last two decades, Joy accompanies cantorial soloist/guitarist, Cindy Paley at Lev Eisha (since 2000), and N'Shama Minyan (since 2005), and for events at Temple Judea, Shomrei Torah Synagogue and Temple Ramat Zion (pre-Pesach Seders and Rosh Chodesh). Accompanying Cantorial soloists Gary Levine and Kimberly Haynes at Ahavat Torah for holidays is treasured by Joy, and she has also enjoyed accompanying Cantor Rebekah Mirsky. Joy loves serving in the Chassidic Orchestra for the last decade for Valley Beth Shalom's memorial Farbrengens with conductors, Chris Hardin, and David Kamenir, accompanying Cantor Herschel Fox and Rabbi Ed Feinstein. Since the Daniel Pearl Foundation inception, Joy arranges multiple annual memorial concerts for Daniel Pearl World Music Days. She played regularly for Temple Ramat Zion, and at times for Temple Ahavat Shalom.

Joy especially loves playing timbrel for women dancing in freedom and praise, in the spirit of biblical sister, Miriyahm HaNeviah. Joy believes what sages say, that we can "dance our way" into life and liberation. Playing for Jewish Women's Theatre is another favorite gig, as is the annual Wagner Women's Winter Retreat, and Dancing With Our Soul retreat at Brandeis-Bardin, and LA's World Music Festival. Through drumming, Joy also acknowledges the annual International Women's Day (IWD). It was a pleasure to play water sound instruments during the women's and Honoring Water ritual at The Parliament of World's Religions on IWD.

In addition to drumming, Joy plays crystal and Tibetan singing bowls for Sounds of Joy ~ Sound Spa meditations at B'nai Horin, serving as percussionist since 1991 for Rabbi Stan Levy, and at House of the Book, as well as at Makom Ohr Shalom since 1992, and Lev Eisha since 2000. She plays singing bowls also with her Open To Wonder band, and other spiritual groups. Joy offers sound healing workshops for Hebrew Union College's Kalsman Institute and Cedar's Sinai's "Jewish Wisdom & Wellness ~ Festival of Learning" week (at Ahavat Torah and Temple Ramat Zion). Joy served as sound healer for UCLArts and Healing Department workshops and conferences, and the Healing Beat benefit. Greatly appreciating the gift of sound, Joy spontaneously shares her meditations with cemetery workers, police guards, gardeners, and on U Tube videos, Ripple Reflections 1 and 2 and a movie Trailer.

Joy began her spiritual musical career accompanying legendary musicians Reb Shlomo Carlebach, z"l, and Rabbi David Zeller, z"l, as well as Babatunde Olatunji, all of blessed memory. Playing for services led by Reb Zalman Hiyyah Schachter-Shalomi, z"l, was especially meaningful for Joy, as he was beloved founder of the Jewish Renewal 'movement'. Before Joy ever played at shuls, she accompanied musician Debbie Friedman, z'l, at women's Pesach Seders with the LA Jewish Feminist Center in the late 1980's, and was blessed to play with her for spiritual services with B'nai Horin.

Although classically musically trained in piano, violin, and clarinet, and later in percussion including drum set– by dozens of world-music masters (and in music schools), and with renowned sound healers, Joy attributes her playing and "being played", to Hashgachah Pratit / Divine Providence. Exciting personal experiences have included exploring music throughout the world in her travels since a teenager, and learning from multi-cultural masters. Joy felt that she was a gesher / a  bridge (in the light of Reb Shlomo, z'l) when she learned and played during summers with Middle-Eastern Music and Dance Camp directed by world Arab faculty. Playing in (Palestinian) Nabil Assam's doumbek ensemble was a highlight.

Joy Krauthammer, a spiritual woman loving the color purple, is a visual artist, passionate performing percussionist, poet, Joyous Chai Lights publisher, photographer, artist of life, spiritual guide, sound healer, student of Torah, and Kabbalah workshop leader, and gardener living in Porter Ranch, CA, USA, UniVerse.

 Ivdu Et HaShem B'Simcha
Joy Krauthammer ©

View Joy's COMPLETE PROFILE on top left for web sites.

Below for Joy's musical sites:

If preferrred embedded You Tube does not click open to "Joy Krauthammer Drums the Blues 1997"
and also show "See more" on lower middle for personal story, either click You Tube on lower right 
just click:
You Tube:


↵ Use original player

Joy is visible and heard singing and accompanying on timbrel in Shir Ecstasy, Jospel Choir (on far left) from 36-55 seconds and from 2:50-3:02 minutes/seconds. Choir director, Sharon Alexander.
Joy is also singing and accompanying on percussion in the Shir Ecstasy DVD, 2011, produced by Films That Matter.

To book Joy for your next event, write a confidential COMMENT in the Comment space below and/or write Joyofwisdom1 @ 
(delete the spaces in address.)

Joy Krauthammer 
plays WOMAN gong and Tibetan singing bowls
House of the Book
© Dali

Joy Krauthammer
Crystal Singing Bowl
Joy by Sandy Pond
Background photo © Joy Krauthammer 
composite by Joy
~ ~ ~ 

Shared thoughts:

Playing intuitively from her heart and soul, "Joy's music is part of the universal song to the One Creator, Source of All Life."
- Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen, Jerusalem, Israel, Author, "The Universal Jew"

"Joy, a woman with a deep soul" is playing for the congregations to help bring them to praise the Source of All Blessings. "Joy has a faith gene and her soul resonates with the beauty in all the places she goes to."
- Roberto Loiederman, LA Jewish Journal

Reb Shlomo Carlebach, zt'l, naming Joy--'Tzohara', translated Joy's Hebrew name, Gila Rena Tzohara, as 'Double Joy and Light.'
"Joy, Gila Rena Tzohara, is Mamash Gevaldt; 'Double Joy and Light', my sweetest percussionist and holy sister. You will always be my drummer." (When given her new name by Reb Shlomo, Shabbat Pekudei 5754)

"The holiest part of your body are your hands because they reach the highest."
 Holy brother, legendary composer, singer, the "dancing rebbe", recording artist, guitarist, Torah scholar.
- Reb Shlomo Carlebach, zt'l, of blessed memory

Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi named Joy--Rena, the 'joy of song'.
"Many recite the words from Psalm 150, 'Praise God with the Drums ...'. I know only a few people who really drum for God's sake; Joy Krauthammer is among the first of them."
- Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder Aleph, Jewish Renewal,
       "Co-author, "Jewish With Feeling"

Joy's first Lubavitcher Chabad Rabbi Eli Hecht (after her meeting the Rebbe), named her Gila, for 'rejoicing', as in the blessing/sheva bruchas for the bride and groom.

"Joy uplifts the spirit through her ecstatic drumming and timbrels as she plays for the Glory of G*d. A Jewish woman, with her heart as wide as the ocean, Joy cares deeply about her People and all of humanity."
- Reb Hesha Abrams, Dallas, Texas

"Joy Krauthammer has added her skillful percussion and her exuberance to my Shir Ecstasy, Jospel workshops at both Kallah and Ruach HaAretz concerts, helping the choir to reach ecstatic heights."
- Sharon Alexander, Director, Shir Ecstasy Jospel Choir
 "Joy weaves spiritual depth, world rhythms, and powerful healing into each musical journey. She can rattle you into healing or deep self realization. Enjoy the rhythm!"
- Christine Stevens, Director, REMO Drum's Health Rhythms; author, Music Medicine, Healing Drum Kit

"Joy is a consummate musician and has a profound passion and energy for her work. When Joy brings in her percussion instruments and participates for the last nine years in our Lev Eisha women's services, she adds layers of spirituality, joy and fun.
"Her music, and presence adds a deep abiding spiritual dimension to our service.
"Joy's playing, and her ecstatic spirit and joyous personality add so much to Lev Eisha, and we would not be the same without her. Always reliable, she is consistently adding energy to our prayers enabling us to dance and sing at all our services. We love joy."
- Rabbi Toba August, Lev Eisha, Adat Shalom. Academy of Jewish Religion, LA.

"Joy performed a heart opening/awakening, and ethereal piece on Tibetan and crystal singing bowls. My heart chakra was activated and it was deeply moving. Joy is an eclectic mix of gypsy, faery, and angel, and her music shimmers just like her lavender, gold-speckled scarves."
- Kris Oster, Producer, Gaia Festival

"Your drum beat is like a heart beat and excitement; when you are playing, I feel like it is you enveloping all of us in your loving arms.
"You radiate warmth and love and make others feel so comfortable. Thank you for being your beautiful soulful self. You are a precious being."
- Debbie Friedman, liturgical singer, composer

~ ~ ~ 
Joy Krauthammer
A&B wedding, SS Wise Temple
© Louis Raynor

Joy Krauthammer
Makom Ohr Shalom
© Mark Reden

Joy Krauthammer
Hachnasat Kallah
© Daryl Tempkin

Joy Krauthammer
Metivta meditation circle, piyutim/song fest
© Aviv Russ

Joy Krauthammer
plays for Bat Mitzvah

Gratitude Day
Joy Krauthammer
© Linda Badger

Joy Krauthammer
Women's pre-Pesach Seder
Lev Eisha

Joy Krauthammer
Women's pre-Pesach Seder
Temple Ramat Zion
© Cindy Paley  3.12.2015

Women's pre-Pesach Seder
Temple Ramat Zion
© Joy Krauthammer  3.12.2015

Joy Drums
Beth Shir Shalom, Santa Monica, CA
© Joy Krauthammer  9.2016

Joy Drums
Holy Spirit
© Joy Krauthammer 

Joy Drums
Holy Spirit
© Myrna Kayton

Joy Krauthammer
accompanies Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, MOS
©  Mark Reden

Joy Krauthammer
Blues Competition drum kit 1st place

Joy Krauthammer
sceen shot from 1997 DVD
original video by Marcel Krauthammer

Fun Drum, Joy Jammin' at MOCA's ART IN THE STREETS
exhibit, The Museum of Contemporary Art, L.A.
On closing day, 8-8-11, 8,424 visitors attended, and I was there!
© Steph Buffington

Asian Mystique at Rancho de la Cordillera
© Isidro

Joy's WOMAN gong
© Joy Krauthammer

Sounds of Joy
© Joy Krauthammer  9.2015

Sounds of Joy
© Joy Krauthammer  9.2015

Sounds of Joy
© Joy Krauthammer  9.2015

Joy's Tibetan and Crystal singing bowls
Kalsman Institute, Jewish Wisdom & Wellness ~ Festival of Learning
Ahavat Torah 2015
© Joy Krauthammer 

Joy's Tibetan and Crystal singing bowls
Kalsman Institute, Jewish Wisdom & Wellness ~ Festival of Learning
Ahavat Torah 2015
© Joy Krauthammer 

Drummer Joy Krauthammer accompanies singer guitarist Cindy Paley
Jewish Women's Theatre annual opening gala, 10.19.2014.
Couple hundred guests in Pacific Palisades garden. 
© Jan Berlfein Burns

Joy Krauthammer, percussionist & Cindy Paley, cantorial soloist
collage of last decade
with Rabbi Toba August, Rabbi Lynn Kerne, Mollie Wine

Lev Eisha
Joy Krauthammer, Robin Winston, cantor Cindy Paley, Rabbi Toba August, Ruth Belonsky
© Marty 613

Lev Eisha
Joy Krauthammer, Rabbi Toba August, Cindy Paley

Lev Eisha
Cantor Cindy Paley, Rabbi Toba August, Joy Krauthammer-drummer
© Marty 613

Lev Eisha Musicians,  Dancing With My Soul
R. Toba August, Chaplain Ruth Belonsky, Cantor Cindy Paley, Robin Winston, Sharon Alexander, Joy Krauthammer
Images 'screen shot' from video by Tracie Karacik and Joy then spliced and edited. voila!

Hachnasat Kallah LA band 
Rina Adlerstein, pianist, musical director
© Daryl Temkin

First women's percussion band
formed by Joy Krauthammer
Timbrels of Miriam women's conference
University of Judaism, LA 
International Women's Day, March 8, 1992
R to L  
Joy Krauthammer, Suzanne Roth (& daughter Ariel Levy), Linda Hirschhorn, Gail Schwartz, Sharona, guest Mark Kurganov (Russian immigrant guitarist)

Kindred Spirits
18 member percussion band
Joy Krauthammer, founder
© Mark Reden

Open to Wonder band, American Jewish University
Joy Krauthammer (founder), Ian Kroop, Tia Cohen, Rabbi K'vod Wieder, Phil Bell
(Alan Klein missing)
© Chana Bell

Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi,  Joy Krauthammer,  Rabbi Debra Orenstein
Makom Ohr Shalom
© Mark Reden

Makom Ohr Shalom
Rabbi/Cantor Monty Turner, MOS choir, Joy Krauthammer-percussion
© Mark Reden

Drummer Joy Krauthammer, Rabbi Miriam Hamrell, Cantor Kimberly Haynes
Ahavat Torah
© Linda Badger 2015

Joy Krauthammer, Cantor Rebekah Mirsky, Ahavat Torah
© Vicki Crawford  2014

Musicat  Neshamahs
Cantor Martin & Sheri Levson, Skee Raskin, Joy Krauthammer
Midnight Cafe, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kallah Klezmer Orchestra
Albuquerque, New Mexico  2007

Kallah Klezmer Orchestra
Beth Cohen, dir.(of Nahalat Shalom)
Albuquerque, New Mexico 2007

B'nai Horin Band
House of the Book, Brandeis Bardin
Stephen Longfellow Fiske, Joy Krauthammer, Alula, Cantor Marc Bachrach
© Leslie Goldman

B'nai Horin House Band
Richard Hardy, Joy Krauthammer, Stephanie Valadez, David Zasloff
© Leslie Goldman

Joy Krauthammer accompanies Dardashti Family Chanukah, 1985
Galeet Dardashti has become a fantastic famous singer.

Reb Shlomo Carlebach, Joy Krauthammer
© Shira Solomon

Reb Shlomo Carlebach, Joy Krauthammer, Shirley Perluss
Benefit for Northridge E-Quake 1994

Vered, Sam Glazer, Ed Simcha Sheldon, Reb Shlomo CarlebachBruce Berger (Rebbe Soul), Joy Krauthammer
(other musicians included: Shirley Perluss, Michael Ian Elias, (Robert) Jake Jacobs, Robby Nathan Halperin (Simcha Band), 
 Skye Michaels, (P.F. Sloan)
Healing and Recovery concert to benefit the J.F. C. Earthquake Relief Fund
Feb. 1, 1994,  Tatou nightclub, Beverly Hills, CA 
 © Lou Weinger

Rabbi David Zeller, Joy Krauthammer
Beth Jacob

Debbie Friedman, Joy Krauthammer
House of the Book
© Leslie Goldman

Ayo Adeyemi, Yao, Babatunde Olatunji, Joy Krauthammer
Performing Rusty's Surf Ranch, Santa Monica Pier 1996

Wedding ~ Sandy Lessner & Steve Berman
Joy Krauthammer, Alula
© Sherry Gold

Joy Krauthammer on djembe
Young Israel of Northridge (YION) Nachamu Malavah Malkah  2013

Bizouro Moderno
Quanacaste, Costa Rica 2012
L > R
Dovid, Ze, Joy, and Melissa
© AriellaShira

Joy Krauthammer
Honoring the Sea
Festival, Santa Monica, Oct. 2011
© Garth Garrett

Joy Krauthammer
Shabbat Nachamu Malavah Malkah, YION
© Martin Fine

Joy Krauthammer, percussionist
Abraham Joshua Heschel School
© Ian Kroop

Joy Krauthammer, percussionist
Purim, Jewish Home for the Aged
© Joy Krauthammer

Joy Krauthammer
Moroccan Mimouna Festival, Heschel Day School
Rivka Ben Daniel

Joy Krauthammer, percussionist
© Aaron Kirsch 

Joy Krauthammer, percussionist
Bridal shower © Aaron Kirsch 

Joy Krauthammer, percussionist
Bridal shower © Aaron Kirsch 

Joy Krauthammer, percussionist
Bridal shower, Barbara's garden 
© Aaron Kirsch 

Joy Krauthammer, percussionist, Cindy Paley, singer/guitar
Friends- Hare, Adina, Annette, S, AVIVA, Sheldon, Cindy, Faye, Lisa, Joyce, Suzanne, Sandi, Karen & Joy
Bridal shower 
© Aaron Kirsch 

Shir Ecstasy, Jospel Choir
Joy Krauthammer, percussionist
Sharon Alexander, international director
collage by Joy Krauthammer

Me/Joy Krauthammer and my 2-headed custom built commissioned Taos Indian drum. 
Summer Solstice Festival
Playing on the Wright Ranch, Malibu.
(The sprinkler system woke me the next morning while camping out.)

Joy Krauthammer, Glen Velez, master frame-drummer

~ ~ ~


Percussion Is My Passion

  - Joy Krauthammer   April 2011

At the end of Shabbat services, where I serve spiritual communities as world-beat hand percussionist, people ask me questions: How long have I been drumming? What kind of drum is the big one? Did I go to music school? How did I become a drummer? How do I do it? The last is my favorite.

I love these telling questions because I love it that people are interested, and appreciate my music with its subtleties and expansiveness. I love to share my story, one of visions, Hashgachah Pratit / Divine Providence, and of a joyous, passionate Jewish woman drummer.

I share with people that I play with joy for them--because I receive their joyous soulful energy that circulates; I feel that and it excites me. Accompanying cantors, singers, dancers and rabbis brings out the rhythmic best in my music. More of that truth is that I connect with the Source of All BlesSings, and to Miriyahm HaNeviah, biblical timbrel player. I have gratitude, and become a vessel for Hashem’s music. I am ‘played’ by the Holy One. I am inspired to “Serve G*d in Joy”. (Psalm 100:2)  My kavanah / intention is knowing that my ‘Sounds of Joy’-- the gift that G*d gave to me, can assist neshamahs / souls to lift their tehilim / prayers to the Divine One; as a dance going up, and for a shefa / abunDance of conscious connection with healing and wholeness, to come down through the Kabbalistic Four Worlds of Spirit, Mind, Heart and Body.

To be ethereal was my yearning when I asked the Creator to give me a drum—naively thinking that music would not take the great physical space that my own ceramics work had occupied. (That's an oxymoron for a percussionist. I'm learning to be ethereal.)

Many vessels of sound I play were designed (some customized to my desire) by my renowned international teachers (Paolo Mattioli), were purchased during world travels, or were inherited from my mother, z’l (especially gongs and bells). My instruments that I lovingly play, stroke and caress (not “beat” or “bang”) with my hands or mallets include large wood and natural skin African djembe, Middle-Eastern metal, vegetarian synthetic, or ceramic dumbeks, frame drums, and (Remo) timbrels (riqs) with heavy metal brass (or other alloys) jingles, seed jingles, cymbals, ting shas (hand cymbals), chimes (72 double row, and energy chimes), triangle, and such ‘small’ hand-made, ethnic traditional percussion as ethnic bells, rattles (chajchas, kpoko-kpoko, seeds, Buffalo rawhide), shakers (natural woven caxixi, gourd gita, maracas, and metal and plastic, shekeres, axatse), scrapers (guiros), clave, and mu yu (slit drum). Additional ethnic percussion from many nations I have learned include: tambourine, tar, tamborim, bohdran, djun-djun, ashiko, talking drum, klong yaw, cuica, timbau, surdo repinique, agogo, bongo, congas, cowbell, tubano, pandeiro, kanjira, sakara, fruit and vegetable shakers (of plastic, wood or metal), as well as sound shapes.

For meditative and healing moments, I play organic rain sticks, ocean drums, gongs, Asian bells, and crystal and Tibetan singing bowls tuned to lev / heart chakra.

For the last decade, I mamash / truly have loved playing percussion for Lev Eisha / Heart of Woman women and men at our gevaldt / awesome Shabbat services where Shechinah dwells. I have been drumming over a couple dozen years, through both challenges and simchas.  The secret? This eisha / woman plays with her lev.

BlesSings for Sounds of Joy,
Joy Krauthammer

 This story is published in

For a more fully illustrated magical musical story with my responses, please read:

Sounds of Joy 
photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

N'Shama Minyan
Molle Library, Brandeis-Bardin
© Joy Krauthammer  2.2015

Molle Library, Brandeis-Bardin
© Joy Krauthammer  2.2016

World Music ~ Joy's bridge to peace
Lev Eisha ~ Heart of a Woman
My Tool Box
© Joy Krauthammer  10.3.2015
Couple decades ago, I would participate during the summers in the Middle-Eastern Music and Dance Camp in forest in Mendocino, CA. At that time, in the 1990's, I was the only Jew. 
Reb Shlomo, z"l, wanted our world to be smaller, closer. As Shlomo's percussionist, this was one way I tried– to play at the Arab Camp, as uncomfortable as it was for me at times. On dumbek at the Camp, I played in the Palestinian leader Nabil Azzam's percussion ensemble. If we could only have an ensemble playing on every corner in the Holy Land, in every land...
~ ~ ~

Sounds of Joy 'Balance' the Chakras
Joy's spiritual perucussion
are a balance in sounds and variety.
Balance of natural and man-made materials.
© Joy Krauthammer  2014

50 Years Ago This Week

- by Joy Krauthammer    
 August 2013

Fifty years ago this week, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his famous speech, "I have a dream...", on the State Capital steps in Montgomery, Alabama in 1963, when he answered the question 'How long African Americans must wait for full equality and justice in America?' -- called out, "I have a dream today.  I was a drum major for justice. I was a drum major for peace...".

I, Joy, also am a drum major for justice, Tzedek, Tzedek, Tirdof
And 'I am no Martin Luther King', but I play drums and percussion for prayer, for peace/shalom, for G*d, for community, for goodness, uplift, women, circle dance, song and joy. 

Probably around the time of MLK's speech, and it was 50 years ago as a teenager, that I manifested the beginning of my subconscious dream to be a drummer. I traveled to Manhattan and in a large music store with my baby sitting money, I purchased only one record; I bought my first LP, "Drums of Passion" by Babatunde Olatunji. Exactly 17 years ago, I went on to perform at a club with 'Baba' in Santa Monica. Dreams manifest. 

~ ~ ~

It Was 20 Years Ago Today...

- by Joy Krauthammer  
September 2006

It was 20 years ago today...

In September 1986, I began my University of Judaism, MBA graduate program, and immediately knew that I needed also to use the other side of my brain. So, the same week as I began my MBA, I studied "Black and White Photo" developing, and also began drum lessons.

Since the sixties, I was always having crushes on drummers, like Ringo Starr, and finally realized that it was the drums that I was interested in. In 1986 my lessons were on drum kit with a teenager, in his bedroom with all his personal things scattered across the floor, obstacles that I had to step over. With Divine guidance manifesting dreams, for the last 20 years I studied weekly lessons with the world's master drummers and percussionists. It has been a joy.

As you may know, mamash / truly, the deepest gevult / awesome blessing for me in the 20 years was being Reb Shlomo Carlebach's zt"l percussionist, and playing with magnificent musicians at many minyans and shuls. Presently, I am playing Jewish music with gifted musicians at my beloved Lev Eisha, Makom Ohr Shalom, B'nai Horin, Valley Beth Shalom, Sarah's Tent and anywhere else that I am asked to play.

I am celebrating these meaningful 20 years as my simcha / joyous occasion. I am commemorating the beginning of my 6th year as percussionist at Lev Eisha, LA's women's synagogue.

I don't always find G*d in silence and stillness, but in notes from heaven, and where I let G*d in.
My plan is for another twenty years of drumming with a band, and using both sides of my brain.
I bless you all to have the deepest and highest delight in your simchas.

One love, shalom and abundant blessings of health and joy to you,
Joy Krauthammer, MBA
Serve G*d With Joy
"Ivdu Et Hashem B'Simcha"


In 1997 (after Reb Shlomo, z'l, had invited me to come and play with him in 1994 during his 69th birthday, at the Kings Palace, Morocco), I (Joy Krauthammer) went to the World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, and explored the Jewish medinas, and played and danced with the Sufis, Berbers, Taureqs/Blue men and Gnawa musicians through the star-filled nights, especially in the Sahara by the sand dunes, where I journeyed with my rented camel.  My musical simcha was filmed and a video is available. I brought back a suitcase of timbrels & memories. You may see me with my Moroccan frame drums when I play. I loved being Tzohara in the Sahara with Zahara henna painting me for my birthday. 

Most amazing to me was that my Moroccan Arab musician tour guide, Hamid Mernissi, was the grandson of his "maternal Jewish grandmother, Sarah." Shh.  I had the chutzpah to ask him if he had any Jewish relatives... and that was his answer.
~ ~ ~

Percussion & Ting Shas

Joy Krauthammer

Women particularly of Lev Eisha and also N'Shama Minyan (at Valley Beth Shalom) recognize timbrels that we all play as percussion instruments similar to the frame drums (maybe without jingles) that Miriyahm HaNeviah and the women used during the Exodus. 

For the past couple decades during Shabbat services, I play ting shas as part of my percussion repertoire. (I play them specifically as I learned in prayer from Rabbi Hanna Tiferet Siegel.) Most people don't know about ting shas. I even mistook ting shas for belly-dancing zills (which I used to use when dancing).

Two decades ago, 1992, on a Sephardic tour to many countries to explore synagogue architecture (which I'd just been studying at Jerusalem's Hebrew University), I bought zills in Turkey for my dancing.  But, I mistakenly also thought they were the percussion instruments that I was looking for.  (I also bought delicious baklava.) Zills are worn as a pair on two fingers of each hand. Ting shas, two heavier and larger concave metal saucers, when played are connected to each other by a (leather) cord and held and clashed together by the cord. Although Asian cymbals, they resonate the way cymbals would have when played during ancient biblical Temple times. I can mamash / truly imagine that I am in the Jerusalem Temple when I play. When I play timbrel, I visualize that I'm with Miriyahm and the women.  How about you? 

For more on my world music, feel free to read:

Reading the following article excerpt on Percussion, I thought that the women of the Minyans could appreciate the connections between now and Temple times. "Percussion Instruments in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures", is a chapter excerpt on the web authored by French Jewish woman, Suzanne Haik-Vantoura, and informs about percussion from Temple times. Enjoy.

"The only percussion instruments allowed to accompany psalm-singing were the cymbals (cf. 1 Chronicles 25:1 ), which were always used in pairs. In the accounts relating to the transport of the Ark of the Covenant, the cymbals are called either metsiltayim (1 Chronicles 15:9) or  tsiltsilim (1 Samuel 6:5). The former are explicitly said to have been made of bronze. In Psalm 150:5 the latter are called tsiltsel√™ shamah and tsiltsel√™ teru`ah, respectively -- apparently referring to two types of cymbals with different tone or resonance qualities (and therefore different sizes or shapes). Harper's Bible Dictionary ("Music", p. 670) informs us of "small bronze cymbals 4 to 6 inches in diameter, which may have been played with an up-and-down motion..."  Whereas Music in the Ancient World (section "Ancient Israel") tells us that the cymbals "are a pair of concave metal saucers clashed together either vertically or horizontally. In the excavations at Hazor, Megiddo, Akhziv and others, various types of cymbals have been found with diameters ranging from three to ten centimeters."

Asian Tingshas 
partly hidden beneath Joy's Bolivian ChaChas
on the chimes stand
© Joy Krauthammer
~ ~ ~

Joy's music story

Click LINK for Herstory

~ ~ ~


"Music has the unique ability to bring a person closer to HaShem. Although Torah, writings, and seforim are indeed very valuable, it is precisely because we are accustomed to them that they might not always arouse our emotions. That is why we need music."
- The Modzhitzer Rebbe, zt'l - Sefer Torah Tavlin

“...And the way to sing the song of joy is by seeking the good in all people, especially in our selves. Each good point is one more note in the song of life."
 - Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
- Plato

“Where I come from we say that rhythm is the soul of life, because the whole universe revolves around rhythm, and when we get out of rhythm, that's when we get into trouble. For this reason the drum, next to the human voice, is our most important Instrument.  It is special.”  
 - Babatunde Olatunji

 "Through dancing you awaken joy," and "Through holy music you can come to the level of prophecy. For the essence of D’vekut / cleaving with G*d is through melody."
- Rebbe Nachman of Breslov


"Through music you can reach joy and d’vekut with the Infinite One."
- The Baal Shem Tov
~ ~ ~

Joy Krauthammer
Shomrei Torah Synagogue, Rosh Chodesh
© Rene Cohen  10.2006

Joy Krauthammer
Lev Eisha
© Marty 613

Joy Krauthammer
Makom Ohr Shalom with Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi,
Rabbi Monty Turner, Cantorial soloist Mitzi Schwarz
© Mark Reden 2012

Joy Krauthammer
Vista Del Mar, LA
© Marty 613

Joy Krauthammer
Open To Wonder rehearsal

Joy Krauthammer
Women's pre-Pesach Seder
Temple Ramat Zion
© Genie Seeman  3.12.2015

Beloved Djembe
© Joy Krauthammer 

Joy Krauthammer
Shomrei Torah Synagogue Rosh Chodesh
© Rene Cohen  10.2006

Joy Krauthammer
Joy drums the blues

Joy Krauthammer
What a conunDrum! What drum to play?
© Jerry Zacarias

Celebrating 13 years 
as the Percussionist and 'One Woman Rhythm Band'
 at Lev Eisha.   I love Lev Eisha

Sounds of Joy perucussion ready at door for loading
Kalsman event
© Joy Krauthammer 

Unloading at Lev Eisha after leaving from home @ 7am
Yup, it's a round trip heavy shlep.
Fig tree branches are in the vase
for Tu B'Shvat gifts from Joy.
© Joy Krauthammer

Parking Sign for Drummer Joy
© Joy Krauthammer

Auto License Plate: (Miri)YAHM praising YAH (YY = community arms outstretched), in JOY
crossing the YAHM/sea with timbrels in her hand

License Frame: "Bruchot Habaot Tachat Kanfei HaShechina"
(singing to the tune of Debbie Friedman's, z'l, prayer, and Miriam's Song)


photos of Joy Krauthammer playing djembe, Tibetan singing bowls, timbrel, and shakers
Top photo: Jewish Women's Theatre (c) Deborah Alexander

 © by Deborah Alexander (top), Dali, Louis Raynor, Mark Reden, Aviv Russ, Ian Kroop, Daryl Tempkin,  Chana Bell, Leslie Goldman, Sherry Gold, Ian Kroop, Jerry Zacarias, Joy Krauthammer, Hershel Weberman, Ann Silver
Parking sign by Robin Winston and Lev Eisha
I feel like I won the Oscar with my reserved parking sign.

Timbrel of Miriyahm
Singing my morning prayers to the One whom I exalt. 
Grateful for the sunrise every morning, and freedom to be a timbrel player, as was Miriyahm HaNeviah.
by Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

 Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Photos with my music idols
see my other websites

Louis Bellson- drummer & Joy Krauthammer
Bellson's 80th birthday
© Mike deMenno

April 8, 1997

2 minute excerpts from Joy's 6 minute performance:
Junior Wells "You Gotta Love Her With a Feeling"  1975
composed by Tampa Red

More Photos 

~ ~ ~


  1. Hi,
    I always love to hear from you. May you be blessed with joy and to hear the music of your own soul.

  2. Hi Joy,
    I just discovered your site(s) and think you're doing wonderful things.

    I'm interested in learning more about your textile works. Are they anywhere that they can be seen publicly or are they in your private collection? They are beautiful.

    Thanks so much,
    Kristin Dickson

  3. Thank you, Joy.
    You always add so much to the Retreat with your beautiful music and beautiful spirit.
    Thank you,
    Holly Z

  4. Beautiful writing and fantastic photos!
    Chag sameach, Joy
    From Gila (Julie)

  5. Your musical contribution (to the VBS spiritual Women’s Minyan) is a very wonderful ingredient in that worship service.
    With appreciation,
    Tasha Wenger
    The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony team

  6. Please, play ANYTIME your heart moves you!
    Your energy and kavannah and music add immeasurably to our holy work!


I always love to hear from you.