Writing pop music songs and turning them into a capella parodies wasn’t what Mike Boxer and Six13 set out to do, but it turns out that is a strength for the Brooklyn-based group.
“It’s funny that we fell into this Weird Al Yankovich-ization,” said Boxer. “It’s not what we set out to do; we have stuff that’s totally original or original arrangements of prayers or liturgical texts. But we made a video and it just so happens, it was pretty successful.”
Six13 will be performing at this year’s Adath Jeshurun Annual Benefit on Wednesday, June 13 – 6.13. The group, which originally formed when the original four members were students at Binghamton University, is now made up of nine singers – of which six travel for their shows.
Boxer said that the main thing people who attend can expect is to have fun.
“What we realized early on is the fact that we’re a capella, and it’s a cute parlor trick – making that sound with only our voices lasts a song and a half,” he said. “Then you have another hour to entertain people, so we pack our shows with a variety of material so it appeals to all ages and backgrounds. We also pack the shows with energy. [The crowd] won’t have fun unless you are.”
Boxer said what helps set Six13 apart is that they are made up of singers from across the Jewish spectrum – and they are still able to get along well and make good music.
“We have the son of a Reform rabbi who is making notoriety as an up-and-coming solo artist in the Reform scene. We have Orthodox since birth, we have a Baal T’shuvah. It’s everywhere from left to right and somehow we haven’t killed each other yet,” said Boxer, who acknowledged that music history is littered with bands who had members that hated each other. “Maybe we’d write more exciting songs if we hated each other. But at the essence of everything is a common thread: Getting up there, performing, and connecting to our Jewishness.”
Free tickets are available for college students, and there are a variety of ticket and sponsorship package available. For more information, check out the Adath website.