Studio album by Jon Madof's Zion80
Released April 2013
Recorded December 20, 2012 at Orange Music, NJ
Genre Jazz, Klezmer, Afrobeat
Length 61:35
Label Tzadik TZ 8175
Producer Jon Madof
Jon Madof chronology
The Gathering
Adramelech: Book of Angels Volume 22

Zion80 is the debut album by guitarist Jon Madof's Zion80 which was released in 2013 on John Zorn's Tzadik Records as part the Radical Jewish Culture series.[1] The album combines music written by Shlomo Carlebach performed in the Afrobeat style of Fela Kuti.[2]


Madof has said "The initial idea for Zion80 came to me rather spontaneously in 2011 after I had been listening for several hours to Fela Kuti’s music. I was getting ready to take my kids to shul (synagogue) on Shabbat morning and started humming a song by Shlomo Carlebach. The drum patterns of Fela’s music were still in my head from the day before, and the light bulb went off!"[3]

After assembling a group of musicians based on Kuti's Afrika '70 ensemble, Madof developed the material through open rehearsals and performances at The Stone every Monday night during a three-month residency that began in August 2012 before recording the album.[4][5]


PopMatters' writer Sean Murphy stated "The disc is a triple-threat: an ideal introduction to Zion80 as swell as Kuti and Carlebach (both of whom will reward interested listeners). Where Kuti’s legendary jams are sprawling, sometimes exhausting affairs, Madof’s arrangements are tight and accessible. Every player gets a chance to shine, and the full range of instruments is ably represented throughout"[6]

Track listing

All compositions by Shlomo Carlebach except as indicated

  1. "Ein K'Elokeinu" - 4:50
  2. "Tov L'Hodot" - 8:14
  3. "Asher Bara" - 7:37
  4. "Holy Brother" (Jon Madof) - 5:35
  5. "Yehi Shalom" - 8:31
  6. "Pischu Li" - 7:57
  7. "Nygun" - 7:22
  8. "Dovid Melech" - 6:24
  9. "Nygun (Reprise)" - 4:57



  1. Tzadik Records catalog, accessed January 21, 2015
  2. All About Jazz: Zion80, accessed January 21, 2015
  3. Werden-Greenfield, A. Y., Sounds Jewish with Zion80's Jon Madof Archived January 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, September 9, 2014
  4. The Stone Performance Calendar: August 2012, accessed January 22, 2015
  5. Freedman, S. G., Jewish Folk Songs, Set to Fela’s Afrobeat, New York Times, June 5, 2013
  6. Murphy, S., Beware Soaring Yarmulkes! Jon Madof and Zion8 are Making World Music for a New World, PopMatters, January 20, 2014
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