Singer. Spiritualist. Modern Entertainer.
These are just a few of the many words which capture the essence of Shai Zolty. A modern Orthodox Jewish singer by profession and passion, Shai Zolty's tunes resonate deeply with those who treasure their roots and seek a modern outlet through which to express their faith.
Known as Charlie throughout North America, "Shai" was taken as Rashei Tevot from Shlomo Yosef, his Hebrew name. Shai Zolty was born in Geneva, Switzerland. It wasn't until the age of six that Shai uttered his first melody. Throughout his childhood years, Shai developed a true love for the art of song. He quickly began to develop into a singing star as he became a regular Baal Tfilah on Shabbat and Yom Tov, earned solo and duet performances at school, and participated in the choir for the Geneva Syum hamishnayot.
Over the years, Shai exercised his talent in a number of ways. In 1991, at the young age of 11, Shai won a local children's Eurovision singing contest in Arosa, Switzerland. When he was 14, Shai made the decision to leave Switzerland and attend Ma'arava Machon Rubin Yeshiva in Israel. Coincidentally, the Dean of Ma'arava was Rabbi Baruch Chait, a famous composer of Chasidic music and a member of the past band, Rabbis' Sons.
It was here, at this yeshiva, and with the influence of Rabbi Baruch Chait, that Shai Zolty began to grow a deep appreciation for music and for the expression of the Jewish faith through song. Every Thursday, the Rabbi would host musical sessions with his students during which they sang and played guitar. As his love for music grew, so did Shai's desire to produce his own album. And in 2001, in partnership with a dear friend and music composer, Avraham Moyal, Shai Zolty did just that. Since that date, Shai has produced a second album. Titled Omarti l'Hashem, Shai's second album was recorded in 2006 and 2007 and is now being released.
At the age of 21, Shai moved to Baltimore, Maryland to complete his education with a Masters in Business Administration. In 2007, Shai relocated to Toronto, Ontario to pursue his business career, although music was always a predominant passion in his life. After three relocations around the globe, significant exposure to his roots, an embracement of traditional Jewish practices, and a formal post-graduate education, Shai had grown to be a strong individual, passionate about his beliefs and shy to no challenge that crossed his path.
Singing is not only what he does, but who he is. Shai feels strongly about the fact that emotions can be expressed through song in a way that cannot be done through speech. Especially in his composure and performance of Jewish songs, Shai is moved by his artistic involvement in the Jewish faith. He feels a deep, spiritual connection to the words he sings.
It is Shai's dream to be the modern voice of Jewish tradition. Through his distinct image and unique music, he wishes to be your voice as you explore your faith in the magic of song.