Church Avenue Sessions




*A Monthly Music Series in Kensington, Brooklyn*

       at  Flatbush Jewish Center

327 East 5th Street (@ Church Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11218



Freethiopiques & The Utsi Zimring Trio


Inspired by the 1970s Ethiopian Jazz legends Mulatu Astatke, Getatchew Mekuria (the King of Ethiopian Saxophone)Freethiopiques digs into exciting, expansive and compelling melodic groove, funk, and experimental jazz and blues. Freethiopiques combines the talents of a fiery horn section of Jessica Lurie (sax/flute) and Greg Glassman (trumpet) with a solid rhythm section of Brian Marsella (piano & organ), Jon Madof (guitar), Yoshie Fruchter (bass) and Chris Stromquist (drums).


Utsi Zimring is all-round drummer and composer. Born and grew up in Israel, he started to play drums when he was 7 years old, and guitar when he was 12.

At the age of 12 he joined local bands and first appeared on TV when he was 15. He became quickly a well known and respected drummer in Israel, he recorded (over 100 CDs) and toured with major artists and performed on popular TV programs.

In 1998 he formed the fusion band Zonzee, where he played drums and composed and arranged most of the music. Zonzee was signed by NMC, the biggest record company in Israel and recorded two CD’s, the second featured Mike Stern. The success gained Zonzee a prestigious contract with the Israeli Foreign Ministry to “represent Israeli culture” as well as opened door to many Jazz Festivals and clubs all over Europe and the USA, including world’s finest jazz club “Blue Note” in New York.

In 2011, Utsi released his first solo album “Zone 23” that included 6 original tunes and 2 newly arranged songs. The musicians who participated in the recordings and live shows are the top world musicians such as Mike Stern on guitar, Dave Kikoski on piano, Bob Franceschini on sax and Ruben Rodriguez on bass to name a few. The album received excellent reviews from Moderm Drummer Magazine and Drum Magazine.

Recently, Utsi has been working with Jazz band “Niogi”, they recorded “Landing” in Rainbow studio in Norway. The record has been released by Alessa Records.

With Per Mathisen, great Norwegian bass player, Utsi formed a power rhythm section and they cooperate together on various music projects. Most recently Utsi and Per recorded an album with Dave Kikoski in New York’s System Two studio in January 2016.


A monthly music series has sprung up in Kensington, Brooklyn called Church Avenue Sessions.  Founded by guitarist and composer Yoshie Fruchter and hosted by the Flatbush Jewish Center, the series is focused on showcasing the amazing artistry of Brooklyn based musicians, regardless of genre.  All ages are welcome! As a recent transplant to Kensington from Prospect Heights, Yoshie was inspired to start CAS from other peers who have run music series’ in synagogues around the city, including The Sixth Street Synagogue in the East Village, Kane Street synagogue in Cobble Hill, Temple Beth Emeth in Ditmas Park, and the Stephen Wise synagogue on the upper west side.

As community spaces, synagogues are many ways perfect venues to present art and music, and Flatbush Jewish Center is no exception.  With a beautiful and spacious sanctuary, and a downstairs event room, there is opportunity to present both sensitive acoustic music, as well as bands that utilize drums and electric instruments.

Flatbush Jewish Center (FJC) is a Conservative synagogue offering programming and services for families, adults, and children. We serve the Windsor Terrace and Kensington, Brooklyn communities and offer traditional egalitarian services.

Yoshie Fruchter is a guitar, bass, oud player and composer whose band, Pitom (Tzadik Records), has received critical acclaim from JazzTimes magazine, the Wall Street Journal and Guitar Player Magazine, among others.  The unique blend of rock, jazz, experimental and jewish styles in his playing and composing is a defining characteristic of his music.  He has toured the US and Europe with Pitom and other groups, playing the Atlantique Jazz Festival in France, the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, Saalfelden Jazz Festival in Austria and others.  He recently released a record of post-rock arrangements of old cantorial recordings entitled Schizophonia, and leads a new project called Sandcatchers featuring oud, lap steel and cello. In addition, Yoshie is a sought-after freelance musician in New York City in bands ranging in style from acoustic world music to heavy metal and has performed with John Zorn, Cyro Baptista and Frank London, among many others.

We are fortunate to have Yoshie and his family as members of Flatbush Jewish Center and our Kensington community at large! Please come join us!

Stay tuned for the schedule of upcoming performances!


Upcoming Performances