Les Dorons: the YU family group

If you asked people to think of musical groups from Yeshiva University, most would probably find Y-Studs A Cappella, The Maccabeats, and maybe even StandFour. But YU has produced another band – his very first rock band, in fact – as recently as the past few years, in the form of a family band called the Dorons. This four-piece rock band is made up of two brothers – Yosef (vocals, guitar) and Aryeh Rosenfield (vocals, electric bass) – and their parents, Norman Rosenfield (guitar, keyboards) and Janice Kaidan (vocals, drums) .

The group’s founder, Aryeh, was a student at Yeshiva University between 2013 and 2017. He wasted no time choosing to major in music, declaring in just his second semester at Yeshiva College. “I thought I would major in history when I got to YU,” Aryeh recalls, but “taking a history class and a music class in the first semester” changed my mind. He even hosted a music radio show between 2013 and 2015 on YU’s student radio station, WYUR, where he had the opportunity to share his extensive musical knowledge and eclectic tastes. Aryeh also founded and played bass in the first-ever YU Rock Ensemble in 2014, which enjoyed a respectable nine-semester run. Although a rocker at heart, he also played bass for the YU Jazz Ensemble in his senior year.

The Dorons unofficially reunited as a group on May 14, 2017. Aryeh was about to graduate from YU at the time and had to give a senior recital in order to complete the music major, so he decided to recruiting his family of musicians—not formally a band at the time—to play with him for the occasion. Mom and Dad (Janice and Norman) had retired as performing musicians, previously veterans of Boston’s alternative rock scene of the 80s and 90s. Younger brother Yosef had only been playing guitar for three years. Nonetheless, the band transported their musical instruments and gear from their home in Providence, RI to the Schottenstein Theater at 560 West 185th St. and played an intimidating themed set from multiple albums spanning iconic Clash releases, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. “It took a lot of nerve to reproduce these artists”, ironically Norman.

When Aryeh finally graduated in May 2017 and his younger brother, Yosef, began his college career at Yeshiva University later that year, it seemed to Yosef that he was picking up where Aryeh had left off. stopped. “It was like the passing of a baton,” Yosef recalled, with Aryeh handing him the YU Rock Ensemble as Yosef became the ensemble’s new rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist. Yosef performed three concerts with the YU Rock Ensemble, after which in 2019 he became the only remaining member of the group. Rather than rebuild the set from virtually nothing (which he had just done the previous year), Yosef opted to continue performing, but solo.

Yosef’s first solo YU performance was a Maroon 5 and Panic! At The Disco tribute concert, where he browsed artists’ discographies and played a song from each album. At his next gig, Yosef played his own songs — mostly originals, with a few parodies mixed into the setlist. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York State just two months later, forcing Yosef to play his last three YU concerts from home via Zoom. This included his Senior Recital 2020for which Yosef followed in the footsteps of his brother Aryeh and asked his family group – who by then named themselves the Dorons – to support him for the performance.

Instead of playing a full set of covers, however, Yosef came up with the idea of ​​performing almost exclusively originals – including many songs that his mother, Janice, had written and/or released 30 to 40 years earlier when ‘she was in various bands with her. husband, Norman. It was that senior recital that prompted the Dorons to take a bunch of those songs they had already rehearsed, record them professionally in a studio, and finally launch an album project — something Aryeh was pushing the band. to do for quite a while. “It felt like a waste after all that preparation not to do more as a band,” Norman says.

Realizing they had writing sessions to do, the Dorons got to work. Three new songs ended up making the final cut of the album: a scathing pop-rock song written by Yosef called “Spare Me”, a mournful ballad written by Aryeh called “Chimes of Innocence” (which Aryeh started writing when he was an undergraduate YU) and passionate hard rocker co-written by Janice and Yosef called “This new poison.” Finally, after spending almost two years working on new music, the Dorons have finally finished their first album – titled “The Doronic Verses” – which was just released on November 11.

Wondering where the name “Dorons” comes from? Well, the band’s evocative name is fascinating. It references rock band The Doors as well as the bittersweet minor scale, the Dorian mode, and it hilariously rhymes with “morons.” Additionally, the word “dor” in Hebrew means “generation”, which speaks to the multi-generational nature of the group.

Then the Dorons will record and play more, if Norman has a say. “I know I won’t have to twist my arms too hard to do summer performances and get back into the studio,” he says with a good-natured laugh. Yosef, for his part, won’t need too much convincing. “The studio was the most meaningful part of the experience for me. We were all in sync, and that element of community flow was just euphoric,” Yosef marvels. “I’m excited to do more!”

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Photo caption: Les Dorons

Photo credit: Yosef Rosenfield

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