This year, Mayer released an album of original nigunim and new melodies for traditional Hebrew texts. Entitled Modeh Ani, the album features Mayer’s singing and saxophone playing joined by some of today’s most accomplished Jewish musicians, including Frank London, Michael Alpert, Deborah Strauss and Richie Barshay. Mayer says, “Modeh Ani is music meant for singing together with others. I want to share these melodies with many different communities, and even if it’s only temporary, create at least a miniature moment of peace.”
In addition to his work as a Jewish musician, he has also performed with Bobby McFerrin, John Zorn, Questlove, Jamie Cullum, Big Boi (OutKast) and Cyro Baptista. He was also in a viral YouTube video with nearly nine million views called “Subway Sax Battle.” Mayer plays baritone saxophone internationally with Zion80, a 10-piece Jewish Afrobeat band, and his folk sextet, Night Tree has toured in Europe and has released two albums produced by Seamus Egan of SOLAS. He has been on the faculty at the Brandeis Institute of Music and Art and Laguardia Arts High School in Manhattan, and teaches every summer at the KlezKanada Jewish music festival. He is the musical director of Kahal B’raira, Boston’s humanistic Jewish congregation, and leads interactive concerts of the music from Modeh Ani, singing with communities around the country. Mayer received a masters degree from the New England Conservatory in Contemporary Improvisation, and resides in Boston, Massachusetts.