Cantor Ida Rae Cahana


Appears on: Pink Martini New Year's Extravaganza

Ida Rae Cahana was raised in Pittsburgh, PA, where she made history and the local news at the age of seventeen, when she became one of the first women to sing in a synagogue as cantorial soloist. Ida Rae has since appeared on Broadway with Phyllis Newman, as soloist at Alice Tully Hall with Leonard Nimoy, and in concerts at Merkin Concert Hall and the 92nd Street Y. After ordination from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in 1993, she served congregations in Toledo, OH; Providence, RI; and Central Synagogue in New York City. Ida Rae is a featured soloist for two recordings from the Milken Archive of Jewish music (Naxos label), one of Yiddish art songs, as well as on their latest release of Jewish wedding music.

In July 2012, Ida Rae was installed as senior cantor for Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, OR, where she is delighted to be serving with her husband, Senior Rabbi Michael Cahana. The creative spirit of Portland brought her together with Thomas Lauderdale and Pink Martini, with whom she recorded on their holiday album, Joy to the World. She has sung with them on tour in NYC at Town Hall, as well as in concerts at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. December 2012 marked her Carnegie Hall debut with the band. Cantor Ida Rae Cahana loves the collaborative spirit of her family’s chosen city and is grateful for opportunities to pray, sing, and bring people together with remarkable clergy and musicians.