Skip to page content

Cantor Ida Rae Cahana

About this Artist

Ida Rae Cahana was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she made history and the local news at the age of 17 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, Ohio; Providence, Rhode Island; and at Central Synagogue in New York City. Ida Rae is a featured soloist for two recordings from the Milken Archive of Jewish Music released on the Naxos label: one of Yiddish art songs and another of Jewish wedding music. In July 2012, Ida Rae was installed as senior cantor for Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon, where she is delighted to be serving with her husband, Senior Rabbi Michael Cahana.

The creative spirit of Portland brought her together with Pink Martini, with whom she recorded on the band’s holiday album, Joy to the World. She has since performed with Pink Martini at Town Hall in New York City, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with the band in December 2012.

Cantor Cahana loves the collaborative spirit of her family’s chosen city and is grateful for opportunities to pray, sing, and bring people together.