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Avi's Debut Album, Something New, is available now!


Sky Blue Sky Reviews

5 days ago

Here’s what people are saying about the new single
Sky Blue Sky“…

“Listen to Sky Blue Sky, the samba-inspired new track by Avi Wisnia. The song was inspired by his time in Philadelphia and Rio de Janeiro, and combines a Brazilian samba rhythm and flavor with folk-like strings that sound beautiful together.” - Dylan Otero, 88.5 WXPN The Key

“Sky Blue Sky seamlessly blends jazz, pop, and Brazilian rhythms in intricate layers. The instruments in the background, which include the Brazilian pandeiro and cavaquinho, provide the backbone of the song and support Wisnia’s very calming, jazzy voice. Close your eyes and listen to the waves and birds as the song comes to a close; it’s as if you are sunbathing on the Jersey shore, or better yet, Brazilian shores.” - Lauren Silvestri, Rock On Philly

“The talented Philly artist’s brand new track, “Sky Blue Sky,” will make you want to get in your car and head to the beach. Immediately.” - Geo, Jump Philly

“The new single is a gentle, meditative, and warm bossa nova inspired blend; a unique song that will surely invoke a memory of a mellow summer’s day. The easy vocals, along with great instrumental work, make for a rich and calming musical experience.” -  Jeremy Price-Ballew, Loud & Proud 

“Sky Blue Sky guides listeners down a jazzy path. Avi takes a strong step forward in musical expansion with this new song.” - Patricia Trutestcu, Music Historian

“Sky Blue Sky is the perfect soundtrack for the fleeting days of summer, an awesome summer-lover-cozy-chill track from one of our favorite artists Avi Wisnia. Sky Blue Sky is saturated with his silky voice and Brazilian jazz goodness. It’s a light one that floats around in the atmosphere before landing squarely in your heart. Reminiscent of music by Bebel Gilberto, Stan Getz and Antonio Carolos Jobim, the breezy bossanova of Sky Blue Sky transcends geographical borders and captures the promise of possibility as clear as a blue summer sky.” - Mut Asheru,  KnowShi Magazine


Read These Featured Articles:

JUMP PHILLY: Avi Wisnia Sky Blue Sky Interview, Jazz & Pop Fighting For My Attention 

Philly Mix Tape: Music Tea with Avi Wisnia 

ROP EXCLUSIVE: Avi Wisnia Drops New Single “Sky Blue Sky”

KnowShi Magazine: Sonic Bloom – Avi Wisnia’s “Sky Blue Sky” Flies High For Us

To all the radio stations, from New York to California, Italy to Brazil, and blogs around the world that have played and promoted Sky Blue Sky, and to all of you for listening…

Thank you for supporting the music!



My Polish Wisnia: Part II Day 8

2 weeks ago

I think we look pretty good for traveling half way around the world, performing a few concerts, and spending days walking around Auschwitz. It is a credit to the amazing friends and strangers we encountered along the way who welcomed us and took care of us. It is also a credit to my grandfather’s sense of humor. During our dinners at the Auschwitz conference, my grandfather would joke, “You know, I never ate this good the first time i was here.”

My grandfather especially was glad to be back in the United States. I know he is grateful for everything this country has afforded him, how it gave him a second life. Throughout his entire time as a prisoner in Auschwitz, he always told himself he would make it to America. He would repeat over and over in his mind the addresses memorized from letters his mother had sent to her sisters, his Aunt Rose and his Aunt Helen in New York, the only family he knew he had left. Everything he knew in Poland had been taken away, destroyed, erased, so he had looked to the future. He gave himself a future.

We put our luggage in the shuttle van and got in alongside Charles, a business man who had also been traveling internationally. He was heading to his home not too far from my grandparents’ house in Levittown. Charles did not know what he was in for. Charles spotted my grandfather’s Screaming Eagles jacket. “Are you army?” Yes, my grandfather was a member of the 101st Airborne. After escaping from the death march, my grandfather wandered aimlessly for days on his own until he miraculously crossed paths with a platoon of American soldiers who were rolling through, on a tour of liberation through Germany. They adopted David, calling him Little Davey. He became their interpreter, their mascot, and their little brother. He became one of them, learning English and watching the war from the other side, watching this army barrel through town after town, seeing white flags of surrender from the German population. My grandfather would finally arrive in 1946 on a ship in Hoboken New Jersey, dressed head to toe in his soldier’s uniform, well-fed, his pockets full of money that he had earned employed by the army.

My grandfather spent the entire ride down the NJ Turnpike talking to Charles. They bonded over famous tenors. Charles was familiar with the cantor Moshe Koussevitsky who had coached my grandfather as a boy. They started singing together in the van. With my grandfather, there is always singing.

“This is incredible, I can’t wait to tell my wife about you. She’s gonna flip out. I take this shuttle all the time, and i’ve never had a van ride like this. I can’t wait to tell her.” He matched eyes with my grandfather, and he looked grateful. “You are the first Holocaust survivor I have ever met.”

My grandfather’s house was the first stop, and we took our time getting our luggage out from the back. There was almost no light left outside. We had barely finished saying goodbye to Charles as he took out his phone. I could hear his voice as he called his wife, the van doors still open as we rolled the luggage up to my grandparents’ house. I guess he really couldn’t wait to call his wife.

“Dorothy, let me tell you, you’re gonna flip out. I just met the most remarkable man…”

Yes, he did.


Thank you for sharing our journey. It has meant more than I can say.
I have archived all my blog posts HERE.

My grandfather’s memoir is now available at

Read a featured article about the trip and my grandfather’s book HERE.



My Polish Wisnia: Part II Day 7.3

3 weeks ago

#‎MyPolishWisnia‬ turned the camera on me.

It was our last night here in Oświęcim. We got back to Hotel Galicja just as another family was checking in. In just a few hours, we would leave for Krakow, and then Vienna, then New York, then Philadelphia. It was going to be a full day of travel, and it had already been one of the most intense days we have had here. Visiting Auschwitz requires a lot of walking, a lot of standing. But the most draining are the memories.

We had earned our coffee, and my grandfather deserved some room service (that would be me). As he was taking my picture in the doorway of our room, the family that had just checked in downstairs came lumbering down our hall, speaking some other language, dragging their luggage behind them. My grandfather, naturally, poked his head out into the hallway. Where are you from? What language is this? The teenage daughter answered us. She was the only member of her family that spoke English, her parents and her younger brother only spoke Hungarian and did not understand. “Hungarian! You know, I know a song in Hungarian…” and my grandfather launched into some Hungarian tune, which I had never heard him sing before. So, I guess, add Hungarian to his list of languages. And then the entire family joined him, singing in the hallway. This was an apparently popular old Hungarian song.

The family looked tired. We were tired too. But upon meeting new people, suddenly my grandfather wasn’t tired anymore. Or he just forgot he was tired. When the family found out my grandfather was a survivor of the concentration camp, their eyes went wide, and they forgot they were tired too.

The daughter explained that they had just arrived to spend a few days visiting the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau. She then translated for her family as my grandfather ran through his history, from growing up outside Warsaw, to the violence he experienced in the Warsaw ghetto, to ending up in this place, a prisoner for over two and a half years. We just got back from visiting the barracks where he slept as a prisoner of Birkenau. The girl looked a little timid. “And what is the difference between Auschwitz and Birkenau?”

A year ago, I would have asked the same question. Because of my travels with my grandfather, I have gotten to know many more survivors and their stories. I have gotten to see so much of Auschwitz and hear experts talk about its history and legacy. I have gotten to understand more and more what my grandfather experienced. The girl’s question made me realize just how much of an education I have received.

Her question was so innocent, and my grandfather answered it without hesitation. They certainly had a lot to learn. Coming to Auschwitz, that is the best way to learn.



My Polish Wisnia: Part II Day 7.2

3 weeks ago

Singing saved my grandfather’s life. It is how he survived his time in Auschwitz. He would entertain the guards with songs like ‘Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,’ and so became a sort of privileged prisoner in the camp, perhaps somewhat less expendable. During his time as prisoner, he actually composed a song – Oświęcim, a parody of life in Auschwitz-Birkenau, based on the name of the town where the concentration camp sits. Towards the end of the war, the night before the Germans evacuated every remaining prisoner out of Birkenau on a Death March, my grandfather wrote out his song and gave the paper to a fellow prisoner, Szaja, as a gift. They would meet again 20 years later in Israel as free men, as survivors, and Szaja would hand him back that very same paper. This song is now on display at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC (view it HERE).

My grandfather taught me his song, Oświęcim, and I will perform it with him for the first time, here in Poland.

After dinner, they invited me to perform some entertainment for the attendees of the conference.

We had gathered at the Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim, the town where Auschwitz was, and where it still is. We met wonderful people who grew up here, who have roots here. As a prisoner, my grandfather knew nothing of this town. All he knew was Auschwitz. Yet, he tells me that in his circles, the prisoners never knew this German word Auschwitz – they referred to the place in Polish based on where it was located, Oświęcim. Today, Oświęcim is a town with stores, schools, families, life. Like everything touched by the Holocaust, Oświęcim carries forward with it a complicated legacy.

Later in the evening, my grandfather and I performed his song, Oświęcim, his song that he wrote as a prisoner of Auschwitz.

I cannot describe to you what it felt like to perform here. I cannot put it into words. I don’t even know what to call it.



My Polish Wisnia: Part II Day 7.1

3 weeks ago

My grandfather wanted to take me to Bunk 15, the barracks where he slept for most of his nights as a prisoner of Auschwitz. The barracks still stand. We might have gone off by ourselves, but a Dutch filmmaker who was attending the conference approached my grandfather to participate in an interview for his documentary. The man wanted to film my grandfather walking around the Birkenau death camp. They would film me, too, walking with him; a grandfather pointing out his memories to his grandson. So we struck a deal. If they could arrange for a car and could get us in to the locked and roped-off barracks, we would do it. They liked the idea of filming inside the barracks. They could get someone from the museum to unlock the gates to drive us in to the restricted section. They could open the doors of Bunk 15. Sure.

My grandfather chiseled his name into the wall in the spot where he used to sleep as a prisoner of Auschwitz, in Barracks 15. This was years ago, when he returned after the war, it’s hard to remember when. But it has been there for decades. Many people have seen it, he points it out to people when he goes back. This was his buksa, his bed. No pillow or mattress. Just wood. He shared it with three other strangers; one thin, threadbare blanket to share between them. You could not stand up, you had to slide in. A bookshelf for people. You were lucky if you survived through the night, but you would wake only to find yourself still in this place.

There were many years my grandfather did not talk about his time here. David’s oldest son, my father, didn’t find out his own father was a Holocaust survivor until he was 16. My father had only discovered that David was born outside the United States a few years earlier. But now, my grandfather will tell you about it. He will come back to Auschwitz and show you. He has written it on the wall. He wants the world to know he was here.

“Ok, now we’re going to have you just walk down and around in between the bunks in silence, and we’ll follow you with the cameras.”

Even in daylight, Building 15 was dark. The stone walls and the wooden shelves which were used as beds were packed in tightly, cutting off most of the light. The windows seemed irrelevant. I followed my grandfather down one aisle and around the other, the documentary crew following behind us. There was not much room to move around. It was hard to picture 100 men in this space. It was cold. It was appalling. My grandfather slept here?

“Ok, now we’d like you to ask your grandfather some questions.”

They wanted me to prompt him from off camera. What did it smell like? What did it sound like? For all the detailed documents and records that were kept, none will really tell you what it was like to be a prisoner in Auschwitz. Nothing can, except the prisoners themselves.

The barracks were kept clean. Even though there was nothing but mud outside, you had to keep the barracks clean because they would be inspected by the Nazi guard. The Germans were afraid of disease spreading.

What was the mood like among the prisoners? Was there ever laughing? Not really. When you got food, when you had something to eat, there was a good mood. If you managed to get a bit extra, that was a great moment. There were occasional moments of sharing. But if you stole someone’s bread, the other prisoners would beat you to death. Prisoners would turn on each other all the time, like animals. You had to look out for yourself, that’s how you lived. Your survival depended on the death of someone else.

“Ok, now can you say that again, but over here by the door, in the light.”

There are only so many questions you can ask at once, theres only so far you can press. You can’t force someone to go back to a place they don’t want to go, even if they are already there. You’ll break them. It was already difficult being in the barracks, and the cameras made everything more complicated. It was beginning to feel like a conversation I wasn’t really involved in, even though I was.

They finished the interview with my grandfather outside the entrance to the barracks. I heard them laughing. My grandfather had lightened the mood, he always does. I stayed inside the bunk and walked around by myself, without the cameras behind me. I stood in the center taking everything in. I stood there for a while. Then I took out my own camera and took a picture.
Everything here is complicated. Nothing is appropriate.

My grandfather called back to me.
“Avi, ok, let’s go. Get out of that hell hole.”

Don’t mind if i do.





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