Raised on the songs of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, Ya’akov-Yisrael Jimmy Costello began songleading for NFTY in highschool. In college Jimmy broadened his exposure to different types of Jewish music at Boston University Hillel and Camp Eisner. While studying in Israel, the Trugmans introduced him to the niggunim of Shlomo Carlebach. After receiving his BA in Judaic Studies from Boston University, Jimmy went on to study in Jerusalem at Yeshivat Darche Noam and was the founding fellow of the Capital District Community Kollel in Albany, NY.
After seven years in the business and legal world, Jimmy moved to Philadelphia and returned to songleading and folk music. A special type of t’shuva. When not coordinating Ramah Day Camp’s music program, teaching songs in local synagogue religious schools, or leading Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat at Mekor Habracha, Jimmy could be found busking in Rittenhouse Square and Suburban Station.
Recently Jimmy and his wife spent a year living and learning in the heart of Jerusalem at places like Sulam Ya’akov, Simchat Shlomo and Isralight. While there, Jimmy sang with mystics in Tzvat and soldiers in Chevron. In Jerusalem he sang happy Shabbat tunes for shoppers in Shuk Machaneh Yehuda and led Havdallah for Birthright participants in Kikar Zion.
Now known as the Musical Maggid, Jimmy sings with folks all over, especially South Florida and most specially at home with his new son.
This summer they head up and down the east coast. The Musical Maggid will be singing, song swapping and connecting with Jewish kids of all ages and backgrounds.