You Should Know… Jeremy Englander

Jeremy Englander (Provided)

Pikesville resident and Ner Tamid – Greenspring Valley Synagogue congregant Jeremy Englander took a long, winding path to get where he is today. After starting college without much of a sense of direction, he attended the Sheffield Institute for the Recording Arts in Phoenix, Maryland, to become an audio engineer. Once he started, Sheffield’s then-director of education Rob Ziv took him under his wing.

After spending some time in New York, Englander married his wife, Shoshanna, and returned to Pikesville, working as a kosher caterer while trying to get an audio recording business off the ground.

Now, Englander is the owner and audio engineer at Blue Door Studio, a local recording studio that records a lot of Jewish music. Englander also does live sound, running PA systems at events and doing sound for the Zemer Orchestra wedding band.

Englander and his wife have a 3-year-old daughter, Avital, to whom Englander says he devotes all his time away from work.

How did you start Blue Door Studio?

I was a musician growing up and I started college but didn’t really have a real direction. My father’s friend’s son, Rob Ziv, was the head of education at Sheffield at the time. He’s been my mentor for about 13 years. When I got there, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I moved to New York and did audio work there. I had an internship at Quad Recording Studios. When I got married, I came back to Maryland and started working in catering. I still did audio, and eventually it became a full-time job. It’s kind of a long road, but I’m not sure that there really is a direct path to be in this business.

What instruments do you play?

I play guitar, drums and bass. Growing up, I guess I’d call myself a punk rocker. I played in a punk rock band, I’ve been in a Jewish band. But after I found engineering and recording, that became my passion.

Has turning music into a business changed the way you listen?

It does. Each song becomes sort of like a study for me, versus just listening to a song as a song. It’s much more interesting to listen to it this way. On a greater scale, I can appreciate a lot more music now than I did before. For example, Cajun music would not be something I listen to on a daily basis, but I can listen to it now and really appreciate the technicality of it or the production of it. I’m not just listening to the song, I’m listening to technical stuff happening in the song.

How does your Judaism fit into this career?

Being a religious Jew in the business has held me back a little, but it has also contributed to my successes. For example, when I was at Quad in New York I wasn’t advancing like I should have because I wasn’t getting sessions that were over the weekend because they knew I couldn’t be there because of Shabbat. They did it out of consideration for me, but there were some sessions I missed that I would’ve liked to have been on.

But in another way, right here in Baltimore, recording Jewish music contributes to half of my business right now, if not more. By being a religious Jew in this career path I’ve found a niche market. There’s not a lot of people out there who understand the technical aspects of the music and the spiritual aspects of the music. There’s less of a language barrier between what my clients are trying to accomplish emotionally, spiritually and technically.

What kind of Jewish music do you record?

What I mean by Jewish music is religious-oriented music. I’ve recorded cantorial music but there’s not a huge market for that. It’s mostly what I would call Jewish rock ’n’ roll and Jewish folk.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

It’s funny—this is what I like to do in my spare time. If I wasn’t doing it professionally, I’d be doing this anyway. My schedule tends to be pretty crazy, but when I do get a spare minute, that is for family time.

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