Dynamic Songleader. Interactive Storyteller. Passionate Educator.
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.
“The Musical Maggid (Ya’akov-Yisrael Jimmy Costello) entertained, sang, danced, and created an atmosphere of JEWISH JOY at this year's Chanukah Extravaganza!!!! Enjoy the Show!” -Rabbi Yossie Denburg, Director Hebrew Academy Community School, Margate, FL
"Jimmy Costello's music will bring out the kid in you, the one you're suppressing all day pretending to be a grownup and going about your serious grownup business. With loving whimsy Jimmy's music weaves an energetic field of playfulness while bringing down important messages: 'dance your tuchas off' is advice we can all use. Music for your children AND your Inner Child!"
-Lorelai Kude of Radio Free Nachlaot,
Jerusalem's coolest internet radio station
Jewish Folk Music