Ilene Weiss

Photo © Irene Young

Ilene Weiss is one of the hippest people I know. She always has been and always will be. What makes her hip is her range of emotion—her dual persona—one of clown and the other of healer. She can perform a clever song (His Initials) and have you laugh and marvel at her witty twist on life,
or she can deliver one of her ballads about love gone wrong (This Part of the World), Get Out Now—or love gone right (Just By Offering)—and you will say
a song just can’t get better. Good for us listeners that, in addition to being on her own recordings, her material has been recorded by a number of indie artists. Why the right major recording artist does not capitalize on Weiss’ songs must be because they have not heard them yet.

On a day to day basis, Ilene has devoted her life to helping people feel better. Whether it is because they are having health challenges in their early years (pediatric hospitals with Big Apple Circus Clown Care and actor, Paul Newman’s
Hole in the Wall Gang Camp), or in their later years (elderly veterans), you can find Ilene using her talents to lift spirits. It’s the mark of a very special person who is able to heal with music and humor. Yet, it certainly is not just about fun and games. Ilene’s “Dr.” Noodle is trained to understand the needs and sensitivities of critically ill children, and being a beautiful human being (which she is) doesn’t hurt the patients either.

Ilene helped me a lot with the Glass Half Full CD project. We chose her song Woman of a Calm Heart because, to me, it is a perfect audio affirmation asking that we may be at our best when things may be at their worst.

…Oh to be a woman of resilience
who can take the punches and the swings
and still have arms for warmer things
able to put a quick retort aside…
Read full lyrics

Thank you, Ilene, for all you are and all you do in this world.
Irene Young

Photo © Irene Young
photo © Irene Young

From  Ilene’s Bio:

When Ilene Weiss was eight years old, she wrote her first song, “The Ballad of Uncle Joe,” in which a sad rabbit (Uncle Joe) mourns the destruction (by “wood choppers”) of his forest home.

Approximately twelve years later, the first song of Ilene’s adulthood—“Fun With a Man”—emerged from the confluence of a sick day, an unrequited crush, and heavy turntable rotation of “Talking Heads ’77.” Subsequent songs have been sparked by other circumstances over the years and some of those songs have been recorded and/or performed over the years by Ilene and others.

As Noodle (Musical Goofball), Ilene has performed for over twenty years with Big Apple Circus Clown Care®. “Dr.” Noodle and her multi-skilled clown doctor colleagues can be found year-round on clown rounds in numerous pediatric hospital environments, as well as during summer sessions at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, CT. Ilene has also worked for BAC Vaudeville Caravan, sharing an exchange of music, memories and mischief with elderly veterans at VA hospitals in New York State.

Ilene has recently begun performing with Ronald McDonald House New York’s Musical Magic Program, directed by Dr. Sherrie Maricle of Diva Jazz and the NY Pops, in conjunction with RMH-NY.

A proud contributor to the Oxford University Press Global English Language Teaching curriculum (OUPELT), Ilene was one of the songwriters hired to create content-specific musical material for two OUPELT publications: “Everybody Up” and “Stars.”

Miscellaneously speaking, Ilene is an art school dropout, an alumna of Second City, a SuperPassword game show contestant and a recent member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Writing Workshop. In 2006, she collaborated with the Jazz Passengers as script writer, voice actor and (very basic) electric guitarist for the 2006 multi-media production “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

Songs by Ilene Weiss have been recorded by other musicians, including Anne Hills, Robin Flower, and Deidre McCalla. In addition to Glass Half Full, her own renditions have been included on various compilations.

From Ilene: “Since 1981, I have been privileged to witness the beautiful scope of Irene Young’s artistry in concert with her generous spirit. Thanks to Irene and to all who share and support her vision.”


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