Making a MashUp ft. Elliot Dvorin & The Key Tov Orchestra

key tov chitribe making a mashup

Let’s meet Key Tov Orchestra’s Band Manager, Elliot Dvorin

The Key Tov Orchestra is featured on the ChiTribe Top 8 Modern Hannukah Classics. Elliot is a Chicago native and The Key Tov Orchestra are a local treasure, so we were excited to connect with the Band Manager and learn more behind the scenes of filming the 2014 viral hannukah mashup.


What did you do Jewish growing up?

I went to Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School for elementary school and Ida Crown Jewish Academy for high school. I started playing piano when I was 6 years old and I also play drums. I always played music and a lot of the music I played was Jewish music. Now I sing and play piano while directing the Key Tov Orchestra.


Why do you call the band The “Key Tov” Orchestra?

Even before I officially formed the group, I knew this would be the name because I love word play in general. “Key Tov” really works because it’s good! (Ki Tov in hebrew means because it is good). The english word Key is an allusion to music, and tov is good.

And was available so I went with it.


What is your favorite Hanukkah Classic?

Even though it is not actually featured in the mashup, my favorite Hanukkah classic is Maoz Tzur. We needed upbeat songs for the video but I personally love this song most.


What is the best part of a Hannukah Parody?

As a musician, I admire how closely the words can tie into the original song. So yes, some are stretches. The challenge for anyone writing a parody is to keep it tight and write words that sound similar to the original content. That has to be a natural flow of words. I love to see when a good parody works. Since I have done these videos before and know what goes into it., I really appreciate them from a creator’s perspective.


What is the best part of producing videos in Chicago?

So many people see this video and assume we filmed in New York. No. Not everything is from New York. I am proud of Chicago and born and raised in Chicago. I wanted an iconic location for an iconic hanukkah performance. I made sure to name the locations we use and give Chicago the recognition it deserves. The idea for the Hanukkah MashUp was to be downtown at a recognizable city location with a big open space to accommodate all of the dancers. This visual component of the city really makes the video.

The video we are still talking about:

Was it Chanukkah Cold outside during filming?

No, it was surprisingly nice! We filmed at the end of October of that year before they brought in the Christmas market (of course). But the next day was insane, torrential wind. The waves from Lake Michigan were crashing onto Lake Shore Drive. It really was a hanukkah miracle that we filmed in fantastic weather in the Chicago winter.  

What was the best part of the reach of this video for you personally?

Actually, I met my girlfriend because of this video. She was living in New York at the time and then saw my video and did some Facebook stalking. It turns out we have some close mutual friends and she added me. I messaged her back and flew to New York a few weeks later to meet her. She has since moved to Chicago for me (lucky guy!)So, personally it was really amazing.

(Could it be…A Viral Meet Cute?!)


Were you trying to go viral with this video?

Not at all! I wanted a truly high production value but I was just aiming to produce a great Chanukah video. I did not have any expectations for viewership or shares. The original idea came from an earlier 2014 video Hashem Melech Flashmob. People were really about it and it was filmed in Federal Plaza. I wanted to make a video that I was proud of and can be enjoyed many years to come. It is flattering and exciting that it went viral but it’s just gravy on top. The more people that share, the happier I am because they are enjoying the musical performance. The viral nature of the internet allows this to be possible.

Key Tov ChiTribe

What do you love best about this performance?

I love the creative process and seeing the finished product. I do not think there is anything else like it out there and it really takes a lot of manpower and energy. The best part is taking an idea you really care about and seeing it come to fruition. I wanted to do the songs that people recognize from the usual lineup, with our own musical twist. I matched up different intros and styles from other songs in pop culture to make one, huge hanukkah mashup. Succeeding to do what I rset out to do with this project has been really fulfilling for me.

Four years later and people are still sharing it and talking about it, and we are all really proud. We are already throwing around ideas for new videos in Chicago for next year.


Who do you want to give a shout out to?

Huge shout out to choreographer extraordinaire Mitchell Fink and Pro Dance Elite in Algonquin.


Where can we find the amazing music of The Key Tov Orchestra?

Social Media is a great way to connect and to see what we are up as is our website. Check out our Website, Youtube channel to see full performances. If you are planning a specific event, email is best.


Watch more Viral Modern Hannukah Classics

You can find more about Jewish Chicago music on ChiTribe.

Rebecca Schwab

Rebecca Schwab

Rebecca creates best practices and executes marketing campaigns for Jewish organizations who are trying to reach the next generation of the Jewish community - specifically Millennials and Gen Z - through digital marketing, social media, online and in-person events.