Before There Was Matisyahu, There Was Peter Himmelman

This profile was first published in The Times of Israel.

The multi-talented Peter Himmelman wears more hats than just this favorite porkpie. (photo credit: Courtesy of Peter Himmelman/AJ Martinson)

The multi-talented Peter Himmelman wears more hats than just this favorite porkpie. (photo credit: Courtesy of Peter Himmelman/AJ Martinson)

Standing 6’1” and wearing a porkpie hat, Peter Himmelman, cuts a noticeable figure. If you were to see him at a party, for instance, you might be drawn to introduce yourself to him. Just don’t try to engage this natural communicator in small talk by asking him what he does. For Himmelman, the question is fraught with complexity.

“I try to not to get into a position where I’d be asked that,” he says half jokingly. “It depends on who’s asking the question, but I guess I’d just say that I’m a creative-type.”

The truth is that Peter Himmelman wears — by virtue of both calling and necessity —  many more hats than just his signature porkpie. He is a rock star, a visual artist, a composer for movies and television, a children’s entertainer, and a web series variety show host. Most recently, he’s been focused on his new Big Muse project, by which he works as a creativity and communication mentor for non-profit organizations and for-profit corporations.

The singer-songwriter is also a husband, a father of four grown children ages 17 to 23, and an observant Jew (before there was Matisyahu, there was Peter Himmelman). Last but not least, he’s the son-in-law of the legendary Bob Dylan.

Himmelman is willing to talk about all of these things, except for the last one. Acknowledging only that, “it’s interesting to have close proximity, a front row seat, so to speak, to something so large,” he is reticent to speak about his wife’s father, whose privacy he respects. “The commandment to honor your mother and father extends to your in-laws, as well,” he notes in a phone interview with The Times of Israel from his home in Santa Monica, California.

Click here to read more and watch a video.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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