Posts Tagged ‘Israeli music’

Israel, and the World, Pays Tribute to Arik Einstein

November 27, 2013

This piece first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

blog-arikeinstein-112713News of iconic Israeli singer-songwriter Arik Einstein’s sudden death November 26 at age 74 spread quickly throughout Israel and around the globe. Israelis and Jews the world over, including political leaders and famous artists, poured out their shock and grief, many saying that the beloved entertainer’s passing signaled the end of an era.

While he had not performed live for quite some time, Einstein maintained a special status in Israeli popular culture. Many believe that had he not come on the scene when and as he did, Israeli music would not have developed as it had. “Einstein was the harbinger of Hebrew rock n’ roll, the man who, with a small group of talented friends, absorbed the sounds of the Sixties and translated them into Israeli,” wrote Liel Leibovitz in Tablet.

“A part of Israel passed away on Tuesday night. A slice of its soul has departed. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis, possibly millions, have lost a close personal friend, an intimate lifelong companion. A voice of Israel — the voice of Israel, for many – will sing no more,” wrote Chemi Shalev in Haaretz.

As preparations for Einstein’s funeral Wednesday afternoon at Tel Aviv’s Trumpeldor cemetery were being made, news of his passing continued to lead Israeli news websites. Social media feeds were clogged with posts of personal reminiscences about the singer, as well as videos of his performances.

Click here to read more.
© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Israel At Eurovision ‘Only For Him’

March 12, 2013

This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

blog-moranmazor-031213Israel is hoping for a big win at the Eurovision Song Contest in mid-May with a performance of “Rak bishvilo” (“Only for Him”) by Moran Mazor.

Mazor, who will turn 22 during the contest, earned the right to represent Israel in Malmö, Sweden, the site of this year’s event, by defeating nine other finalists in the Kdam Eurovision competition. Mazor, the winner of the first season of the “Eyal Golan Is Calling You” a Mediterranean song contest, came out on top after a long, complicated and drama-filled process.

She will perform the song, written by Gal Sarig and Chen Harari, in the second Eurovision semi-final round on May 16. Should she win, it would be Israel’s fourth Eurovision victory. Israel won in 1978, 1979 and in 1998, when transgender singer Dana International sang “Diva.”

Here is Mazor displaying an impressive set of pipes in the performance that earned her the opportunity to go to Malmo:

Click here to watch the video.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Watch This Mashup Of ’70s Israeli Disco

February 11, 2013

This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at The Forward.

blog-kutiman-021113

Kutiman is always up to something interesting.

The Israeli musical artist (né Ophir Kutiel) is known for his inspired “ThruYOU” mashups of YouTube videos. Sitting at his home computer he is a cutting-edge composer, sampling snippets of sound from homemade movies to unite and blend disparate individuals from all corners of the globe into beautiful and totally unexpected ensembles.

One of his “ThruYou videos,” titled “My Favorite Color,” caught the attention of media outlets like Wired, CBS News and TechCrunch for its sophisticated jazz composition. Another, called “Thru Jerusalem,” created for the Jerusalem Season of Culture in 2011, involved Kutiman’s walking around Israel’s capital to film and record local musicians playing traditional and improvisational instruments.

His latest creation, “Israeli Groove Reconstructed,” delights fans of 1970s and early 1980s disco-era Israeli pop music. It’s a blast from the past, and if you watch and listen closely you’ll see and hear some of the of the biggest stars at the time, like Yehoram Gaon, Shlomo Artzi, Zohar Argov and Zvika Pick. A young Rivka Michaeli serves as our host throughout the piece.

Click here to watch the video.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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