Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Idan Raichel Project Sydney Opera House

The Idan Raichel Project is a world music ensemble directed by Idan from Israel. Perhaps the most remarkable feature about the eclectic band singing in Hebrew is that its membership comprises people from the rich array of ethnic backgrounds represented in Israel, such as African Ethiopians, a Somalian, a Persian singer, Israelis and a wonderful South American percussionist. The gamut of instruments is equally exciting including a Georgian plucked instrument, South American cabassa, African gourd drums, electric bass, keyboard, kit percussion and hand drums such as bongos and a vast assortment of other skinned and wooden drums, water immersion.

The Idan Raichel Project erupted onto the music scene in 2002 as a new face of Israeli pop music advocating tolerance and joy.
Idan Raichel, is a 29-year old keyboardist, producer and composer from Kfar Saba. Idan was born in 1977 to a family with Eastern European roots and honed his skills at improvisation and working with other musicians in Israeli military service in the Army rock band. While counselling in a school for Ethiopian Jews, he listened to recordings of songs from artists like Mahmoud Ahmed, Aster Aweke, Gigi and others. These and gypsy and Latin and reggae influences are all audible in the repertoire of the Idan Raichel Project.

"Idan had long been fascinated with the diversity of Israel and sought to celebrate his appreciation and respect for different cultures through his music. Because of its open door to immigrants from Jewish communities around the globe, Israel is home to a stew of cultures and traditions, including people of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Latin American and Eastern European roots. Yemenite Jews offer traditions that reflect thousands of years of living in the country of Yemen on the southern edges of the Arabian Peninsula. Israel's Sephardic community consists of people who had incorporated the traditions of Spain, North Africa and the Mediterranean region where they had lived for centuries. The largest immigrant population in Israel consists of Ashkenazi Jews, who had come mostly from Russia and Eastern Europe". The 3rd photograph is by Barzi Goldblat.