Idan Raichel Project: Building Bridges

By Bob C. Young
Boston Herald

Idan Raichel joined the military and found peace.

That solace moved him to make music that celebrates an Israel unknown to much of the world: a melting pot of nationalities, cultures and musical ideas.

“Serving in the Israeli army, which is a duty, I was lucky to be a musician,” said Raichel on the phone from his home in Tel Aviv… “[The army is] filled with immigrants from all over,” he said, “from Iraq, Ethiopia, Eastern Europe, Morocco, everywhere. We are all Israeli by definition, but we keep our roots.”

Raichel has been blending his countrymen’s varied backgrounds in his music ever since. After a stint as a counselor for new immigrants who turned him on to Ethiopian pop, the keyboard player and composer backed popular Israeli singers as a session musician before becoming a very different kind of bandleader.

His Idan Raichel Project, which has made him a pop star in Israel, features a changing cast of artists from around the globe who buy into its leader’s “we are the world” view of music.

On tour, Raichel’s troupe includes players from the Middle East, Africa and South America covering songs from the Project’s latest, “Within My Walls” (Cumbancha), which features singers Marta Gomez, a native of Colombia and former Bostonian, Mayra Andrade of Cape Verde, and Somi of Rwanda and Uganda. (more)

The Idan Raichel Project live in 
Times Square, New York City

The Idan Raichel Project Live in Times Square, New York City

Idan Raichel is currently on tour. For more information, visit the Idan Raichel Project online.

About tolerantamerica

On her recent tour for her book, Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe, Lisa was inspired by the inauguration of Barack Obama, the first African-American elected president of the United States, to encourage cross-cultural dialogue about multiculturalism in America. To increase tolerance and understanding across communities, Lisa launched "A More Tolerant America" to feature guest bloggers, authors, activists, artists and other writers, who, like her, are multicultural. Klug's father is a German-Jewish Holocaust survivor from Poland and the descendant of a Spanish Jewish family that escaped the Spanish Inquisition. During her tour, Lisa encountered ignorance and bigotry toward Jewish Americans. As part of her campaign, this blog will giveaway books and other materials that promote cross-cultural dialogue.
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