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Idan Raichel Project Energizes A Dance-Happy Lisner Crowd

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Wednesday October 23, 2013

From The Hatchet

Idan Raichel Project Energizes A Dance-Happy Lisner Crowd
By: Margaret Kahn

With a set of strings, pianos and multilingual performers, one musical group brought a bevy of cultures to D.C. Tuesday night. The Idan Raichel Project’s global sound was on full display at Lisner Auditorium, where the hyped-up ten-piece band played to an energized crowd that was more than happy to stand up and dance.

Raichel, the Israeli ringleader of the ensemble, explained to the crowd that a demo session in his parents’ basement eventually expanded into a recording project with over 95 artists, though just the night’s ten-piece ensemble went on tour. The vast array of musical styles represented in each song reflects the diverse cultures of immigrants to Israel — the ten-piece band represented birthplaces ranging from Rio de Janeiro to a refugee camp in Sudan.

The three lead singers were barefoot and dressed in flowing, toga-like cotton gowns. They sat perched on a line of stools, frequently rising to dance and even enter the crowd to get people moving. Throughout the set list, they effortlessly switched between Hebrew, Amharic, Arabic and Spanish.

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