Thursday January 21, 2010
By Itamar Eichner
Idan Raichel has already taken the stage at some of the most prominent venues in the world, including in the US and Europe, but in his wildest dreams he never thought he would perform for the US president. This week it happened. Raichel sang in Hebrew in a performance he gave with American artist India.Arie with President Barack Obama in attendance.
Raichel’s performance was part of concert marking Martin Luther King Day held at the Kennedy Center in collaboration with the White House and Georgetown University. Raichel at first was not included in the original program, but was brought in by Arie, who had performed with him in the past.
When she took the stage, Arie addressed President Obama and the 2,400-person audience and said that she would like to invite her friend who came especially from Israel to perform with her. Raichel got on stage and was greeted with cheers. He accompanied Arie on three songs, including “Mei Nahar” from his latest album that was performed by Arie in Hebrew.
At the end of the song, Obama cheered for Raichel and Arie. After the performance, the president said that he was very impressed by the Israeli singer.
“It was once of the most exciting events I have ever participated in during my entire career,” said Raichel on Wednesday.
Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren praised Raichel’s participation in the concert. “Raichel’s participation marks his contribution to mutual tolerance and bringing communities and nations together.”
Read the article here.