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Thursday May 04, 2017

From Pasadena Weekly

Israeli pop star Idan Raichel returns to Luckman for solo piano concert Saturday
By: Bliss Bowen

The pop star’s fascination with diverse cultures and genres began early. Childhood flirtation with the accordion — and the Argentinean tango and Israeli folk music played on it — matured into love of the piano, and by high school he was studying jazz. Service as musical director for the Israeli army’s band was followed by a return to civilian life, where he started jamming with Ethiopian musicians in Tel Aviv and began pursuing his interest in the Jewish diaspora.

That sketched out a musical template that he’s been creatively coloring ever since. Lyrically, his songs celebrate love with passages from biblical scripture and traditional Jewish blessings, sung primarily in Hebrew, and also in Ethiopia’s Amharic tongue, Arabic, and Portuguese. Instrumentally, his keyboards have been complemented by West African guitar, South American percussion, Iranian kamanche (cousin to the violin), and lead and harmony vocals from African, Latin American and Yemenite singers. His five Idan Raichel Project albums have gone multiplatinum in Israel, and two albums made with Farka Touré as the Touré-Raichel Collective have garnered broad acclaim.

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