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Christian Choir Goes All Out for Israel

I really wonder what drives these people. Not complaining. It’s just oddly touching in a strange way.

Cornerstone Choir and Orchestra Sing the Mayim Medley of song with the Cornerstone CUFI singers

Madonna In Tel Aviv Video

In case you missed it (I have no idea how…) Madonna was here and left last night. She was at the city of Safed yesterday (the Kabbalah capital) and met with Benjamin Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni on seperate occasions. Her concerts were a great success and the second show with tickets available was immediately sold out after the first show.

The Sticker Song – Hadag Nahash

Hene Ani Ba – Hadag Nahash

This is a new section called ….. you guessed it – Israeli Music 🙂
Once a week we will post a music video (no promises) – we’ll start with a favorite, Hadag Nahash

Who remembers Leonard Cohen?

Leonard CohenHis music is from the ’60’s and early ’70’s, and he definitely looks his age. But those who do remember this folk music icon of a bygone era, and have the NS 400 -600 needed to buy a ticket will be present in Ramat Gan Stadium on September 24, when Leonard Cohen saunters out on the stage and begins to sing the folk ballads that for a while made him almost as well known as another Jewish folk legend, Bob Dillon.

Cohen isn’t afraid to let the world know of his religious and cultural background, and has refused to sing at a concert for Palestinians in Ramallah for the simple reason that they had demanded he cancel his Israel gig. This fact, however, has not stopped Cohen from promising that all the proceeds from his concert will go towards Israeli and Palestinian organizations that are working towards reconciliation between the two peoples. In fact, he calls his September concert “A concert for reconciliation, tolerance and peace”.

Some of Leonard Cohen’s greatest hits, as were noted on a best selling album in 1975: Greatest Hits – The Best of Leonard Cohen, includes ones like Suzanne, Hallelujah, Bird on the Wire, and Dance Me Till the End of Love. His soulful, gravelly voice was popular with millions of fans who appreciated his lyrics and the timeless message they sent out; especially for people trying to recover from the traumas of Vietnam and the aftermath of what had been known as the “Hippie generation”.

More than twenty years after his greatest hits album, Cohen came out with another album entitled More Best, which includes some songs which were “updated” a bit to suit changing times. Some of these include ones like The Future, and Closing Time. His Greatest Hits album, has also been re-issued this year, and includes songs from both previous Best of Leonard Cohen albums.

Cohen’s first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, came out in 1967, when Americans were embroiled in the midst of the Vietnam War. But his messages of peace and love soon caught on in other countries, especially the UK, where he has performed a number of concerts over the years. His classic song, Hallelujah, was recently reintroduced in the London music charts, where it rose to the No. 1 position on the U.K. singles chart. Many people say this is his best song; but many others, including Suzanne and Bird on a Wire, are also claimed to be his best ones by his fans.

His Israel gig will come close to the time of Madonna’s scheduled September 1st concert. But obviously, those who get into Cohen’s type of music probably aren’t going to make the Madonna concert as the music of both artists just doesn’t have the same “vibes”. Nevertheless, Cohen’s performance should being back a lot of memories for a lot of us who dreamed different dreams and looked at the world in a different way than we do now.

King of Pop Michael Jackson dead at 50

Michael Jackson Dead at 50

Pop star icon Michael Jackson died Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles of an apparent cardiac arrest. He was 50 years old. Jackson’s death was reported to the media by he brother Jermaine, who was at his side when he has taken to UCLA Medical Center hospital after apparently suffering a heart seizure. An emergency room team worked on him for over an hour trying to revive him but to no avail, and he was pronounced dad at 2:26 p.m. Pacific Time.

Jackson had been trying to make a music comeback and had several concerts scheduled for this summer with tickets for them virtually sold out. His recent concert in London had been received by a packed house, indicated that the King of Pop was still top billing despite not being actively involved in the music and entertainment business for some time. His sister Janet, who was in the midst of making a movie, went immediately to be with her family after hearing the tragic news.

Although Jackson had not personally appeared in Israel as a music artist, he had several close Israeli friends, most notably magician and surrealist effect artist Uri Geller, who said he was profoundly saddened to learn of Jackson’s death.

Michael Jackson was born in Indiana in 1958 and his early talent as a singer and performer was seized upon by his father who featured his six year old son in a family singing group that became known as the Jackson Five. It was no turning back after that, and the young pop star led the group to win Grammy after Grammy until he finally “went solo” as a teenager during the 1970’s. During his music career, Jackson achieved fame that few musicians ever have and was indicted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Once with the Jackson Five and once as a solo singer. He won more than 12 Grammies in all as well as numerous musical awards. His pop movie, Thriller, won 8 Grammies on it’s own.

Jackson’s personal life was as news worthy as well as it was tragic, and was often filled with controversy. His strange and often eccentric life style, included being married to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of music legend Elvis Presley. That marriage, in which it was often queried if the couple actually lived together, lasted less then two years. He then married Debbie Rowe, and had two children with her before the marriage dissolved in 1999. Jackson made headlines when he was photographed dangling one of his children off a balcony of a hotel the family was staying in while visiting Berlin.

Jackson love for young children, especially young boys, was also mixed with controversy; and while many said it was due to his lost childhood by being thrust into the entertainment world at such an early age, there were also rumors that he had more than a fond relationship with them. He often brought hundreds of young children to his extravagant Neverland Ranch where he set up an almost Disneyland type of atmosphere, complete with a large zoo. He also established his Heal the World Foundation to help better the lives of underprivileged children, one of whom, a 13 year boy, accused Jackson of molesting him. That court case, which was literally plastered on the world media, cost the singer his career, and he never really recovered from it, even though he was eventually acquitted. He also have a strange skin problem that caused him to literally “turn white”, which was coupled with being burned once during a singing performance (he lost most of his nose during that accident). He also became the victim of ridicule and off-beat humor by numerous talk show hosts, who appeared to enjoy capitalizing on his misfortunes.

Jackson had amassed a fortune during his music and entertainment career, but didn’t have the ability to hold on to most of it, as he spent millions on his Neverland Ranch, and his numerous legal defenses, including several financial settlements with his ex-wives and with children who has accused him of sexual misconduct. He also traveled to several world locations, including the Persian Gulf Emirate of Dubai, to try to find “a haven form the world” for himself and his children. Some people who knew him well say that he was in a bad financial situation, which is what may have prompted him to return to the public concert scene and even to consider making new pop music recordings.

Tributes have been coming in from all over the world, and the noisy atmosphere of New York City’s Times Square and Los Angeles’s Chinese Theater (where Jackson’s celebrity “star” is included along with other entertainment celebs) seemed gripped in moments of silence when word of Jackson’s death was broadcast by the media. “I was really saddened to hear of Michael’s death – he was a true friend and co-worker” said actress Brooke Shields, who had known Jackson during his career. “Learning of Michael’s death was almost like hearing about (John Fitzgerald) Kennedy’s assassination” a fan noted.

Palestinians and Israelis to create music together in Tel Aviv

THIS was just sent to me and I haven’t heard anything about it yet. Sounds like a good cause:

On June 18th 2009 a group of fifteen young Israelis and Palestinians will come together in Tel Aviv to show that music can overcome conflict by creating a unique track and video.

The project is a collaboration between peace organisation Windows for Peace and pioneering London-based music college Point Blank. Robert Cowan, founder of Point Blank, is a frequent visitor to the Middle East; four years ago he formulated an idea for using the Point Blank training system to engage young people from Israel and Palestine and bring them together through music and film-making. He says: “It’s been a long and bumpy road but finally the dream is about to happen.”

The group will record an original track and make an accompanying music video to explore issues relevant to their lives and experiences. They will learn new skills, enabling them to apply their talent and imagination to bring about peaceful change through the power of music.

More than just working together on a creative project, the group will be living, eating and sharing every moment of their lives for a two-week period. The resulting music video will be disseminated via TV and web to reach a worldwide public, showing young people in the region that communication with the ‘enemy’ is not only possible, but desirable and fruitful.

Music Production tutor Mohammed Nazam, born in Pakistan, and the founder of London-based multi-faith band Berakah, says:

“It’s important that during challenging times like these the people and organisations who are working for peace step up a gear and show the world that there are ways of increasing understanding and crossing religious, national and cultural divides. The work that Windows for Peace are doing with Israelis and Palestinians is incredibly important and I am touched and honoured to have been asked by Rob and Point Blank to be involved in this initiative; I absolutely believe that no matter what, hatred and war are truly not viable options.”

Rob is thrilled to see his vision finally come to life: “It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but I am very excited that this summer young Israelis and Palestinians will be working together on this creative project. I can’t wait to see the results!”

At a time when it is more important than ever for both sides in the Middle East conflict to understand each other, it is the hope of Point Blank and Windows that this project will sow the seeds of reconciliation.

Many blame European politics for Israel’s Eurovision finish

It could have been better – but it could have been much worse too; especially in the aftermath of the January Operation Cast Lead military confrontation with Gaza, and Pope Benedict XVI’s lackluster visit to the Holy Land. The idea behind the sound, sung jointly in Hebrew and Arabic by Yemenite Jewish singer Noa Achinoam and Israeli Arab Mira Awad, mean to emphasize that two peoples can live together in peace and that “there must be a better way” as sung by the pair together in English.

As has been the usual case, in recent Eurovision songfests, European countries appeared to be heavily against the Israeli entry, with most countries either not giving the song “There Must be Another Way” either received no votes at all or 1 token vote out of a possibility of 12 (considered by many to be even more humiliating. When it was all over, Israel received a total of 53 votes, ranking it at position number 16 among the 25 competing countries. Norway literally walked away with the victory this year receiving a whopping 389 votes for their song, Fairytale, sung by lead singer Alexander Rybak, more than any other country in Eurovision history.

Like mentioned at the beginning of this article, the finish for Noa and Mira could have been worse, in light of other disappointing past Israeli performances, including a few years back when Israel finished next to last. Of course, the song itself has a lot to do with who wins these contests, especially with the allowing of all countries to sing in any language they please, as well as hiring foreign singers to do the lead vocals (no worse, we guess, than Israeli basketball and football teams hiring foreign players). But how Rybak, who was born in Bellarus, appeared as an impish Irish fiddler, and managed to wow not only the Eurovision audience, but the voting countries as well, is something that had a touch of magic. In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 TV,. Ischar Cohen, winner for Israel in the 1978 Eurovision with his song “Abonebi”, said simply that politics was not the problem: “there were just too many good songs – especially the Norwegian one”.

We can’t feel too disappointed, however; as Israel has won the songfest three times and many countries never have been able to put out a victory even once. Norway, trying to follow in the path of the Swedish music group Abba, last won the Eurovision in 1995 – also by singing in English.

Noa and Mira were quoted prior to their performance that their main purpose was to get their message across “even if we finish last”. Finish last they did not; but it would have been nice to have at least finished in the top 8, and preferably in the top for, like another Asian country, Azerbaijan did – also by singing in English. Israeli songwriters, as well as performers are trying to maintain Israel’s uniqueness by singing in its native language, which this year took on a special meaning, along with Mira’s Arabic. We should commend them for this.

Depeche Mode Rock Group Wows Israeli Fans

Depeche Mode Israel 2009British rock group Depeche Mode, composed of lead vocalist Dave Gahan, guitarist, and song writer Martin Gore, plus keyboard genius Andrew Fletcher finally played their gig in Ramat Gan International Stadium Sunday night before more than 50,000 adoring fans. The rock group, which has racked up more than 50 hit singles and have had NO. 1 selling albums in the UK, USA, and many other countries, arrived for a concert that should have come off more than two years earlier, but was cancelled at the last minute due to political fall out in the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanese War.

The Gahan, Gore and Fletcher are the three surviving members of the original group that formed in the early 1980’s and were one of the hottest music groups of their time.

Israeli fans had already arrived at the stadium hours before the gig came off to “stake out” a place close to the stage where the trio and a number of accompanying musicians would be playing. Although the majority of the fans were young, a number of older ones from the group’s prime performing years were there too, evidently wanting to recapture a number of years that had sort of “slipped away” from them.

After some preliminary events, the real show kicked off at 9 p.m. when the Depeche Mode show actually began. The group didn’t disappoint their fans as they immediately began to pound out some of their most well known hits such as In Chains, Wrong, and Walking in my Shoes. Other well known Depeche Mode songs included Peace (in which they invited their audience to sing along) Lie to Me, Personal Jesus (perhaps in honor of the Pope’s visit to Israel) and finally their classic: Waiting for the Night.

The audience really got emotionally into the number, Peace, especially the last chorus:

Peace will come to me
Just wait and see
Peace will come to me
It’s meant to be
Peace will come to me
Just wait and see
Peace will come to me
It’s inevitability!

Some young women got so worked up during the performance that they tried to imitate the “dress code” of the group, even by taking off their tops and being bare breasted.

Those who made it over to the Galina Restaurant and Bar at the Tel Aviv Port afterwards (for a Depeche Mode after-party) got a special treat when the trio showed up to participate in the festivities and to celebrate Dave Gahan’s 47th birthday – those lucky to be near enough to interact with them that is.

It’s hard to say who were impressed the most during the evening: the Depeche Mode band or the fans. But it’s certain that Dave and the gang will be back again before long: and for sure, their adoring fans will be waiting to rock the night away with them.

Insomnia by Michael Greilsammer

This is a song that is getting very popular and the key line in it is: Oh My Dear Wife.. Michael Greilsammer is the singer and the song is called “Lo Nirdam” (Insomnia). He is actually a Reggae violinist with a strong pull towards Irish music, he is also apparently the first of his kind in the world 🙂 So not your typical Israeli music, but then again, what is typical these days?

It’s a really great song. I read in one of the forums that based on the song he must only be married for 6 months.
Skeptics, Skeptics everywhere…This is him and his wife, Shimrit Dror, in the video.



Israel Pushing The Button

This is the song that represented us in the Eurovision in Helsinki this past May. I think its more then ever an appropriate song….

Luciano Pavarotti 1935- 2007: A Maestro’s Final Curtain Call

Luciano Pavarotti Farewell
On September 6, 2007, the classical music and opera world lost a man who may go down in history as the greatest opera singing star of modern times – if not for all time.
Luciano Pavarotti, who was known mainly by his last name, Pavarotti, has often been acclaimed as having the most fantastic tenor voice in the modern history of opera. His death from pancreatic cancer at age 71 brings to a close the life of a man whose singing career spanned more than 40 years and included performances in the greatest opera houses in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera House in New York; affectionately known to its patrons as “The Met”.

Pavarotti was born on October12, 1935 in Modeno Italy. His father, Fernando Povarotti was a baker by trade as well as a local singer; a trait which may have later influenced the young Luciano to pursue a career in the classical music world.

After trying a number of endeavors, including farming, teaching and even football, Pavarotti finally decided to embark on an opera singing career after it was discovered that he had what is known in the music world as “perfect pitch”. After achieving a certain degree of fame in his native Italy, including performances of the classic opera La Boheme at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, his first big international opportunity came in 1965, when he was invited to perform in the classic Lucia di Lammermoor at The Greater Miami Opera. Following this success, in which he received a long, standing ovation, there was no turning back for a man who has performed in virtually every well known opera house in the world, as well as in the cinema and on scores of television programs.

His first appearance at The Met was in February, 1972 when he performed in Donizetti’s opera classic La Filled du Regiment and so moved the audience that he received a record 17 curtain calls – more than any other previous opera singer.

Pavarotti’s career was often filled with controversy as he frequently cancelled performing engagements which gave him the nickname of “Mr. Cancellation”. Despite this and frequent problems with both his weight and health, Pavarotti thrilled his audiences with his “perfect high C pitch” and often made appearances in television programs such as The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. One of his most unusual performances, as well as one of his last, was in February 10, 2006, when he sang the opera song Nessan Dorma at the opening ceremony to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin Italy. That performance, the last scheduled one in the ceremony, resulted in the audience giving him the longest and noisiest ovation of the entire evening. Another event, also in 2006, and part of his farewell concert tour (he had already been diagnosed with cancer by then) included a special appearance along with the American soul music icon, James Brown.

Pavarotti has appeared in concert in Israel, as a special guest of the Israel Philharmonic orchestra; and he was planning to add his voice to some opera music being performed by the Israel Philharmonic, which was touring recently in Italy before Pavarotti’s death.

In addition to his sterling music career, Luciano Pavarotti was also well known for his humanitarian work in which he gave not only large sums of money, but also himself in charity concerts on behalf of numerous causes. Among his many friends was the late Princess Diana, who had herself become well known for her humanitarian work.

Pavarotti had often performed in a trio known as the Three Tenors, which included Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras; both renown in their own right. His death in his home town of Modeno came with his present wife, Nicoletta, and his four daughter at his side. Nicoletta, who he married in 2003, had been his personal assistant for many years.

It will take a great person to replace Pavarotti’s musical talent, but perhaps this may happen in the personage of an obscure Englishman named Paul Potts, who recently came from nowhere (he’s a cellular phone salesman) and won the U.K.’s talent equivalent of American Idol as a tenor opera singer. Anything is possible, but Pavarotti’s passing leaves some big shoes to fill in the world of opera music and performance.

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow

I was looking for Israel at YouTube and I came across a different kind of Israel (Bruddah IZ). A great human being. Worth a listen!
Have a Great Day 🙂

Blogmusik ROCKS !!

Blogmusik.net

Check out this BETA version of Blogmusik – Nothing like a little “Free Internet Virtual Ipod”. Try searching at the bottom of the player, options will open on the right, click one and it starts playing. Top quality MP3 sound !!

I love the web 🙂

Remembering Meir Ariel

By Raz Koller

Meir ArielIt’s been seven years since we said our farewells to Meir Ariel, Who died suddenly from a grave disease at the early age of 57. Meir Ariel was one of Israel’s most popular and creative song writers and poets. He wrote and performed his songs himself, but also wrote many songs for the cream of Israeli culture, with such figures as Shalom Hanoch, Arik Ainstein, David Brozza, Gidi Gov and more. He also published books of poetry, and was known to be influence by Jewish poet such as Natan Alterman and Haim Nachman Bialik, and also the American Jewish singer Bob Dylan.

Ever since he died, memorial concerts have been performed each year in his memory. Most of them took place in the kibbutz Mishmarot, where he used to live with his family. However, this year it was decided to move the main event
to the amphitheater in Cesarea . That decision was made by Terza Ariel, his widow, and Yehuda Eder, a dear friend of Meir who worked with him on many albums and projects and he’s also the artistic manager of the show.
The concert will contain new artists next to old who will perform some of Ariel’s classic song. The band “The Doll House” will perform “Mode Ani” (I Give Thanks) and “Zirey Kaitz” (Seeds Of Summer). Arcadi Duchin will perform “Omrim SheBli” (They Say That Without…) and Ehud Banai will sing “Canaan Blues”, which appeared in his last album and was written in the momery of Ariel. David Brozza will perform “Lyla Shaket” (Quiet Night) and “Mitachat Lashamaim” (Beneath the Sky). Yehuda Eder will preform “Agadat Deshe” (A Grass Legend) alongside with his wife, the actress Miki Kam.

Other musicians that will perform in the show includ Aviv Geffen (who’ll perform “Neshel Hanachash” [The Snake’s Slough]), Shalom Hanoch and Moshe Levi, Efrat Gosh, Ronit Shachar, Dori Ben-Zeev and Meir Swisa.

The concert will take place on the anniversary of his death, July 18th.

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