Yisrael Borochov - East West Ensemble | Debka Fantasia

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Debka Fantasia

by Yisrael Borochov - East West Ensemble

World Music fusion fantasy from Israel, built on traditional Bedouin roots
Genre: World: Middle East Contemporary
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. A Land Flowing With Milk And Honey (Eretz Zavat Halav Udevash) (Feat. Omer Avital l Double Bass and Arrangment & Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush and Vocals)
East West Ensemble, Haya Samir l Vocals, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet, Itamar Doari l Ethnic Percussion, Avri Borochov l Dahol and Pandeiro, Hadas Fabrikant l First Violin, Tali Goldberg l Second Violin, Yael Patish l Viola & Hilla Epstein l Cello
9:15 $0.99
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2. On The Hill There In The Galilee (Alei Givah Sham Ba’galil) (Feat. Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush, Vocal, Arrangement & Omer Avital l Double Bass)
East West Ensemble, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet and Zurna, Itamar Doari l Ethnic percussion & Avri Borochov l Dahol and Pandeiro
5:37 $0.99
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3. Desert Caravan (Orha Ba'midbar) (Feat. Omer Avital l Oud and Arrangement & Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush)
East West Ensemble, Haya Samir l Vocals, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet, Itamar Doari l Ethnic Percussion, Avri Borochov l Double Bass, Hadas Fabrikant l First Violin, Tali Goldberg l Second Violin, Yael Patish l Viola & Hilla Epstein l Cello
6:43 $0.99
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4. Between The Euphrates And The Tigris (Bein Nahar Prat Unhar Khidekel) (Feat. Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush and Arrangement & Omer Avital l Oud)
East West Ensemble, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet, Itamar Doari l Ethnic percussion, Avri Borochov l Double Bass & Hadas Fabrikant l Violin
6:16 $0.99
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5. On The Hill Of Sheikh Abrik (Al Givot Sheikh Abrik ) (Feat. Omer Avital l Double Bass and Arrangement & Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush)
East West Ensemble, Haya Samir l Vocals, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet, Itamar Doari l Ethnic percussion, Avri Borochov l Dahol and Pandeiro, Hadas Fabrikant l First Violin, Tali Goldberg l Second Violin, Yael Patish l Viola & Hilla Epstein l Cello
5:13 $0.99
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6. Well In The Field (Be’er Basadeh) (Feat. Omer Avital l Double Bass and Arrangement & Yisrael Borochov l Dahol)
East West Ensemble, Haya Samir l Vocals, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet and Chakhchaf, Itamar Doari l Ethnic percussion, Avri Borochov l Double Bass, Hadas Fabrikant l First Violin, Tali Goldberg l Second Violin, Yael Patish l Viola & Hilla Epstein l Cello
6:07 $0.99
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7. Drink Herd! (Shtu Ha'adarim) (Feat. Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush and Arrangement & Omer Avital l Double Bass)
East West Ensemble, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet, Itamar Doari l Ethnic percussion, Avri Borochov l Berimbau, Hadas Fabrikant l First Violin, Tali Goldberg l Second Violin, Yael Patish l Viola & Hilla Epstein l Cello
7:34 $0.99
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8. Withdrawing Water (Ushe'avtem Mayim) (Feat. Yisrael Borochov l Vocal and Arrangement & Omer Avital l Double Bass)
East West Ensemble, Haya Samir l Vocals, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet and Shofar, Itamar Doari l Ethnic percussion, Avri Borochov l Dahol, Hadas Fabrikant l First Violin, Tali Goldberg l Second Violin, Yael Patish l Viola & Hilla Epstein l Cello
4:19 $0.99
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9. Ballad Of The Spring And Sea (Ballada Al Maayan Va'yam) (Feat. Omer Avital l Arrangement & Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush and Arrangement)
East West Ensemble, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Hadas Fabrikant l First Violin, Tali Goldberg l Second Violin, Yael Patish l Viola & Hilla Epstein l Cello
5:45 $0.99
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10. You Are Earth In The Desert's Heart (At Adama Be'lev Midbar) (feat. Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush and Arrangement & Omer Avital l Double Bass)
East West Ensemble, Haya Samir l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet, Itamar Doari l Ethnic percussion & Avri Borochov l Dahol and Pandeiro
5:42 $0.99
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11. Song Of The Valley (Shir Ha'emek) (feat. Omer Avital l Double Bass and Arrangement & Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush)
East West Ensemble, Haya Samir l Vocals, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet, Itamar Doari l Ethnic percussion, Avri Borochov l Dahol, Pandeiro, Quarkabb and Clappers, Hadas Fabrikant l First Violin, Tali Goldberg l Second Violin, Yael Patish l Viola & Hilla Epstein l Cello
7:28 $0.99
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12. Go To The Desert (Lekh Lekh Lamidbar) (feat. Omer Avital l Double Bass and Arrangement & Yisrael Borochov l Jumbush)
East West Ensemble, Haya Samir l Vocals, Ravid Kahalani l Vocals, Eyal Sela l Ethnic wind instruments, Itamar Borochov l Trumpet, Itamar Doari l Ethnic percussion, Avri Borochov l Dahol and Pandeiro, Hadas Fabrikant l First Violin, Tali Goldberg l Second Violin, Yael Patish l Viola & Hilla Epstein l Cello
4:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Yisrael Borochov: Born in Tel Aviv, Yisrael Borochov is the father of Israeli World Music. He started early in an army band, and after various groundbreaking projects founded the East West Ensemble and the East West House in Jaffa. He has performed at major venues around the world, and has seen rave reviews in newspapers like the New York Times.

His work crosses cultural boundaries and displays a unique and courageous attempt to find the common ground between styles with no culture dominating or overshadowing the other. He invites cultures to listen to each other in a reciprocal creative process.

Over the years this in-demand and versatile cross-over musician, composer and arranger has worked with Joe Kaiking, Laurie Anderson (USA), Lynn Shankar (India), Mishita Sosumo, Akikazu Nakamura, Yas Kaz (Sankai Juko Japan), Ahmet Yildirim (Turkey), Gabil Kamann (Azerbaijan) and Ross Daley (Greece).

Born on the bass guitar, Borochov plays a dozen western and eastern instruments including the jumbush from Turkey and the dulcimer from the Appalachian Mountains.

Borochov’s work has been performed in chamber and symphony orchestras, while the East West House music center which he runs, hosts artists from all over the world including Israel, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, the United States, India and Europe.

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DEBKA FANTASIA

A World Music fusion fantasy from Israel built on Bedouin roots

Debka is an Arab folk dance from the Levant region. A community stomping ritual to compact the dirt roofs on stone homes, it evolved to include music sung and played by Bedouin tribes in Israel.

Debka also describes a musical style in Israel started in the 1920s. This was a time when European Jewish pioneers reconnected to their ancient “promised land” –– and met their new Bedouin neighbors.

Fascinated by traditional Debka music and its fiery, desert-inspired Bedouin rhythms and Arabian scales, these open-minded pioneers soaked up what they heard to build an entirely new genre of music –– the first of its kind in World Music –– and a first for modern Israel. Israeli poets and Debka musicians back then were able to boldly, yet naturally fuse the sound of Arabia to musical harmonies and structures from the west.

This new project Debka Fantasia is driven by a supergroup of jazz, ethnic and classical musicians who go one step further: for them the colourful, fiery Bedouin influence is undeniable.

Produced and arranged by Yisrael Borochov, the father of Israeli World Music, and Omer Avital an American-Israeli jazz legend from New York, this new fusion of Israeli debka music takes the best of contemporary and traditional world music from Israel. Critics say Dekba Fantasia has a life of its own, and creates a place –– real or imaginary –– where its roots of fire from the east meet branches of harmony from the west. The result is combustible.

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My Debka Fantasia

I’ve spent a few decades creating and immersing myself in the world of ethnic music. As a composer and musician comfortable with many instruments from the genre, I couldn’t help but notice that the songs of my youth –– the early Israeli songs which were songs I loved so much –– took on meaning and fresh flavours when I played them in a non-Western manner. This involves using an eastern maqam (Arabic musical scales), where some notes are played slightly lower or higher than their regular western pitch, as is the practice in many Arab countries.

When I took these old songs I loved from Israel which were developed for the western ear, and played them on a maqam, they sounded natural and musical. And it reminded me of the music my Bedouin friends and I would sing and play together on the beach in the Sinai Desert.

Taking my hunch that this old Israeli music might have Bedouin roots, I drove two hours from Tel Aviv to the Bedouin village Kseifeh in the Negev Desert to meet with Muhammad Abu Ajaj, an established Bedouin musician. Knowledgeable about the genre –– and a splendid host as most Bedouin are–– seconds after playing a few notes, I could see the sparks of joy light up in Muhammad’s eyes.

While I played on, he took out his oud and joined me in a song Between the River Euphrates and the River Tigris with words from the Hebrew poet Chaim Nachman Bialik. But instead of Hebrew, in sonorous Arabic Muhammad sung Kaduk el mayas ya omri.

It was the same with another old Israeli song that transliterates as Alei Givah Sham Ba'Galil, but in its Bedouin “form” was Takhti Wudajha Witanagna. As the evening wore on we discovered a parallel universe: many of the old Israeli songs had Arabic versions replete with melodies and words. The Hebrew poets like Bialik,Nattan Alterman, and Alexander Penn intermingled with unfamiliar Arabic words sung by Mohammad was a revelatory experience for the both of us. And likewise, I heard him produce Bedouin melodies in which I recognized musical phrases from the early 20th century Israeli composers Nahum Nerdi, Emmanuel Zamir and Yedidia Admon.

It dawned on the both of us that the early Israeli pioneers were heavily influenced by the Bedouin traditions, and that likewise, the Israeli western-style composers influenced the Bedouin. Muhammad and I sang for hours into the desert night enjoying authentic Bedouin food. We quenched our thirst with Coca Cola. This is how Debka Fantasia began.

For a little history about Israeli ethnic music: During the 1920s the pioneers who came here from Europe strove to create a new Israeli culture based on local roots. They admired the biblical figure of Abraham and emulated him: they worked the land and kept flocks of sheep, and because of their newfound affinity to the land came to know Bedouin songs from the local villagers.

This unusual European-Bedouin encounter produced some of the best music of that period. Using western harmonies and musical structures fused tightly with melodies from the local Bedouin culture, all of this was put to words by the best Hebrew poets of their day.

Those pioneers back then couldn’t possibly have known that more than 80 years later, this fusion approach that synthesized very different traditions would actually define an important international World Music genre.

In 2008, I collected a varied group of modern musicians from the classical, jazz and ethnic musical domains, some leaders in their field in Israel and others prominent on the New York contemporary music scene. Young and vibrant, these artists worked together to breath new spirit into these old Israeli songs. We worked to create a new musical fantasy.

Most exciting for me, alongside the melodic and harmonic western elements we reviled, this project incorporates the original maqams and fiery desert rhythms that these pioneers would have heard when they met with Bedouins in their tents. Debka Fantasia is a contemporary and renewed “coming together of cultures” that the best Israeli ethnic songs have fed from and grown.

Yisrael Borochov

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About the songs:

Eretz Zavat Halav U’dvash (A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey)
Music, Elyahu Gamliel; Lyrics, Exodus 3, 8 and 14 other places in the Scriptures

Elyahu Gamliel wrote the music in 1951, when he was studying at the Music Teachers Academy in Tel Aviv, as an exercise in composing for dance. Gamliel amazed his colleagues at the academy, as well as the renowned teacher of rhythm Ketteh Yaakov, when he sang and danced his new composition. The work was immediately presented to the other classes and at school choir conventions.

Alei Givah Sham Ba’Galil
Music: Bedouin; Arrangement and additions: Nahum Nerdi; Lyrics: Avraham Broids

In the Debka Fantasia rendition the song is performed with the original tune and in Hebrew and Arabic. The lyrics were written by Avraham Broids who was born in 1907 and came to Israel in the third wave of Aliyah (Immigration to Israel). He was one of the first writers for the Bamaaleh newspaper and published dozens of poetry collections, for children and adults.

Alei Givah was written in the memory of Yossef Trumpeldor and his friends who fell in the defense of Tel Hai in Israel in 1920. The song was published in the Children’s Supplement of the Davar newspaper in 1932. The tune comes from the Arab song Ya Zarif Al Tul, which Braha Tsefira and Nahum Nerdi heard from an Arab shepherd playing the flute.

Orha Ba’Midbar (Desert Caravan)
Music: David Zehavi; Lyrics: Yaakov Fichman

The song was composed in 1927 and is considered David Zehavi’s first composition. A 17 year old Zehavi came across the lyrics in the Moledet magazine and composed the tune on the recorder he played. His sister, the piano teacher Leah Goldiss, wrote down the notes for him since young David had not yet learned to read and write notes.

Bein Nahar Prat Unhar Khidekel (Between the Euphrates and the Tigris)
Music: Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Nahum Nerdi; Lyrics: Haim Nahman Bialik

In Debka Fantasia, we considered another version of this song: A Musical Voyage from Greek through Turkey to Palestine. In the live show the piece is performed with the original music in Arabic, Greek, Turkish and Hebrew. The tune was sung in the past and is sung today too, in different languages and in countries throughout the Middle East.

According to research, the tune originates from a Syrian love song “Aduk Almawal” which was popular in Palestine in the 1920s. Braha Tsefira adapted it, with slight changes, to Bialik’s folk song. Nahum Nerdi arranged the song, and added a piano accompaniment to Tsefira’s vocals in concerts given in Israel and abroad. Bialik wrote the lyrics in 1906.


Al Givot Sheikh Abrik
Music: Mordehai Ze’ira; Lyrics: Alexander Penn

The poet Alexander Penn (1906-1972) and composer Mordehai Ze’ira (1905-1968) joined forces to write one of the most beautiful songs in the Israeli Songbook, which has been performed in over 50 renditions by various singers. Penn wrote the song in memory of his friend, the watchman Alexander Zaid who was one of the founders of the Hashomer organization. Zaid, who settled at Sheikh Abrik in 1926, overlooking the excavations at Beit Shaarim south of Kiryat Tivon, and worked as a watchman to protect the forests against tree felling and fires. Zaid was murdered in 1938 when he was ambushed on his way to the nearby Kibbutz Alonim. A statue of him stands at Sheikh Abrik depicting him on a horse looking out over Jezreel Valley. Today, Kibbutz Shaar HaAmakim stands on the hills of Hartiah, mentioned in the song.

Be’er Ba’Sadeh
Music and lyrics: Emmanuel Zamir

This is one of the best known songs by Emmanuel Zamir, a poet, composer, teacher and editor who was greatly influenced by Arabic and Bedouin poetry. The song was composed on October 1, 1947 and according to the manuscript, it was written at Kibbutz Ganigar while Zamir was a teacher at the Haifa “Reali” School.

The song is also a trademark work of 1950s songs which were known as “ho ho songs” because they contained words of encouragement, calls of “ho” and “ha” and identified with the calls of peasants, shepherds and the people who rolled the rocks at well openings. Some also interpret “ho ho songs” as an expression of the country’s initial enthusiasm during the first years of its existence.

Shtu Ha’Adarim
Music: Nahum Nerdi; Lyrics: Alexander Penn

Alexander Penn composed the song as a pastoral romance about the day of a shepherd guarding his flock and playing his flute (once again, the Eretz Israel motif), and yearning for his lover. Penn spent much time at Sheikh Abrik, at Alexander Zaid’s farm, and wrote songs for the members of the “shepherd gang” which was a group of farmers who made up a sort of hakhsharah (cooperative agricultural training) community.

The songs were about sheep and the rustic landscapes of Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel). Nahum Nerdi put Penn’s words to music, using Arabic and eastern tunes. This is one of his first tunes, written in 1927.


Ushe’avtem Mayim
Music: Emmanuel Zamir; Lyrics: Yeshayahu YBG

The tune became popular as part of the HaAdama HaZott (The Land), a play that was written by Aharon Ashman to mark the jubilee of the town of Hadera, Israel, and was performed at the Habima Theater in late 1941. The song appeared in one of the most moving parts of the play, when a new Torah scroll was brought to the synagogue in Hadera.



Ballada Al Maayan VaYam (A Ballad About Spring and the Sea)
Music: Moshe Vilenski; Lyrics: Yehiel Mohar

The song was written for the Nahal Army Band and appeared on the Tsarikh Likhyot (Got to Love) program 11. The special rendition by the soloist Itamar Cohen, in his tenor voice, leaves the impression that “the female vocalist” is Shoshana Damari.

But Damari only recorded and made it popular around a year or two after the band.

In their typically mischievous way the stars of the Nahal Army Band, Uri Zohar and Arik Einstein, teased Damari and called her “the famous one” for “stealing the show,” and her versions were generally more successful than the originals.


At Adama Be’Lev Midbar (You Are Earth in the Heart of the Desert)
Music: traditional Bedouin, Lyrics: Aryeh Yehieli

This song is performed as part of Debka Fantasia in Hebrew, as well as with the original tune and with Arabic lyrics.

Aryeh Yehieli was born in Germany in 1922, came to Israel with a youth movement in 1936 and was one of the founder members of Kibbutz Revivim in 1943. Aryeh was the “mukhtar” of the community, befriended the Bedouin neighbors, researched their culture and translated their songs, tales and legends into Hebrew.

He also wrote “At Adama” as a tribute to the pioneers of the new settlement of the Negev region. He described the landscapes and surroundings and the virginal ambiance of settling an unknown land.

Yehieli wrote the song and adapted it to the tune of a Bedouin song-dance he heard in the Asluj region (the area around Revivim). He was killed in December 1947, with two of his friends by the Asluj police [more on this story].

We also found an identical version of this song, both in terms of the tune and tempo, called Rabba Al Hanna, performed by the Lebanese singer Wadi el-Safi.
`

Shir HaEmek
Music: Daniel Sambourski; Lyrics: Nattan Alterman

Daniel Sambourski was born in Kenigsburg, Germany in 1909 and immigrated to Israel in 1933. Luckily, on the ship he met Margut Klausner, the founder of the Ulpanei Herzliyah film studios, and she hired him to write songs for a film she was producing for the Ulpanim MeUhadim film company in 1934. The film was directed by Yehuda Lehman, a refugee from Germany, and commissioned by Keren HaYessod and made by 21st Century Fox from the United States. The movie told the story of Eretz Israel of the 1930s, and the new Jew who was building up the land, with a view to promote the Aliyah (immigration) of Jews to Palestine. It was distributed in 7 languages around the Jewish world. Alterman was commissioned to write the lyrics.

Lekh Lekha LaMidbar (Go to the Desert)
Music: Alexander (Sasha) Argov; Lyrics: Haim Hefer

Originally, the song was a dance called Lasadot with lyrics by Shlomo Bartonov. Argov was not satisfied with the lyrics, and asked Haim Hefer to write new words. Since Bartonov’s original lyrics have been lost. The song was featured in the third Chizbatron (Palmah Entertainment Troupe) program “The Palmahnik Looks for Tomorrow” which premiered in Beersheba on October 25 1948, three days after the city was taken by the Israeli Army as part of the Yoav Operation.

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Musician Biographies:

Omer Avital: Omar Avital is a multifaceted artist who enjoys an international career as a jazz double bass player, composer and arranger. Avital is highly active on the New York jazz scene, and around the world, and his style has been defined as Middle Eastern-Israeli jazz.

The New York Times wrote: “Avital and his band create one of the most original voices in New York,” and the important jazz magazine Downbeat declared Avital to be “one of the leading composers of his generation.

Avital also performs with some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians, including Joshua Redman, Roy Haynes and Kenny Garrett. In recent years he has also been a member of the jazz/world music band Third World Love which has thrilled audiences in Israel with its original sound.

To date, Avital has released 15 albums as a leader and as a sideman.

Haya Samir: Singer-composer Haya Samir is the daughter of Yossef and Lilly Samir who emigrated from Egypt in 1968 and were given political refuge in Israel. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music, and founder of the Israeli Classical Ensemble for Folklore Arts.

Samir was a member of the Hora Jerusalem folklore troupe and has performed in a number of musicals, including the leading role in Ghetto by Yehoshua Sobol, and Itzik Manger’s Songs of the Megillah at the Israeli Yiddish Theater.

She has made a guest appearance in the second East West Ensemble program, and made a debut appearance with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed Israeli folklore works under the baton of Zubin Mehta.

Eyal Sela: Eyal Sela is a graduate of the Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. He has recorded and performed with a wide range of leading artists, including Aadel Salameh, Oliver Shanti, Norwegian world music band Bel Canto, Martin Destree of France and Ross Daley (Greece).

Eyal is a multidisciplined artist who specializes in playing a range of ethnic wind instruments: the Armenian duduk, the Turkish clarinet, the Kurdish zurna, the ney, and the Indian bansouri flute.

At the 2003 Israel Festival he appeared as a musician and singer in the Hidden Spirituals concert with the East West Ensemble. In recent years he created a number of projects, including the Indian musical Bahrati which plays all over Europe. Eyal is head of the wind instrument department of the Ethnic Music School at Tzefat College.


Ravid Kahalani. Kahalani began his career as a singer as part of the Joy project of choreographer Yossi Yungman, performed at the Israel Festival. He later took part in the Zimba project together with Khen Tzimbalista, Maya Dunitz’s Givol Choir, and the East Meeting West “Misko Plavi” project in Serbia.

Ravid is a founder member of the Desert Blues show, which was inspired by leading artists from North and West Africa, such as Hamza el Din and Ali Farka. He was also a major part of the Hebrew Labor project with Haim Laroz and an individual project called Black Bruises.

Through his experience as a blues, soul and funk singer Ravid found his way to liturgical music in Serbia and later progressed to opera singing as a contra tenor, and to Christian Arabic singing, integrating opera singing with Arabic singing.

Itamar Borochov. Trumpeter and composer Itamar Borochov is a driving force in New York City’s Jazz scene. He has worked with some of today’s legends, and artists as diverse Candido Camero, Bobby Sanabria, Curtis Fuller, and Reb Haim Look to name a few.

Borochov has toured Europe, Asia, and the US, as well as some of NYC’s most prestigious venues. In 2007 Itamar moved to NY from his native country of Israel and received a prestigious scholarship to attend The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he earned a BFA in 2009.

Itamar Doari. Itamar Doari was born in Rosh Pina in 1985. At 6 years of age, Itamar discovered that percussion instruments had a special effect on him. He began experimenting, practicing and studying. As a child he met different musicians and was exposed to a wide variety of percussion instruments.

Over time he began to incorporate different styles of music. He played and recorded with some of the most important jazz and ethnic music artists from Israel and abroad, including Avishai Cohen, Yasmin Levy, Omar Farouk Tekbilek and Amal Murcus.

Avri Borochov. Avri Borochov started his classical music studies in Israel, and today he is a multidisciplined bass player. His teachers include master tabla player Samir Chatterjee, jazz legend Reggie Workman, Ilan Mokhiah, Raffi Kadishzon, Eli Magen and American jazz pianist Aaron Goldberg.

Avri has played with the Shefaram Arabic Music Orchestra, and also with some the leading jazz artists in Israel and New York. Borochov completed an honors degree at the New School in New York and, in the last three years, has played with a range of artists, such as Kevin Mahogany, Benny Powell and Innoe Satoshi. Today he researches and experiments with drums from central Asia, such as the dahul and the kanjira.

The Israel Contemporary String Quartet
Hadas Fabrikant – violin
Tali Goldberg – violin
Yael Patish – viola
Hilla Epstein – cello

The quartet was established in 2001 to perform and advance Israeli music and contemporary works. Over the years the ICSQ has performed in dozens of premieres of young and veteran Israeli composers, many of whom wrote their works specifically for the quartet.

The Quartet feels a sense of mission and a genuine will to further Israeli music, to provide a forum for Israeli artists and to help establish contemporary music. The quartet also engages in numerous original synergies with a large number of artists from extra-mural disciplines, such as video artists, choreographers, and directors.

They have performed around the world in numerous concert series and festivals across the United States, Europe and Canada, including the Music Days Festival in Bulgaria, the Rose Museum in New York, and the International Arts Festival in Singapore.

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Reviews/Music; Bridging of East and West
By Jon Pareles - New York Times

Where politicians and armies have failed, musicians are attempting to bridge cultural differences in the Middle East. On Monday evening, the East West Ensemble, a quintet based in Tel Aviv, opened a two-night stand to begin Dance Theater Workshop's ''Wounded Spirits/Promised Land'' series by Jewish and Arab artists from Israel.

Like the Israeli instrumental group Habrera Hativit, the East West Ensemble uses Western instruments (saxophone, flute, cello, bass and trap drums) alongside Middle Eastern ones: dulcimer, jar drums, oud (lute) and qanun (zither). It finds common ground in improvisation, sometimes on Middle Eastern modes and sometimes in Western harmony. Yisrael Borochov, who plays dulcimer or bass, writes pensive, slowly unfolding pieces with long stretches for improvisation by Yaacov Miron on saxophone or flute, Yuval Mesner on cello and Victor Aidda on qanun or oud. The pieces sometimes drift along in melancholy languor, or build (like traditional Arab music) to quick-fingered unison melodies.

The Western instruments are played with Middle Eastern inflections; Mr. Mesner uses a dry tone and harsh, urgent bowing, while Mr. Miron bends notes like a cantor or a muezzin. But on Monday, the music was carried less by its solos, which tend to wander, than by the riffs of the rhythm section - Avi Agababa on percussion and Mr. Borochov on bass - and the full ensemble's sweeping dynamics.

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