Friday, November 9, 2012

Israeli Musicians

And This time Shlomo Bar

Shlomo Bar is an Israeli musician, composer, and social activist. He is a pioneer of ethnic music in Israel.

Born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1943, Bar emigrated to Israel a few years later. He learnt how to play the darbuka and other ethnic percussion instruments, performing in various small lineups and as a backing musician for artists such as Matti Caspi on tours. In 1976 he played in Yehoshua Sobol and Noa Chelton's Kriza (Nerves), a fierce play about social injustices and discrimination in Israel. Bar set to music and performed several of Sobol's songs, including "Yeladim Ze Simcha" (Children are joy), which protested a then-prevalent policy of economic discrimination. The song, as recorded a bit later by his band, "Habrera Hativit", received airplay because of the catchy tune, and was accepted at face-value by much of the Mizrachi community. Rita's cover is well-known, and lacks the acidity of the original. Bar has stated on numerous occasions that if the people chose to interpret it as a joyous song, he has no business to tell them otherwise.

As a result of the play, Bar decided it was time to form his own group, "Habrera Hativit" (The natural selection, but also known in English as the Gathering), which he formed with bassist and producer Yisrael Borochov. The original lineup was Samson Kehimkar, an Indian violin and sitar virtuoso, Miguel Herstein, an American guitarist, the bassist Yisrael Borochov, and Bar on percussion and vocals. Yisrael Borochov had a stark influence on the sound of the group, and before he left had arranged, recorded and produced the first two albums of the band. Disagreements over where the direction of the band was going led him to split from Bar and to form the East West Ensemble.

From the start the intention was not to conform to the musical mould, neither of Israeli pop, nor of 'musikat kassetot', the common style of mizrachi music at the time. The first album, "Elei Shorashim" (Origins, or a Return to Roots), combined traditional Moroccan and Yiddish music, with Indian elements and motifs, as well as new renditions of songs by Israeli poets. The songs were long, some of them running for eight minutes, and the subject matter was unusual for the time.

The lineup went through several changes in the 1980s and 90s.

Bar's musical influences are broad, including Bob Dylan and Miles Davis on the one hand, and classical Indian music and Jewish liturgy on the other.

(Source Wikipedia)

Israeli musicians and performers - Images by photostock-israel .

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