Music is an integral part of our life. It is always there, giving us what we need, when we need it. A lot of times when you connect to a song, it seems like someone has written that song just for you.
Although Jewish music has been with us since biblical times, there are new vibes and we thought you may want to hear about them.
There are many ways that we can find out more about ourselves. Music is a great way. We find that Jewish music has been playing a massive role in Jewish history, so much that ignoring Jewish music is not an option.
The Jewish music in Israel is a mosaic of sounds, coming from different places all over the globe. You hear it everywhere: when you are going to the market, visiting the local grocery store or if you just taking a walk in the city center and stumble upon a free concert.
You are welcome to join us for a fascinating journey to the evolving world of Jewish music. Here are some of the most interesting artists in Jewish music, who connected to their roots, were inspired by it and created their own interpretation to Jewish music.
“Im Nin’alu” – Jewish music from Yemen
The first song we chose to start our Jewish music is “Im Nin’alu”, originally written by 17th-century Rabbi Shalom Shabazi.
The song was played by more than just one singer; still the unforgettable performance defiantly belongs to Ofra Haza. Ofra Haza first sang “Im Nin’alu” in 1978 with Shechunat Hatikva Workshop Theatre. The song remix version in 1988 was a hit and reached the Top Ten worldwide.
“Habib Galbi” – Yemen hip hop – there is such a thing!
Jumping to 2014, a Yemenite cool hip hop started its own path – A-WA band. Inspired by their Yemenite roots, they created together with Tomer Yosef (Balkan Beat Box), an album that is out of this world. We have picked for you one for tasting: “Habib Galbi” – “Love of my heart”.
Have you heard about the Ladino language?
Ladino (Judeo – Spanish), was a Jewish language derived from old Spanish. After the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the Jews were spread all over the globe, while the most of them tried to maintain their language and costumes.
Yasmin Levy, is a worldwide famous singer. She has a spectacular voice and she is well known for singing world music. She has performed In Carnegie Hall (where they did not want her to leave the stage!) Her fourth album “Sentir”, was extremely successful and she continues to perform and to make different and exciting music. This beautiful song, “Irme Kero” – “I want to go” is an old Jewish – Sephardic song, and is talking about the yearning for Jerusalem.
Maghreb Jewish music
Now let’s go into a different direction. The songs can be new, but without a doubt there are Jewish influences in her singing. Meet Riff Cohen, that is, if you haven’t met her already.
You can feel the Maghreb comes to life in Riff’s singing, almost hearing the voices from the synagogues, or mothers calling their children to come back home.
In her albums pop, punk, Algerian Rai – all mix together to a beautiful cocktail.
A new Jewish music project bringing Yiddish to life
Yoni Eilat is an Israeli actor and played in many productions. He joined the “Yiddishpiel Theater” in 2004.
Yoni Eilat pays homage to the Yardena Arazi album “A Gipsy Soul”. The album is called by that name – “Tzigayner Neshume”.
There are not enough new songs in Yiddish, that’s what makes this project even more exciting and unique. We can only hope that there will be more projects that will reveal more of this beautiful Jewish music culture.
Well, this is just a small taste of what the world of Jewish music has to offer. Whether it’s Jewish music or any other, we hope you enjoying it wherever you are.