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Ester Rada: Ester’s first EP “Life Happens” is a fun blend of cross cultural sounds. Ester was born in Israel to Ethiopian parents, and her pride in her Ethiopian heritage is reflected in her music. On the album she’s teamed up with acclaimed Israeli producers Kuti (Kutiman/Thru-You) and Sabbo (Soulico), to release her first self-written and composed solo EP. The combination of Ethio-Jazz resembles the style of legendary musician Mulatu Astatke, and it’s mix of black grooves with funk, soul, and R&B, shows why Ester Rada is one of the most talked-about musicians of 2013.

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Eli Degibri: One of Israel’s greatest saxophonists, Eli Degibri is back with “Twelve”, his sixth solo album, featuring piano prodigy Gadi Lehavi. Degibri was named by Al Foster as the only young Saxophonist that gives him joy when he plays and this album give a taste of why . Degibri’s style is clean, skillful, emotional and also experimental.

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Revivo’s Project : “What remains of these” is a collection of covers of Mizrachi classics from the 70s and 80s. The feeling is of kicking back with a group of Yemenite Israeli guys having a good time, throwing their own hafla and singing mizrachi songs in arabic-accented hebrew. Watching them on TV chewing Khat and jamming with each other always brings a smile to the face and makes you feel proud of Israel’s multi ethnic identity.

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Marina Toschich and Jacob Miron: “Oud in the Middle West” is a wonderful and unique album by Bosnian Israeli Oud virtuoso Marina Toshich and her partner, well-established clarinetist Jacob Miron. Marina is one of the important musicians  of  Ashkelon’s Andalous Orchestra, and Jacob plays in  the equally important Andalous Orchestra of Ashdod. The album is very unique and diverse and when you listen to it you immediately feel the blend of Bosnian blues, Klezmer, Arabic maqam/Taqsim and psychedelic tones. It’s a great album for people seeking something creative, different, and yet still very melodic.

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Omer Klein : “To the Unknown “is the latest album by Pianist Omer Klein, the frontman of a trio that includes Haggai Cohen and Ziv Ravitz. The album includes beautiful and impressive originals, and the talents of Klein, one of Israel’s most succesful jazz pianists. Lately Omer spends a great amount of time touring the world, showcasing the talents that make him special. One of these, certianly, is the very elegant and gentle touch and the outstanding compositions he creates.

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Ahuva Ozeri: “Above me Silence” (Maalei Demama) Often called the founding mother of Mizrahi music, along with her friends the troubled, late king of Mizrahi music Zohar Argov and the amazing guitarist Yehuda Caesar, Ahuva Ozeri is back with Above the Silence. Ahuva is universally-loved in Israel with fans of all backrdounds, and her victory against cancer has made her a role model. The disease forced the removal of her vocal chords but this hasn’t stopped her from writing and composing beautiful songs, including the tracks on this alubm, which include 16 guest appearences including Chava Alberstein and Maya Avraham from Idan Raichel’s project.

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Knesiyat Hasechel and the Andalusian Orchestra of Ashkelon: “Home is very far away” is a very intriguing collaboration between the twenty year old rock band Knesiyat Hasechel and the amazing Andalusian or Mediterranean Orchestra of Ashkelon, whichusually play Arab-Andalusian music with rich Arab and Spanish influences. The orchestra is conducted by the cool Tom Cohen, who loves taking the Orchestra on new roads, while constantly working on new arrangements. The overall result on this album is great rock n’ roll with a unique backing orchestra, and the sound is very different than that of the usual collaborations we’ve seen with no shortage of rock bands and classical music orchestra, including The Moody Blues, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, and the list goes on.

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Amir Benayoun: “Love country songs” (Shirei Eretz Ahava) is a very relaxing album by one of the most acclaimed singers in Israel. Benayoun takes on songs which we all tend to relate with the founding Zionist fathers of Israel. These are songs which remind us of the Kibbutz and which we tend to associate with Ashkenazi Jewish culture, and they’re perfromed by Benayoun, a Jew of Algerian background. Benayoun’s wonderful voice and accent strongly show the pride he has in his roots and in his musical heritage, and send the message that you can sing idealistic songs of praise for the land of Israel, no matter your background or accent.

Some of the albums are available on :

Bandcamp.com

http://www.israel-music.com/

Steimatsky books and also regular music stores.

Thank you Ben Hartman for helping me with the spelling and grammar check.


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