Tracey Shipley
Youth, family and addictions counselor/creative therapist/band organizer and manager/event producer/writer

‘Atlantica’; Not Just A Band- An Experience!

Upcoming event with Atlantica in Jerusalem

Poster for upcoming event

Poster for upcoming event; photo by Orli Asia

Sixteen years ago when I moved back to Israel with my children-teens at the time- I was walking down my favorite street in downtown Jerusalem, Yoel Solomon, and stumbled upon a flier on the wall.  “Long Time Gone” will be doing a cover show of Crosby Stills and Nash at Yankee’s Bar!”  Imagine my delight picturing my CSN album of the 70s with the “Boys” sitting on a couch on a porch in God knows where and who cares! This became one of my favorite albums.  Sure enough, this cover band sounded just like them and I was on cloud nine.

This month, years later, I was asked to manage the band Atlantica. One of Atlantica’s founding members was, up until four years ago when he tragically passed away, the one and only Yankee, owner of the Yankees bar. Yankee played in the band along with his son Liam, and the founder of the band, and Yankee’s best friend Rami Davidoff. And here is their story.

Free image (Photo by Henry Diltz/Corbis via Getty Images)

In 2006 Rami Davidoff, best known for his major part in the famous series of the 70’s “To Run With Him” about the downtown scene in Jerusalem, founded the band “Atlantica”.  Since then he has written and composed their songs for 6 albums both in English and Hebrew. Rami continued with his acting career while maintaining the position of Lead singer and band leader of “Atlantica”, a retro-modern rock band. Rami grew up listening to rock music from the 70s along with classical music which he connected to at the age of ten when he began to learn classical guitar. After his studies at the Rimon Music School, he joined a Brazilian concert tour around Rio De Janeiro with the band “Les Tres”. Rami continued his work in Israel writing songs for movies and writing scripts for the series “Someone to Run With” and “Everything Is Home” along with the present series “Atlantica” and more. “Atlantica” is a is a dark and edgy comedy series about a failing rock band from Jerusalem that gets a shot at a long-awaited success when a tour guide with aspirations of becoming a band manager joins them. The band members dream of fame and glory while their lives are much less glamorous. In addition to gigs in dark empty pubs, bar owners, and PR people who swindle them, these guys have to overcome the mental barriers facing musicians in their late thirties who refuse to grow up.

The first time I saw “Atlantica” perform was an intimate performance with standing-room only at Jerusalem’s Blaze Bar.  The energy permeated the space with Rami and his band members blowing the audience away with their original as well as cover music based on the sound of the 70s, my favorite era of course.  Every member was more talented than the next and “jiving” like a one-piece entity.  The audience could not stop dancing and singing along.

In addition to their talents each member is an active part of the Jerusalem community, from Liam Bachar the drummer who owns a popular coffeehouse in Bet HaKerem, to Ben Argaman the bassist who volunteers at Terem and MADA as a paramedic, Avi Yisrael, the amazing Keyboard player- an active member of a religious settlement and last but certainly not least Herzel Huga, known since the 70’s as one of Jerusalem’s guitar legends.

When Deep Purple came to town not long ago they were asked to Cameo in one of the episodes of “Atlantica” where they interviewed this failing band who wanted to open for them.  Here is a short clip of the hysterical scene:

Roger Glover, the Welsh bassist, songwriter, and record producer of Deep Purple who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 was an inspiration to Herzel since he was young. Imagine his delight when Herzel had the opportunity not only to meet Roger but to play for him when “Atlantica” opened at the Deep Purple concert. “Their meeting was magical” explained Rami even though Roger didn’t speak Hebrew and Herzel didn’t speak English.” Music is an international language!

Atlantica performing for Deep Purple; photo by Orli Asia

After learning all of this about the band and experiencing them live I couldn’t help but rejoice about managing “Atlantica” and helping them to continue to excite audiences all across Israel. “Atlantica”, one of Jerusalem’s musical treasures will be performing at my next Rock Concert on February 22nd, at the Modular Club of the Stay Inn Hotel on King George Street in downtown Jerusalem.

As Israel’s music scene begins to wake up after the shock of October 7th and enters the month of Adar where joy is the theme, let’s bring it in together and honor the request of so many soldiers who have been quoted saying “We are fighting so that you can go on living”.  We are a strong nation physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  No one, no organization, no group, and no people can keep us down.  As the Hebrew saying goes “Mi Shenichnas Adar Marbim B’simcha” – whoever brings in the month of Adar with joy will reap the benefits that this month is meant to bring to the Jewish people.  There is a time to weep and there is a time to rejoice. We have experienced four months of weeping; we must find a way to strengthen ourselves with a bit of joy.  What better way to do that than by singing and dancing to the music of this incredible band!  Oh yes, joining “Atlantica” will be a few of Jerusalem’s talented singer-songwriters.  Let’s make this a joyous occasion.

About the Author
Tracey Shipley is a youth and family counselor specializing in addictions and family communication. She was born in the US and moved to Israel in 1984 to continue her studies in Art Therapy. She moved back to the US in 1989 and began working in a drug rehab for teens where she was trained while she worked as a primary counselor. She moved back to Israel in 1996 and continued her work in addictions at the Jerusalem Methadone Clinic for a total of 9 years. She initiated projects for the children of the addicts at the Methadone Clinic, Established a program for Ethiopian Teens educating them about their culture and opened the Jerusalem School of Rock program which helps to create teen rock bands and established monthly teen music events at downtown venues where teens perform for their friends in a teen friendly exciting atmosphere. In addtion to her projects Tracey was the English Speaking Volunteer Coordinator for Emunah Jerusalem succeeding in bringing in more funds and volunteers than ever before. Tracey organizes monthly Rock Festivals and manages rock bands young and old. Tracey also writes for Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post.
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