Idan Raichel's Timely Cross-Cultural Project

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Monday July 29, 2013

From Texas Public Radio

Idan Raichel’s Timely Cross-Cultural Project
By: Deirdre Saravia

Idan Raichel released his first international CD, ‘The Idan Raichel Project,’ in 2006. It was a tremendous success and garnered him the title of ‘A One Man Peace Process’ for bringing together artists with disparate backgrounds and religions. Idan was born in Israel and was involved in music from the age of nine when he learned to play the accordion. After a compulsory stint in the Israel Defense Force, he worked at a boarding school which was attended by many young Ethiopian Jews. They introduced him to Ethiopian folk and pop music.

Whilst working as a session recording artist, he created his ‘Project,’ involving a variety of musicians working together in varied styles. In total, 70 different artists collaborated with Raichel on that first album.The latest CD from the Project is ‘Quarter To Six’ and involves Raichel’s usual motley crew.

Perhaps for me and others, the real surprise on this wonderful work was the inclusion of countertenor Andreas Scholl, who sings ‘In Stiller Nacht’ in German. Among the other artists on the album are Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura, Colombian Marta Gomez, from Palestine, Mira Awad, and Vieux Farka Toure from Mali. The latter was accosted at an airport in 2008 by Raichel, who recognized him, and insisted that Vieux record something with him. Vieux agreed and the result was an instrumental album, ‘The Tel Aviv Sessions.’

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