The Idan Raichel Project A 'Rich Musical Stew'

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Saturday October 26, 2013

From The Morning Call

The rich musical stew of The Idan Raichel Project
By: Dave Howell

Idan Raichel brings music he hears from all over the world to Israel and the rest of the world. His concerts become lively parties, as you will see when The Idan Raichel Project stops Monday at Zoellner Arts Center with musicians from Israel, Brazil and even the refugee camps of Sudan. “I keep my eyes and ears open all the time,” the Israeli keyboardist says in a phone interview. Raichel says his main influences are African, Latin American, Caribbean and Middle Eastern. He has used more than 70 musicians to play and present his compositions, and will have seven musicians and three singers at Zoellner.

Raichel writes the music, but he is not the star of his concerts. He sings a bit, but the spotlight usually is on the other, mostly female, vocalists, who sometimes use lyrics that have been translated into their native languages. “My physical position on stage is usually to the extreme right or left,” he says. “I am in the background like a film director. You do not see Steven Spielberg in his films, but you can see his touch. Woody Allen sometimes takes a role in his films and sometimes not, but it is always his work.”

While Raichel’s work on CD often is quietly contemplative and spiritual, concerts have many upbeat pop/world songs supported by Raichel’s piano and electronic keyboard, and guitar, bass and ethnic instruments. There will be a lot of activity and movement and the singers will engage the audience. It will not be surprising if people get up and dance.

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