“In 2003, an unusual song began airing on Israeli’s popular radio stations. With its haunting chorus in the Ethiopian language of Amharic and an exotic, global fusion sound “Bo’ee” became an instant crossover hit that catapulted The Idan Raichel Project to the top of Israel pop charts and turned a young dreadlocked keyboardist and producer into a household name in his native land.
Soon, The Idan Raichel Project would become known around the world for its ambitious cross-cultural collaborations that changed the face of Israeli popular music and offered “a fascinating window into the young, tolerant, multi-ethnic Israel taking shape away from the headlines” (Boston Globe).
The Idan Raichel Project with its acclaimed live concert experience is making a stop at LEHIGH UNIVERSITY near the of its sixteen-city tour. The tour is the group’s first since the international release of their latest album Quarter to Six (Cumbancha) in June, which has continued their ten-year streak of top-selling and critically acclaimed recordings. The Idan Raichel Project have become global ambassadors representing a hopeful world in which artistic collaboration breaks down barriers between people of different backgrounds and beliefs. This tour has been listed as part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days events.
Billboard Magazine called The Idan Raichel Project “One of the most fascinating titles to emerge in world music this year…a multi-ethnic tour de force.”
The New York Times selected the album as one of the top world music releases of the year, and media from Peru to Portugal was unanimous in their praise. The album also received a nomination as one of the best world music albums of the year by the BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music.
In the past four years, Raichel has co-written numerous songs and toured with GRAMMY winner India.Arie, performed at the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony in Oslo, Norway, co-written a song calling for racial harmony with Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres, performed for President Obama and family at the Kennedy Center on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, performed at the ceremony inaugurating the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington DC, sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall and other major venues worldwide, toured India, South America and Africa and released the highly praised Tel Aviv Session album with Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré. This year, Raichel joined pop star Alicia Keys on stage as a special guest during her July concert in Tel Aviv.
What could one possibly learn from a man this open to peace and cultural dialogue? His success is not just marked in popularity, or in record sales. We have been challenged by campus climate issues for a while now. Might this be a way to see how an artist who lives, breaths political struggle, yet brings hope to others through music? Students and the community may not realize what an amazing artist and soul within our midst. But we hope that given the opportunity, some just might take a chance and find themselves in the midst of a life-transforming experience.
The Idan Raichel Project’s latest album, Quarter To Six,debuted at number 1 on the iTunes World Music Chart and has been touted as one of the best albums of the year.
The album features guest appearances by Portuguese fado star Ana Moura, Palestinian-Israeli singer Mira Awad, German counter-tenor Andreas Scholl, Colombia’s Marta Gómez, Vieux Farka Touré (who had recently performed at Zoellner on October 13th) and a selection of some of Israel’s top up-and-coming singers and musicians.
OK – don’t just take our word for it – here is a review of the Miami Concert, posted 10/18/2013 on the Huffington Post. If a review of last Friday’s concert doesn’t inspire you – maybe a video will. Enjoy: