Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast

The Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast interviews the latest Israeli and Jewish artists and covers a wide range of styles from Carlebach, cantorial, klezmer, Israeli trance, Mizrachi, rock, Sephardic, hasidic and everything in between. Past interviews have included Matisyahu, Avraham Fried, and Miri Ben-Ari. IsraelBeat broadcasts live every Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Israel time on

Monday, June 26, 2006

New Show - Shlomo Katz

June 25, 2006

Shlomo Katz performs live in the studio and discusses his new album.

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Archived all week.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shlomo Katz - Live - This Sunday

Singer-songwriter Shlomo Katz will perform live in the studio to promote his new solo album.

This Sunday June 25, 2006
7:00PM - 8:00PM Israel time
12:00noon - 1:00PM Eastern Standard time

Join us in the Virtual Studio chat room, instant message us or call in.
This special later broadcast will be preceded by all-request mix show.
Archived all week and available for mp3 download.

The Beat with Ben Bresky

For more info on Shlomo Katz visit:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hagiga ba Snooker movie review

Hagiga ba Snooker, or "snooker celebration" in Hebrew, is a classic Israeli movie from 1975. Gavri (Yehuda Barkan) and Hannuka (Ze'ev Revach) are two small time pool hall owners and hustlers who try to hustle a former Israeli snooker king and suspected Mafia boss. (Note: snooker is another name for the game of pool or billiards). To pay off the money they owe him, they decide to sell Gavri’s family’s house. But they can't unless they first marry Gavri's twin brother. But Gavri's twin brother is interested only with the rabbi's daughter whom he is madly in love with. Little do they know that the snooker king wants to marry off his nephew to the rabbi's daughter as well. Hilarity ensues.

This movie is both charming and cheesy. Some scenes are embarrassingly predictable, but that's part of the fun which makes it a cult classic. For me, the film invokes the type of low-budget movies which used to be aired in America either at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon or 2am on a Saturday night. It was fun to see a movie with so many Jewish and Israeli references but without those references being the focus of the movie.

Hagiga ba Snooker contains no nudity, violence, or racism although there are one or two swear words both in English and Hebrew. The ending is happy without any deaths or any religious or political message.

One scene that has been immortalized on posters in falafel shops throughout the country is that of Hannuka dressed up as the matchmaker in a black hat and thick glasses stuffing his face full of food.

The movie co-stars Yossi Banai, a well known singer. Alternative titles for this movie include: Hagigah B’Snooker or simply Snooker.

For more info visit:

For an excellent article on this and other Israeli movies visit:


Moshav interview

Interview with Yehuda Solomon, lead singer of Moshav (formerly The Moshav Band) on their forthcoming album and his thoughts on music, Matisyahu, Shlomo Carlebach, Bob Marley and everything in-between. Listen to new unreleased tracks and requested classics.

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Official Moshav web site

Jewish Music Group record label

old IsraelBeat Moshav Band interview

Monday, June 12, 2006

Coolooloosh interview

Israel Beat for June 11, 2006

Interview with Rebel Sun and Yuval Gerstein of the band Coolooloosh on hip-hop, Jerusalem, and jazz, co-hosted by Walter Bingham. Plus music by Shimon Mishali, Yehuda Pritt Sehmi, Adam Braun, and Shlomo Katz.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Teapacks article

Teapacks Mixes Rap, Mizrachi and Sarcasm on New Album
June 7, 2006 / 11 Sivan 5766
by Benyamin Bresky
Israel National News

While the Kassam rockets are falling, one group of Sderot natives is singing. The band Teapacks, hailing from the besieged development city in the south, has just released its 10th album.

Teapacks continues its light-hearted caricatures of Israeli society. The cover of their new album, Radio Music Hebrew, is a cartoon of the band drawn by well known Israeli cartoonist Michel Kishka. Lead singer Kobi Oz explains the drawing, which is based on the band's lyrics:
"There is a big street party and there is a caricature of us performing. We have some Kassam rockets and we have the Sheehab which is the new Iranian nuclear
rocket flying. And if you can see behind us, there is a kind of suicide terrorist waiting for his chance to blow up. We have the haredim and the students and the new Jamaican style Israelis. We have a lot of types and the album talks about all of them."

One of Teapacks influences is the 1970's Israeli band Kaveret, whose popular Poogy series had fun with Israeli culture. "This is pop music," says Oz. "It's not something of fashion, it's something of folklore. It's like a salute to the music people in Israel listened to forty years ago."

But the Teapacks sound is definitely original. They were one of the first bands in Israeli to incorporate rap in their music. "The artists in Israel are very verbal and they have to say a lot of things so rap is perfect for Israeli music," says Oz. "You can express your opinion in many words. It's not only rap about 'how big is my car,' it's rap about political opinions and telling funny tales. So our kind of rap is like a Jewish rap."

Along with the rap is the Mizrachi style of music Oz grew up with. He personally plays the accordion on many tracks, giving the funky rhythms a kind of kibbutz feel.

Even the band's name is a combination. "I drank a lot of tea when I wrote the songs," Oz explains. But the other meaning of their name is "tipex," which is the Hebrew word for White-Out. "We like to wipe up borders between styles and between people. We are trying to combine something new because we are bored of all the styles."

This combination has led to success. Even though the band's quirky lyrics are half the fun, the music can still move people around the world. Their third album sold 3,000 records in Japan. "When we heard about people outside of Israel loving and connecting to this kind of music it made us very happy and very surprised. They like this accordion kind of playing and the artistic album covers."

Last year Oz released a solo album of slow songs and ballads. "It's like a REM scan into my soul. It talks about a hard period of my life, like a sad diary." Although not a Teapacks album, the other members of Teapacks contributed to it. "Teapacks is all about photographing the outside, and this is kind of intimate. It's Kobi Oz and it's like a private peek into my life at that period."

While not particularly religious, the band maintains its Jewishness. The covers of all their albums feature a hamsa, the symbol of a hand often associated with the kabbalah. "The hamsa is the most ancient Jewish symbol. Like the hand that prevented G-d from striking the Jewish houses. So the hamsa is protecting life."

Having recently returned from a series of dates in America and England, the band is now preparing for a tour of Israel in support of their new album. One can expect can expect their sense of humor in the face of Israel's challenges to come through on stage as well. According to Oz, "For us it's like a big outdoor market, with a lot of vegetables and a lot of shouting. It's a fun experience to record and to perform in Israel. This is a funny country."

Benyamin Bresky is the host of The Beat on Israel National Radio. He
maintains a music journal at
For more information on Teapacks visit their web site at

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

David D'or interview

I never actually interviewed David D'or in person. That honor went to my co-worker, Walter Bingham. However, on Independence Day I did see David D'or at Zion Square. Well, actually that's not true. I only heard him and his unmistakable vocals floating up Ben Yehuda Street. D'or's new album consists of quality light pop songs, most of which are duets with some of the best of Israel's singers, such as Arkadi Duchin, Arik Einstein, Shlomi Shabat, Meir Banai and more. The song Z'man Ahava, Time of Love is a duet with Ehud Banai. It has recieved a good amount of airplay on the radio and is one of the catchiest songs on the album. The lyrics speak of sitting in the central bus station watching the rain and the music fits perfectly. The other songs are mostly slow ballads. My favorite is the last track, from the Top of the World with the Shiran Choir from the Sharon Valley with its opera-like vocals and dreamy Israeli new-age feel.

The following is Walter Bingham's interview with David D'or conducted on the evening of Jerusalem Day at Sacher Park and aired on Walter's World on Israel National Radio May 28, 2006.

Question: Do you prefer to work before a live audience like this or a recording or television studio?

David D'or: Always live. The energy is totally different. It is like you are giving birth to something new. It is always very unique because it's once in a lifetime. Each show is different from the other. I love to perform in front of the audience much more then the recording studio.

Question: Which was the largest audience you ever performed to?

David D'or: Five years ago I've been to the Vatican. I had a great concert there. In front of the last Pope, the late Pope. It was, I think, 500,000 people. Very big.

Question: How many recordings have you done?

David D'or: I have eight records until now. Some of them are gold and platinum. I love music. I am always saying that I am lucky to have an occupation that I like to do so much.

Question: How did you get into music?

David D'or: Since I can remember, I was always singing. I was in the army in the Army Entertainment Group and then I learned here in Jerusalem at the Academy of music. I am trying to have a mixture in my music of the classical music and the world music and the pop music. Something that's more wide, not only classical.

Question: For those people who don't know much about your music, which is the song that you think made you world famous?

David D'or: I have a song in Hebrew the name is Tishmor al HaOlam Yeled, it means Protect Our World Child. It's quite a famous song.

Question: Are you going to sing it here today?

David D'or: No. I'm going to sing a new song. It's for the title of this evening, Yerushalayim Shel BaLev, Jerusalem in Our Heart, and it's from my new album. It's called Time for Love.


Walter Bingham is a veteran journalist from London, England. He is the host of Walter's World on Israel National Radio. He can be contacted at

For more information on David D'or visit his web site at

Monday, June 05, 2006

New Show for June 4, 2006

Live Sun 11am NY, 6pm Israel

Jun. 4 E-mail Ben Bresky

All-Request Show
Featuring music by Aaron Razel, Mordechai Ben-David, Matisyahu, Rita & Aviva, Shlomi Shabbat, Gad Elbaz, HaIkavot, Klezmer Rebs, TACT All-Stars, Honorable Mentchen, Yosef Karduner, Adi Ran and more.

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