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 30, 2008

Hebron Singer Shalev Ben Ya'akov Live in Studio

Interview and live performance with Hebron area singer Shalev Ben Ya'akov. Hear his intense autobiographical song-story about how he came to Israel and reconnected with his Jewish roots. Plus, singing for the IDF soldiers, winning on the Kohav Nolad TV show contest, and plenty of passionate acoustic guitar ballads. Click here for full article:

Hour 1:
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Hour 2:
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Interview / article archive

A list of all articles by Ben Bresky to date:

* Photo Essay: Yartzeit of the Baba Sali Attracts Thousands - 01/09/11
* Shyne in Israel: From Jail to Judaism, Rapper 'Shines' with Rabbi - 11/16/10
* Photo Essay: The Gilad Shalit Sukkah - An Israeli Sukkot Wrap-Up - 09/30/10
* Photo Essay: Boombamela Festival Welcomes Torah Outreach - 04/15/10
* Superstar Israeli DJs to Play Jerusalem for Chanukah - 12/16/09
* Tarantino's Jewish Revenge Movie Wins Award - 12/16/09
* Israeli Rocker Recreates Temple Instruments on new "Levite" CD - 12/09/09
* Jewish bands Rockiah & Yood to play Jerusalem - 11/23/09
* Israeli Rock Group Chasidica mixes Metal with Spiritual - 11/05/09
* Idan Raichel's New CD Shows Israel's Musical Diversity - 05/27/09
* Professional Women's Theater Holds Final Performance Wednesday - 05/12/09
* Israeli Singer Ovadia Hamama on Religion, Music and Fame - Spin Earth
* Ovadia Hamama, Famous for 'Ana Bekoach' Hit, Releases New CD - 05/07/09
* New CD: Rabbi Kook Jazz Poetry - 04/02/09
* Israeli Heavy Metal Passover Album Wins Award - Spin Earth
* Amaseffer's Israeli Heavy Metal Passover Album Wins Award - 03/26/09
* Photo Essay: Gilad Shalit Protest at Prime Minister's Residence - 03/13/09
* Photo Essay: Yeshiva students rock out at Unity of the Bands - 03/10/09
* New Jewish Band "Agadetah" Revives Ancient Instruments - 02/26/09
* New Singer Mordechai Yitzhar Mixes Carlebach and Mizrachi Music - 02/19/09
* Salute to Shalit: Hassidic Rockers Yood release new album - 02/04/09
* Drummer Ronen Jembe's Journey to Spirituality - 01/04/09
* New "Optimystical" Chanukah Video - 12/23/08
* New Web Site Promotes Thriving Classical Music Scene in Israel - 12/05/08
* Reb Ezra & Jerusalem Soul Center Provide Spiritual "Inreach" - 07/27/08
* Hevron Singer Sinai Tor to Rebuild Home Destroyed by Police - 11/06/08
* Singer 's Pro-Israel Anthem 'This Land' - 09/26/08
* Candidates for Jerusalem Mayor Duke it Out in Debate - 11/01/08
* Sweet Home Alabama or Jerusalem? - 09/04/08
* First Ever Nationally Televised Chanukah TV Show - 11/27/08
* Photo Essay: Sukkot in Jerusalem - 10/17/08
* Harrari Harps Recreates Biblical Instruments - 07/23/08
* Chaim Dovid on Music and the Rebuilding of Jerusalem - 02/14/07
* Violinist Mixes Mediterranean Music with Klezmer - 09/16/08
* One election down, two to go - 11/08
* Photo Essay: Likud Primaries 2008 - 12/09/08
* Sarah Livni Inspires Underground Anthem - 11/10/08
* Dovid Yehoshua Makes Waves with New Album & Video - 08/08
* YLove & DJ Handler: Jewish Rap Goes A Capella - 11/08
* Jewish Rockers 'Soulfarm' on Israeli Tour - 08/13/08
* Ehud Banai to Play at Festival in Gush Etzion - 08/11/08
* A Groyse Metsie's New Twist on Jewish Music - 08/05/08
* Tsfat-Based Band "Ingathering" Spreads Music, Spirituality - 07/08/08
* Singer From Hevron Rocks on Kohav Nolad TV contest - 06/30/08
* Jewish Rock Group Heedoosh Makes Aliyah - 06/22/08
* Women’s Arts Group to Hold Gala Event -06/16/08
* Top Song Producer Lawrence Dermer Returns to Jewish Roots - 06/12/08
* A-7 Interview with Musicial Star Shlomo Gronich - 06/02/08
* Jewish Music Artists of 5758 CD Reviews (PDF) - 02/08
* Performer Shlomo Simcha: The Power of Jewish Music and Radio - 02/12/07
* Popular Hassidic Singer Adi Ran Speaks - 05/24/06
* Photo Feature: Israeli Festival Becomes Jewish Encounter - 10/15/06
* Dead Sea Jewish Rock and Soul Festival - 04/23/07
* Dreadlock Payos and Tie-Dyed Tzitzit at Boombamela Festival - 04/27/06
* Dreadlock payos article from Think Israel - 04/26/06
* Music Festival to Take Place on Gush Etzion Hilltop - 07/27/05
* Secular and Religious Musicians Perform at Beit Shemesh Festival - 10/09/07
* Veteran Singer Avraham Fried Releases Music Video - 11/28/06
* Israelis Celebrate Independence Day With Concerts and BBQs - 05/04/06
* Aharit HaYamim - More Than Just a Band, It´s a Movement - 07/23/06
* Matisyahu to Perform Two Shows in Israel - 03/30/07
* Chaim Dovid on Music and the Rebuilding of Jerusalem - 02/14/07
* Photo Essay: Klezmer Festival Fills Kabbalistic City With Song - 07/19/06
* Lag BaOmer Dispatches From Meron - 05/19/06,
* Teapacks Mixes Rap, Mizrachi and Sarcasm on New Album - 06/07/06
* Breaking It Down with Miri Ben-Ari
* Rapper Y-Love to Join Annual Aharit Hayamim Festival - 06/24/07
* The Beat Goes On - 04/05
* Music Icon Ariel Zilber: I'll Be There to Prevent the Expulsion - 03/14/05
* Israelis Celebrate Independence Day With Concerts and BBQs - 5/5/06
* Simply Tsfat´s New Album Urges Listeners to "Never Give Up" - 07/26/06
* Megadeth performs in Israel, Dave Mustaine interview - 06/22/05
* Interview with Moshav Band on new CD Malachim - 6/17/05
* Landing plum internships in Israel - 08/19/04
* Interview with Yidcore - 12/07/04
* Perry Farrell 's solo CD shows Jewish roots - 6/27/02
* New Jewish music caters to all tastes in 2003 - 12/19/03
* New CD from Israeli rapper Subliminal - 1/09/03
* The spin on New Jewish CDs for 2002 - 11/28/02
* Review of Debbie Friedman's new CD - 9/05/02
* Too Busy for Games - An Interview with Xela
* more articles here

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


My new and improved blog will be located here:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jewish Rock Group Heedoosh Makes Aliyah

Jewish Rock Group Heedoosh Makes Aliyah

Click here to listen now part 1
Click here to listen now part 2
Click here for mp3 download part 1
Click here for mp3 download part 2

19 Sivan 5768, 22 June 08 03:27
by Ben Bresky

( The core members of Jewish rock band Heedoosh have moved to Israel and will perform their first concert Monday June 23 in Jerusalem. The young band released their first album Meumkah Delibah in 1997 to rave reviews. The band combines Hebrew lyrics based on the writing of Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak Kook with alternative rock. The band stopped by the Israel National Radio studios to perform live and discuss their move.

Yaniv and Yahav Tsaidi are the singers and songwriters of the band. The sons of Yemenite-Moroccan Jewish parents grew up in Detroit. Yaniv previously recorded two Hasidic pop albums. He currently cites his musical influences as Alice in Chain, Oasis, Radiohead and other 90's alternative rock groups.

Can't see player? Click here: part 1, part 2.

Guitarist Shaya Rubenstein moved to Israel several years ago and claims as his influences Yossi Piamenta and early 20th-century jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Bassist Rafi Gassel previously played with Yaniv in America with another Jewish rock group called Rashan. He came to Israel are part of an internship program doing research in a science lab. He decided to stay when they offered him a job. Drummer Ari Leichtberg and lead guitarist Dror Shimoni also recently moved to Israel.

The band’s debut concert in Israel will be this Monday. They will perform with Israeli rock group Squid. “We’re Americans singing songs in Hebrew and they are Israelis singing songs in English,” says Yaniv. Rubenstein adds, “There is a stigma to a band of one nationality trying to cross over and make a voice for themselves in other places, but people are just trying to express themselves the best way they can. “It’s whatever feels natural and makes them feel like they are doing the best they can. For us it is mostly in Hebrew.” Gassel agrees: “Israel is the gathering place for all the Jews in the world. If a Jew is doing it somewhere, somehow it's still Jewish music.”

The band developed a serious following in America. For the past three years they have been performing at BB King's in New York City on December 25th. The event attracts both religious and non-religious members of the Jewish community as well as a growing amount of Asians, who also seek something to do on a night when most of the country is at home with their families. The band plans to perform again there this year.

Yahav was a student at the Merkaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem, as was his father. The yeshiva follows the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak Kook and Tsaid bases much of the band’s lyrics upon Rabbi Kook’s writings.

One of the most rocking tunes on their album is called The Purim Song. Tsaidi originally wrote it in English about his rabbi in yeshiva, Rabbi Yehoshua Zuckerman. But being that it was Purim time, he changed the lyrics and it just seemed to fit.

On the subject of the recent shooting at the yeshiva, Yahav comments: “It’s a tragedy and a travesty. It hurt so much to watch it on the news. It hit home. I just pray that Am Yisrael is strong and to start becoming more decisive about where we stand politically as Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael and start taking more action.

One of Heedoosh’s most catchy tunes is Aliyat HaNerot, which roughly translated mean the elevation of the candles. Yahav explains: “It is symbolic of the individual souls of the nation of Israel. We also have a collective soul and the goal is to elevate the different nuances that each one represents.”

Heedoosh performs Monday June 23rd at C'naan on 15 Shamai Street near Ben Yehuda in downtown Jerusalem. Tickets are 20 shekels. For more information visit

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Jerusalem Mega Mix - How Many Songs Can You Name?

Black Sabbath has a song about Jerusalem? Yes they do, and so do many other pop culture icons. How many can you name in the Jerusalem Mega Mix? Plus, Israel's winning (and losing) Eurovision song contest entries including Boaz Mauda, Hallelujah, A-Ba-Ni-Bi, Push the Button and Eddie Butler. Also, new songs from Naftali Abramson, Yehuda Kaplan, Lenny Solomon and a golden oldie from Kaveret (Poogy).

Listen Now

Interview with Shlomo Gronich

A-7 Interview with Musicial Star Shlomo Gronich
1 Sivan 5768, 04 June 2008

by Ben Bresky and INN staff

( Veteran Israeli singer Shlomo Gronich, who recently performed at the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism Award ceremony in the City of David, has released a new album based on Jewish texts from the Bible and prayer book. He spoke with IsraelNationalRadio this past week.

Releasing his first album in 1971, Gronich is well known for his 1993 album Shlomo Gronich and The Sheba Choir, which consists of Ethiopian children. He still teaches and performs with the choir and is planning to record new material. Gronich has been touring with the Journey to the Source material throughout Israel and in South America.

His new album, entitled Journey to the Source, guest stars a mix of secular and religious Israeli performers.

INR: Tell us about your new album, Journey to the Source.

Shlomo Gronich: Well, I can't tell you all about it. All the texts are from the Jewish source - from the Bible and from the Siddur. This is something that is very exciting for me. It doesn't remind me of anything I did before. It takes me somewhere very high, very spiritual. It takes my whole soul into it. I started working on this journey three years ago when I received by fax an ancient prayer taken from the Sabbath morning prayer, Ilu Finu: "Even if our mouth would be as full of song like the sea, we could not fully praise You..." When I read it, I was so moved by the purity and meaning of the wise words. Since I am not a religious person, it was my first time reading it. Religious people read it every Shabbat morning, but I was not familiar with this prayer. I took the prayer from the fax. I went to the piano. I turned on the tape, closed my eyes, and the music came as a whole. It was a very exciting experience. I really felt it was the first time it was happening to me like that. So strong. This was the trigger to this journey.

Right after that, wonderful things started to happen to me. I met people who gave me advice as to which psukim [verses] to take from the Bible. I went from one sentence of the Bible to the other with this music. They were veryfruitful days for me. In a week I composed twenty new prayers. I was very moved by it. I think ancient lyrics have so much power just because they are so old. They gather so much power during the thousands of years. It feels so pure and clean and fresh and good to sing these lyrics, especially today when the radio and everything around us seems to go in to fashion music and fragments. I find it a very quality and refreshing experience.
The magic continued in the studio. When I composed the music, as I told you, it came as a whole to me. It came from within me. No mistakes. No erase. As a whole. When I was composing, I knew I should take a string quartet and produce the music with them. We went into the studio with a string quartet and a percussion player. After the first track, I felt I could use other people's voices. I made some phone calls to another great composer, David Broza. On the spot he came to the studio came and gave his voice to another song, A Woman of Valor. He sings a duet with me. Then I pulled another amazing guy, with an amazing voice, Gad Elbaz. And another one and another one. This album is really hosting many good musicians besides me which gives me the great pleasure of listening to it and not only to my own voice but to this wonderful ensemble that was put together

INR: You went on tour with this material before the album came out. How did the audience receive it?

Shlomo Gronich: They liked it very much. What was very interesting is that the audience is composed of religious people and non-religious people and it's very exciting to see these two types of audience sitting together and going through a spiritual adventure.

INR: I like the song "In Green Pastures" with the guy speaking English in the beginning. What is that one about?

Shlomo Gronich: They are from the Black Hebrew community of Dimona. They have great voices. They sat with me in a few songs. As we started the song, one of them started to recite the words in English. David's Psalms.

INR: So it wasn't planned like that?

Shlomo Gronich: It was not planned. He started to recite it and I made the signal to the man recording. I left it there to start the Hebrew version with an English version. What is interesting here is that The L-rd is My Shepherd is being said by non-Jewish people concerning death. It's very sad in ceremonies of death. My version is very happy and gay. It's the opposite of death. It's very alive. It makes it interesting.

INR: You have been around for a long time. How has your music changed? How have you grown musically?

Shlomo Gronich: I can't be the judge of myself, but I think this project shows that this guy, me, is getting ripe with the years. My hair is becoming white. My voice is becoming deep. My soul is becoming deep. My touch of music is becoming more mature and more meaningful and honest. That's what I feel and I hear it from others as well. Everything that I learned within my short life, almost 60 years, is being put today in my music. Every day I learn something new. That's why it sounds so wide ranging in the styles of music. Classical with pop with jazz with ethnic with world with religious with hasidic. Everything is here. It's really a new language of music.

INR: I saw an old video of you on the internet with [former Israeli singing star] Mati Caspi. Then I saw a video of you two from today and you both look almost exactly the same - except with white hair.

Shlomo Gronich: Besides being older and wiser a little bit, well maybe not wiser, maybe less stupid, the energy is inside. The river is inside. It's the same person. The same soul. The same energy.

INR: Is there anything else you want to say about your music or your new album?
Shlomo Gronich: I am so much into this new project now. Usually I work on so many things together, but this project is taking all of me into it. I hope it gets the chance to be played abroad, because I think that it's not only for the Jewish people, it's really for all of humankind. The Bible is not a thing of only the Jewish people, its really of all mankind. I feel the same about this project, this music and these lyrics, should be heard by so many people not only in Israel. I hope to get the chance to do it.

Benyamin Bresky is a music journalist and the host of The Beat on Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio.