Coming together

This week’s three-day Beatles fest in Holon promises interesting Fab Four factoids and non-stop covers by local musicians.

April 23, 2010 17:15
3 minute read.
Magical Mystery Tour.

Magical Mystery Tour 311 . (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Yoav Kutner, the artistic director of the annual Beatles Festival, believes that the place of the Beatles in Israeli culture is much more prominent than any other foreign artist. For the third year in a row, the Beatles Festival returns to remind audiences of the rock ’n’ roll giants and their legacy. “The Beatles had a major influence on a lot of Israeli artists,” Kutner says. “Even if they’re not Israeli, The Beatles are a part of our history, too.”

As a big fan of the Beatles, Kutner feels that this year is particularly important, as it marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the album Let It Be.

The festival, which will take place in Holon from April 28 to May 1, features several tribute concerts, including a reenactment of the infamous Beatles performance on the rooftop of the Apple Record Company building. Magical Mystery Tour, the renowned cover band of the Beatles, will kick off the festival with a free performance on the rooftop of the New Steinberg Center building, where the festival will take place.

Kutner also pointed out that this year would have marked the 70th birthday of John Lennon. The festival, therefore, showcases a tribute concert Imagine in honor of the notorious musician, by the Israeli artists Shlomo Gronich and Shlomi Shaban among others. Kutner will also give a presentation about John Lennon, followed by a screening of Nowhere Boy, the new film about John Lennon’s life.

The festival also includes a special segment called Beatlemania, featuring the group Umaguma – a unique project performing Beatles cover songs in an eclectic mix of genres from ethnic music to Jazz with a Middle Eastern twist, which Kutner refers to as “Psychedelic Mizrahi.” Beatlemania also hosts Natalia M. King, also known as LadyChild, an evocative Blues singer from Brooklyn, flying into the country especially for the festival.

Kutner insists that The Beatles are a worldwide “phenomena” that transcend conventional music styles and can therefore appeal to all age groups. They have captivated audiences since the early days of rock ’n’ roll, and this festival aims to keep their legacy alive. “The Beatles are not oldies music,” he says. “It’s not very old stuff. It still speaks to the young generation.” For that reason, the festival also showcases a few acts by youth groups from the New Steinberg Center, as well as from the Artik School of Music, which teaches its students the basics of rock ’n’ roll.

The youth bands from the Artik School, comprised of four or five members between six and 13 years old – including guitarists, drummers, keyboardists, bassists and vocalists – will play Beatles covers in a show that may last up to a staggering hour and 20 minutes.

Roy Draizin, manager and owner of the school, says the children have already performed in front of a live audience and that, despite their young age, “they have a lot of experience in showbiz.” The students are also fans of the Beatles, says Draizin, and when the producers of the Beatles Festival asked the school to send a few youth bands to the event, the students were arguing over who will play. “The Beatles are the Kings,” he explains. “People say that Elvis was the king of rock ’n’ roll, so the Beatles are the kings of rock ’n’ roll.”

Draizin asserts that this festival proves that rock ’n’ roll is not dead and that the legacy of the Beatles will be carried on by the younger generations. “After people will see the show [of the youth bands], they will see that rock ’n’ roll still has a hope. It’s not extinct. It’s alive and kicking.”

For tickets, visit or call *8965. For further details, go to, or call the Steinberg Center at (03) 550-0012.

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