Yehuda Poliker 88.
(photo credit: )
British audiences will be treated to the east-meets-west sound of top Israeli musician Yehuda Poliker later this month, when the artist known for his fast-paced bazouki strings will perform in London's Logan Hall as part of a fundraiser for the Jewish National Fund UK (JNF UK).
"I am really looking forward to performing in London," Poliker told The Jerusalem Post in a recent interview. "The British Jewish community is particularly supportive of Israel and it is a privilege to bring my style of Israeli music to them and to the many Israelis living in London, who greatly appreciate having someone from 'home' coming to perform for them."
Proceeds from Poliker's June 24th concert, which are expected to exceed $50,000, will go towards building underground, secure facilities at Nahariya's Western Galilee Hospital. Less than 10 kilometers from Israel's northern border, the hospital bore the brunt of numerous Katyusha rocket attacks during last summer's conflict with Hizbullah in Lebanon.
Dr. Moshe Daniel, acting director general of the hospital, said that despite being under constant fire from the rockets the facility continued to treat more wounded soldiers and civilians than any other hospital in Israel.
"Our current Emergency Department building is not protected from enemy fire and the funds raised by Yehuda Poliker's concert will be used to establish a much-needed secure facility," he said.
When asked whether he believed a British charity should be sponsoring a project that really should be funded by the Israeli government, Poliker did not seem perturbed.
"Israel charities based in the UK choose projects that have touched them and that they strongly feel they would like to support," he said. "The JNF Israeli Forum has done marvelous work and it is a relevant and special cause to help the hospital in Nahariya."
Poliker, who has performed several times in the US, said that his debut show in Britain would be similar to the concerts he gives on a regular basis in Israel, filled with his signature faced paced guitar sounds and exotic percussion.
Born in Haifa's Kiryat Haim neighborhood in 1950 to Holocaust survivor parents from Thessaloniki, Greece, Poliker rose to fame in the early 1980s with the rock band Bareket. Four years and two successful albums later, Poliker embarked on solo career, tuning into his roots with a Greek rock album in 1985. In the late 1980s, he released the soul searching album Ashes and Dust, exploring his parent's experiences in the Holocaust. While he has not released any fresh material in the last six years, Poliker is still one of Israel's revered musicians and constantly performs live.