Golden light

Jerusalem folk duo and married couple Tamar & Netanel launch their second album, ‘Pure As Gold.’

By ARIEL DOMINIQUE HENDELMAN
June 1, 2018 07:55
Jerusalem folk duo Tamar & Netanel

Jerusalem folk duo Tamar & Netanel. (photo credit: YARDEN LIOR)

It is rare for an Israeli artist to harbor an affinity for American folk music and perform covers of such folk masters as John Denver and James Taylor. It is even more rare for two Israeli artists who love American folk music to meet, start dating at the same time as they begin playing together, and then go on to get married and form a folk duo. But that is the story, more or less, of Tamar and Netanel Amar, collectively known as Tamar & Netanel.

As it turns out, the musical journeys that led each to the other were quite different. Tamar has played the violin since she was eight. Her mother was in theater, and her whole family is very musical. Tamar was sent to the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance for high school, where she began learning to play guitar. She was in many different bands during that time, giving her the ability to spread her wings and discover herself musically. After serving in the army, Tamar began a solo career, which led her to perform at venues around Jerusalem. One night in 2013, she performed at the Halita tea house. “We had a mutual friend who invited her to perform and also invited me to come listen because she played folk music, so he knew I would like it,” Netanel shares. “I came and listened to her. She started with a John Denver cover and I didn’t know anyone in Jerusalem who played that kind of music, at least not at such a young age. I came to her afterwards and my pick-up line was that she should play more Simon & Garfunkel. She asked me which songs specifically and if I knew how to play them. I said I did.”

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