(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
After being honored with performances by Dudu Fisher and Rita over the last two years, attendees of The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York next month will be treated to a musical interlude by one of Israel’s quintessential singer/ songwriters – David Broza.
The 60-year-old Broza, known for creating a Middle Eastern and South American fusion on romantic standards like “B’Libi” and “Haisha She’iti” is also the composer, along with Yonatan Geffen, of one of the country’s most beloved anthems – “Yihye Tov.”
“I’m an entertainer, and coming to sing a few songs – I’m the lighter side of the schedule there,” said Broza with a laugh this week from New York, where he divides his time with Tel Aviv.
When he’s not performing or recording, however, Broza is a vocal social activist – working on many causes for underprivileged people in Israeli society and tirelessly promoting efforts at conciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
Both his musical and personal pursuits merged in 2014 when he released the album East Jerusalem West Jerusalem, a flowing collaborative effort between Jewish and Arab musicians. A documentary of the same name, based on the recording process and the interaction between the musicians, has been screened to audience and critical acclaim over the last year at film festivals, primarily in the US.
“Now that I’ve occasionally accompanied the film when it’s screened, it’s given me further insight into how important it was to film the process, because there’s a story to tell,” said Broza.
“And it’s not just the story of Israeli and Palestinian musicians working together. On every album, there is a story of the difficulty of putting it together and then the wonderful, euphoric state an artist goes through when bringing the concept that was in your mind to fruition.”
“In today’s world – when everything has about seven seconds of attention – if you can produce a film that expands and magnifies the scope of the music, it will succeed in captivating an audience.”
Broza, with his flashy flamenco- style guitar accents and passionate delivery, hasn’t had any problem captivating his audiences over the course of 30 albums in Hebrew, English and Spanish, and nonstop performances around the world.
Andalusian Love Song, Broza’s latest album released late last year, found him collaborating with the Andalusian Orchestra of Ashkelon on his own material, as well as that of noted Arab composers.
“Thanks to brilliant arrangements by the orchestra’s conductor, Tim Cohen, we were able to create this beautiful new approach to my music by injecting melodies from North Africa, Algeria and Morocco,” said Broza.
“And it makes so much sense – it’s almost like Haifa. You don’t think about the fact that it’s a mixed city of Jews, Muslims and Christians. The same thing with these songs, it’s just natural.”
Broza will bring his musical mix to New York on May 22 when he takes the stage at The Jerusalem Post’s annual conference.