Israeli band of disabled musicians Shalva visits Abbey Road in London, November 2017.
(photo credit: JOHN RIFKIN)
The Israeli band Shalva - whose musicians are either physically or mentally disabled - that won hearts with a mashup featuring the hit song ''Let it Go'' from the movie musical Frozen, has gone international.
The band's first tour outside Israel led them to London this week, where they will perform for hundreds of children at several Jewish schools and synagogues. They began their trip at the British Friend's of Shalva's benefit dinner at the Montcalm Hotel in March Able, where they left the audience in tears following their rendition of the Beatles' famed song, Here Comes the Sun.
The dinner, which was attended by some 300 guests, raised 350,000 Pounds ($463,000) to benefit both Shalva band and the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, from which the band was born.
Shalva's world tour will continue with stops in the US, Canada and Mexico. The band has prepared a number of songs in English to complement their routine Hebrew performances.
Shalva Band was created over 10 years ago as a part of the association's music therapy program, and has expanded to be its own enterprise. The musicians perform regularly in Israel, often with notable musicians.
"The Shalva Band is having a huge impact and promoting real societal change,'' said Avi Samuels, the chairman of the association. ''Every time I watch them perform on stage in front of communities, business groups or even kids, I see them conveying the paramount message that people with disabilities are actually people with very special abilities.