Spirit duet

Over the past year and a half, introspective Israeli pop star Etti Ankri has been exploring her spiritual side.

Over the past year and a half, introspective Israeli pop star Etti Ankri has been exploring her spiritual side, gradually coming back to her Jewish roots. This week, when she takes the stage with New York's Neshama Carlebach - who in a sense embodies contemporary spiritual Judaism in music - Ankri's journey will have reached a milestone. Ankri is currently on tour promoting her double disc, 15-year best-of retrospective collection published by the NMC label. But this Hanukka, she will be putting that project on the shelf in favor of holier pursuits. Two months ago, when Carlebach was in Israel for a series of concerts, she had the opportunity to meet Ankri, and the groundwork was laid for the upcoming collaboration. Although Ankri had previously been unaware of Carlebach's booming career, the two sat down together at a piano in Ankri's home and explored the potential for chemistry. The results were inspiring for both parties, who agreed that their respective vocal styles were an undeniable match. As Carlebach recently commented: "I'm especially excited for [accompanist and musical director] David Morgan and I to be touring in Israel and singing with Etti Ankri, one of the most talented and inspiring Israeli stars. It's a great honor to be working with her - she's just incredible." The Ankri-Carlebach collaboration will take shape in two appearances. The first is the highly publicized Alyn Hospital benefit concert at The Jerusalem Theatre's Rebecca Crown Hall, this Saturday night at 8. Tickets can be purchased at (052) 663-3213. The second - which, thanks to its rock club setting, promises to be both more intimate and more pop - is scheduled for the Camelot in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night. Tickets are available at (09) 958-8933. In between, Carlebach will be making two more solo appearances. She plays the ancient Roman Amphitheater at Mivtza Shuni, also known as Milestone Club, on Monday; call (04) 638-8760. Then, on Tuesday, Carlebach plays a women-only gig at Bar Ilan University's Midrasha; call (052) 958-8933.