David Broza to per­form with Pales­tinian singer

The Canadian Jewish News (Toronto) - - International - LAU­REN KRAMER PA­CIFIC COR­RE­SPON­DENT, VAN­COU­VER Broza and Awad will per­form at the Nor­man & An­nette Roth­stein The­atre on Feb. 28 at 8 pm. For tick­ets, visit chutz­pah­fes­ti­val.com

Is­raeli mu­si­cian David Broza will be per­form­ing at the Van­cou­ver Chutz­pah Fes­ti­val Feb. 28 and his songs will cer­tainly stir mem­o­ries among the many Gen­er­a­tion X Is­raelis in the city who grew up in his thrall. The Is­raeli su­per­star was orig­i­nally sched­uled to per­form with Pales­tinian mu­si­cian Ali Paris, but when Paris was not able to at­tend, Broza se­lected Pales­tinian singer-song­writer Mira Awad to take his place.

Awad is “an amaz­ing singer and an in­cred­i­ble artist who brings an ex­otic, pro­found Arab po­etry to the stage,” Broza told The CJN.

The two met six years ago when Broza saw Awad per­form at the Kameri The­atre in Tel Aviv. Im­pressed, he started fol­low­ing her work, and when he was ready to record the al­bum East Jerusalem West Jerusalem in 2013, he in­vited her to col­lab­o­rate on a cou­ple of duets. Awad, who has per­formed with Noa, Idan Raichel, An­drea Bo­celli, Tim Ries and other in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous mu­si­cians, said she was “proud to join him on that brave project.

“David is an amaz­ing per­son with a wide heart and a keen sense of jus­tice, so the con­nec­tion was nat­u­ral,” she said. “The fact that David makes awe­some mu­sic ob­vi­ously helped. The po­lit­i­cal el­e­ment is there, not as part of my de­ci­sion to play with Broza, but as the air that we breathe and that wraps our lives and ev­ery­thing we do. It is the sound­track of our ex­is­tence in this con­flicted area. I be­lieve in the power of the arts in con­nect­ing peo­ple. Politi­cians can build walls, but we artists can tear them down by find­ing a way to con­nect nev­er­the­less.”

Broza said while po­lit­i­cal mes­sag­ing is not an im­por­tant part of his mu­sic, he loves us­ing his mu­sic to bridge the di­vide and cre­ate harmony. “Be­sides be­ing pri­mar­ily a mu­si­cian and en­ter­tainer, I care a lot about the world I live in, start­ing with Tel Aviv,” he re­flected. “I care about the un­der­dog, the un­der­priv­i­leged and un­e­d­u­cated. Through my mu­sic, I find I have the op­por­tu­nity to en­ter­tain and em­power peo­ple who have less for­tu­nate lives than I do, and over the last four years, I’ve re­ally put a lot of en­ergy into im­prov­ing the life qual­ity of east Jerusalemites. Through mu­sic and work­shops, I try to in­spire young Pales­tinian, Is­raeli, Jewish and Arab peo­ple, and it’s very re­ward­ing. There’s in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion, be­cause peo­ple con­nect to mu­sic in­stantly.”

There’s “magic” that hap­pens when the two mu­si­cians are on stage to­gether, Awad said. “I’m look­ing for­ward to ar­riv­ing in Van­cou­ver for this pow­er­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion. I cher­ish my friend­ship with David and I hope we can con­vince all the peo­ple present how stupid and fool­ish all these [po­lit­i­cal] dis­putes are and that the things we have in com­mon are way deeper than the stuff that di­vides us.”

Mu­sic is her per­sonal ther­apy, she ad­mit­ted, a way she deals with her thoughts, pain and joy. “But I also feel that mu­sic has an ad­van­tage in that it aims straight to the sub­con­scious lev­els where peo­ple have less de­fences and bor­ders. This means we, as mu­si­cians, can pen­e­trate where other change-mak­ers can­not.”

“They’re won­der­ful mu­si­cians and per­form­ers, that’s the num­ber 1 rea­son we in­vited them,” said Mary-louise Al­bert, artis­tic man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Chutz­pah Fes­ti­val. “This is the first time per­form­ing in the fes­ti­val for both artists, and since they have sim­i­lar es­thet­ics and views, I think it’s im­por­tant to pair these two very high cal­i­bre, tal­ented artists.”

Broza said the Van­cou­ver show will cover songs from his four-decade-long ca­reer, in­clud­ing hits like Haisha Sheiti, Yi­hye Tov, songs from his Span­ish al­bums and some of his Amer­i­can al­bums. The two artists will sing in English, He­brew, Span­ish and Ara­bic.

At 61, Broza said, he’s con­stantly writ­ing new mu­sic. “My goal is to con­tinue writ­ing mu­sic,” he said, in the midst of a per­for­mance cal­en­dar that sees him in Tel Aviv only 10 days of each month and the re­main­ing days at per­for­mance halls around the world.

Like­wise, Awad said she feels happy “as long as I’m mak­ing mu­sic, writ­ing, com­pos­ing, record­ing. This is also my tool to reach out to the world, this time with an even big­ger mes­sage of unity and sol­i­dar­ity.”

David Broza

NAHUM LEDER PHOTO

Mira Awad

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