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The Idan Raichel Project
This collective, founded by 29-year-old Israeli musician/producer Idan Raichel takes the sounds of the world and brings them together one song at a time. It’s the kind of music you wish there was more of, so when the group was in Mumbai city last month, The Record was happy to meet with them and find out more about their world.

The Record: Introduce us to the Idan Raichel Project.
Idan: The project was founded four years ago. I was a musician for other singers and at the same time I began to work on my own tracks as well. The music of the Idan Raichel project is Israeli music – I guess for people outside Israel it would be considered world music. What made the process unique is that every track is sung by different lead vocalists and mostly played by different musicians. Till today about 70 artists have been part of the Project. The youngest is 16 and the oldest is 84 years old! We are all Israeli by destination but a lot of our members have immigrated to Israel from places as diverse as Ethiopia, Europe, and Morocco to name a few.

TR: What is the music scene like in Israel?
Idan: The mainstream music is pop, like it is in all countries I guess. With Israel what’s interesting is that every so often, because of a lot of immigration, people come and every 10 or 15 years there is a change and because of that you find a lot of richness in the music. One of the best Philharmonic Orchestras came from Tel Aviv, we have great Arabic music, great Moroccan and Ethiopian music – all mixed with different genres in the world music scene or the pop music scene.

TR: You travel the world on your shows – what has been the most memorable trip for you?
Idan: Being Israeli we are not allowed to cross over borders of certain countries but it’s most interesting for us to perform in universities. There we can perform for students that came from countries that we cannot visit and that means a lot to us. We also had an amazing concert in New York at an event that was a fundraiser for the earthquake in Pakistan. We were honoured to be invited there, it was very very exciting. We’ve performed all over from Ethiopia, Mexico, Morocco, Europe, Singapore and now India.

TR: You’ve already played one show in Kolkata – what was the experience like?
Idan: It was amazing, we were very happy to perform there especially because the audience was not familiar with the music of the Project. It was very new to them and no one from the Israeli community or the Jewish community was there but the Indian local people came to experience the music of the Project themselves. So we are very very happy. People in India are very welcoming and open minded.

You can read the rest of our feature on The Idan Raichel Project in the June 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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