Israeli singer/songwriter Idan Raichel, known for his collaboration with multicultural artists, teams up with Malian guitarist Vieux Farke Toure in concert for the Royal Conservatory of Music on Nov. 21 at Koerner Hall in Toronto.
The duo teamed together to form the Toure-Raichel Collective in 2012 and their debut CD hit number two on the Billboard World Music charts.
“We are very much look forward to continue our improvisation together at the Toronto concert. Viex and I improvise on stage, so the audience will hear new compositions in addition to what they heard from our CD”, said Raichel.
“We call our songs jams. What is great is that we never play the same show twice. Idan and I are spontaneous and comfortable with our music styles that come together easily”, said Toure.
Known primarlily for the fusion of electronic music, Hebrew texts, Arab and Ethiopian music, Raichel, 37, was a keyborardist who played jazz music in high school.
When he was playing in the army band, he started to notice the many diverse cultures that made up his unit.
“I saw Ethiopian and Yemenite Jews and sensed that their beautiful sounds of music were not heard outside of their community. After serving in the IDF, I became a counsellor for an immigrant boarding school and became saturated with learning more about the rhythms and feelings of the music and sought to collaborate my music with others” said Raichel.
Raichel developed the Idan Raichel Project, a collaboration of 95 musicians from many cultures in Israel and released four albums starting in 2006.
“Up until the Project began, I was sad to see that many people rejected their own culture to assimilate into Israel and I learned the beauty of the music by exploring the Ethiopian and Yemenite night clubs in Tel Aviv”.
Of the four albums, the most well-known of the Idan Raichel Project is the 2009 CD Within My Walls which featured Raichel collaborate with world music artists outside of Israel, from countries as diverse as Colombia and Uganda.
Raichel’s music is based on various Middle Eastern cultures and rhythms, but also draws from Latin American and African rhythms while most of the songs are sung in Hebrew.
Raichel’s 2006 song Bo’ee (Come With Me) is his most well-known song.
Over the years, Raichel has taken a high profile in world music for his collaborations with world music musicians such as Palestinian singer Mira Awad.
Along with collaborating with Toure, Raichel’s highlights in the last two years include performing for American President Barack Obama in Israel in 2013 as well as being a guest performer with American singer Alicia Keys when she toured Israel in 2013.
Thus far in 2014, Raichel performed again with Keys at a special Central Park performance in New York before an estimated audience of 30,000. He also won the Music Television (MTV) award as a role model for world music in November.
“It is a deep honour to earn this award and it meant a lot for Alicia to congratulate me. I truly feel that world peace will only come when people will learn and try to understand each other’s cultures and I am pleased to have collaborated with so many musicians around the world”, said Raichel.
Israeli singer/songwriter Idan Raichel performs with Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Toure on Nov. 21, at a Royal Conservatory Of Music concert at Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street W. For tickets, call 416-408-0208 or go to www.rcmusic.ca