Wilshire Ebell Theatre
Presented by: Keshet Chaim and Teev Events “Idan Raichel’s Project” was released in 2002 as Idan’s 1st ever solo album, and it was supposed to introduce him, gradually, over time, to the ever-so-small niche of world-music fans on the Israeli music scene. The album was a first of its kind. It presented an anonymous composer/producer who borrowed elements from various genres and mixed them together in a unique fashion, only to come up with a musical dish that stood entirely on its own. Original samples played by Ethiopian folk musicians served as building blocks to most tracks on the soulful debut. Those raw and moving bursts of musical energy, set against modern grooves and drum loops, took flight and began an ambient-like journey that infused old & new, rural & urban, traditional & modern. Immediately upon its release (December 2002) “Idan Raichel’s Project” debut album shot straight to #1 on the Israeli album sales chart and went on to sell more than 100,000 copies (multiple platinum) in Israel alone. Four radio singles lifted from the album dominated all play-lists and charts around the country for most of the following year. Numerous awards and accolades followed, most important of which were “Artist of the year” (viewers’ choice – nation wide TV Broadcast), “album of the year” and “song of the year” (“If you go”) (all national Radio channels). Next…it was time for the brand new, exciting sophmore project. This one proved that we haven’t heard it all! Much like on its predecessor, most songs on the new album intricately weave together choruses sung in Hebrew with Ethnic verses. However, this time around, Idan did not limit his inspiration to any one musical tradition; it is the “Israeli melting pot”, with its multiple shades and colors, that’s coming to life over the course of this 13-track long album. Anonymous vocalists who greatly contribute to the mesmerizing quality of this release perform both hymns and intimate love songs. The result is no less than an ambient-world music cross over piece. Not bad for a 28 year old, unique looking guy who – so the public thought - “surfaced out of nowhere, one bright and sunny Mediterranean morning”…. In reality, Idan had been working and playing with some of Israel’s leading Pop/Rock artists for quite some time, both on stage and in the recording studio. A sought-after session musician for years (ever since he joined the IDF at the age of 18), Idan had lent his talents (playing Keyboards and Accordion, arranging, producing and writing) to numerous productions, in various musical styles. However, it was his deep understanding of modern recording technologies & environments, coupled with his on-going curiosity for both - traditional instruments and ancient musical textures that led him on a totally different more experimental creative path. A few, very exciting demos and a chance meeting with a record company employee pushed Idan’s artistic vision in a whole new direction. On the eve of releasing his much-anticipated second album it feels like he had made the right career choices…! Following the first successful local tour (more than one-hundred shows), “The Idan Raichel Project” embarked on an extensive 16-date long tour of the USA (partially sponsored by the Israeli Foreign Ministry) during Jan-Feb, 2005.