What does a rock star, medieval Hebrew poetry from Spain and Middle Eastern music have to do with one another? It turns out, a lot!
Let me take a few steps back and introduce myself since I’ve never posted on here and I’m not sure how many readers of this blog know who I am. My name is Max Kopeikin, and I just began working for the Israel Center, the Russian Division and the LGBT Alliance of the Jewish Community Federation.
Berry Sakharof, known by many as the “Israeli prince of rock” or the “Bruce Springsteen of Israel”, is going to be performing the U.S. premiere of his new album (“Red Lips”) right here in the Bay Area. While working on this upcoming event, I got really intrigued by the content of the program. This album and concert received a lot of praise from critics in Israel because it is a fusion of Berry’s rock sound with a blend of Spanish and Middle Eastern musical influences. Also, he brings Rea Mochiach on as a collaborator for this album.
As if the fusion music isn’t enough to spice up the album, “Red Lips” is based on the controversial medieval Hebrew poet from Spain, Solomon ibn Gabirol. This blend of old and new seems like a dichotomy which is quite popular within Israeli culture because of the fact that Israel itself is a combination of old and new. Another symbol of Israeli culture and art - the supreme court building - is one of many architectural projects that also highlights the intertwining of old and new. One could argue that this balance of old and new is also inherently between Occidental and Oriental. The interconnectivity of using Ibn Gabirol’s poetry becomes more complex through the lens of East and West. Ibn Gabirol is seen by many to be a connecting force between Western and Eastern philosophy and religious thought. I am very excited to see this show and how this blend of old, new, West and East will come together and still deliver a good ol’ rock concert.
He will be performing one night only at Stanford Lively Arts (Jan. 29, 2011), in Memorial Auditorium. Here is the link to the event on the JCF community calendar if you want more information or to purchase tickets: