Sunday, February 27, 2011

David Broza in Ra'anana

There are few musical experiences as satisfying as seeing a great entertainer in an intimate hall – with high quality acoustics. Last night we were privileged to attend a David Broza concert at the Ra’anana Music and Art Centre – along with about 250 other fans. It was a real treat.

Broza is a self-proclaimed troubadour. He combines folk music – often built around the lyrical poetry of others –sometimes very well-known poets – with Spanish guitar playing and middle-eastern rhythms. Having spent time living in Spain, Israel and the United States, Broza’s music combines a variety of influences.

The concert was a two hour collection of Broza’s greatest hits covering a span of more than 30 years. Broza was accompanied by three other musicians – a percussionist, a bass player and a second guitarist – the newest addition to his band. The four musicians were seated on stools strumming, plucking and swaying to the music – mostly smiling as they played through the carefully selected set list.

Watching Broza perform – you can’t help but feel the love of music that radiates from his guitar and his smile. With such a dominant Spanish influence – some songs have the energy and feel of the Gypsy Kings. For these up tempo numbers, the audience was clapping and tapping along – some even moved up to dance next to the stage.

Other pieces are well known in Israel – as sing along anthems –such as Mitachat l’Shamayim (Under the Skies). The whole crowd knows the words – and Broza adds the role of choir conductor to his repertoire.

The highlight of the evening was simply Broza’s masterful guitar playing. Whether it was the two newest songs that his band was performing – which are part of a CD that is about to be released – or the many classics that the group played through – they were all marked by infectious and exciting sounds of the Spanish guitar.

The finale – a second encore number- was Yihyeh Tov – “It will be alright” – a song dedicated to hope that there will be peace in the Middle East and that “we will all live together – as siblings.” Broza is quite active in the peace movement – working with organizations such as Combatants for Peace –that look for ways to build tolerance, understanding and friendship between Israelis and Palestinians.

Though I have seen Broza quite a number of times – in different cities – this type of venue was a wonderful showcase for his music. The sight lines were great – we were close to the stage – and the sound was crisp and clear.

Broza is currently touring similar sized venues throughout Israel after having recently completed a trip through parts of France. He will likely be back to North America – for his annual mini-concert series in late December in New York and Toronto.

His web site includes more detailed bio information – and other links.

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