To Ethiopia, With Love

Buckle down, cause I'm about to take you on a world tour. Let's begin in Israel, 1977. A little boy, named Idan Raichel was born in a small town near Tel Aviv. He was an introvert, and like many quiet people, he possessed a talent that wasn't so silent. Idan was born with a musical gift that would one day reach international waves with his hypnotizing tunes. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

When Idan served in the Israeli Defense Force during the late 90's, his national duty was to be the musical director of the army rock band. Not a bad way to pay tribute, right? During his service, he also became a counselor for immigrants and troubled youth, primarily first generation Ethiopian Jews. During this time, his musical interest began to expand with his new eclectic group of friends. So did his mind - he was inspired to travel to Africa with Save A Child's Heart, an organization I was also privileged enough to volunteer for a few years ago. Around the same time, Idan was asked to play keyboard on tour with one of Israel's most popular artists, Ivri Lider, a musician and composer who has written tracks to international films, such as Walk on Water and Yossi and Jagger.

It wasn't too long before Idan used his growing popularity and new found musical interests to do something that no one had ever done before. A musical fusion was born, and it was unlike any other. In 2002, he created the Idan Raichel Project, a group that joined forces from all corners of the world. But he started in his own backyard, incorporating the talented group of unknowns he met not too long before. Idan blended his own Israeli background with Yeminite, Arabic, English, and of course Ethipian influences among others. He didn't just want to create new music, he wanted to show the world that anything could be achieved through artistic collaboration.

Flash forward to present day, Raichel has released three albums, worked with artists like India Arie, and continues to tour dozens of countries in hopes to inspire, entertain, and show the world that almost anything can be achieved with an open ear.

Enjoy.
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