Both established Israeli musicians such as Idan Raichel and newcomers like Efrat Gosh are finding success with diverse audiences abroad, even in fiercely competitive New York.
Israeli music is evoking a strong positive response in New York and other major cities in the US. With an increase in the number of private impresarios and American organizations bringing Israeli performers abroad, many are finding enthusiastic audiences far beyond their local borders.
A relatively small number of Israeli performers have always visited the US through organized cultural exchanges and festivals. The New York scene has thousands of bands in every musical genre. However, as Israeli performers become more international in their focus and American audiences are more open to new cultural experiences, venues for Israeli music have increased.
While in the past it was mostly Israeli superstars who were in demand, today there’s interest in the newer, younger voices. Israeli performers play to mixed Jewish and Israeli audiences and are gathering new mainstream fans as well, performing in English, in Hebrew and in a mixture of the two.
Karen Sander, head of the culture department of the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan says: “People are interested and open to see a contemporary Middle Eastern flair.”