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About Idan Raichel

b. c.

1978, Kfar Saba, Israel. As a child Raichel played accordion but later switched to keyboards. Following military service, he worked as a counsellor with Ethiopian children and through this began exploring that country’s culture. He attracted attention working with pop singer Ivri Lider and soon decided to form his own band, the Idan Raichel Project. Awareness of his playing spread rapidly from 2002 and in large part this was owing to his ability to incorporate into his music elements from the traditions of Jewish culture. Inevitably, these elements are allied with those of other lands, especially in the Middle East and through these Raichel has found a common ground that appeals to many. Indeed, the appeal stretches far beyond these physical constraints and he has attracted audiences in many European countries, Mexico and south east Asia. The musical echoes include those from India and especially Ethiopia as musicians from the latter country are key members of Raichel’s group. Not surprisingly, the Idan Raichel Project has found favour with audiences at World Of Music And Dance festivals in the UK and also in Singapore and the USA. The band’s 2005 tour of the USA touched down in 17 cities and brought SRO shows almost everywhere. In 2006, Raichel took his group to Ethiopia for the fifth Ethiopian Music Festival where, unsurprisingly, they were a huge success.

Raichel sings mainly in Hebrew but also in Amharic and Ethiopian dialects, as well as some other languages. He is one of only a handful of Israeli musicians to make a mark on the international pop music scene. His songs include ‘Boee’, ‘Siyaishaya Ingoma’, ‘Hinach Yafah’, ‘Im Telech’ and ‘Azini’. His 2002 debut album went triple platinum and the follow-up Mima’amakim saw similarly high sales, reaching double platinum.

Kfar Saba, Israel