No more heroes any more?
If you feel discouraged by the small flames of evil that seem to spontaneously spark around our world right now, you are not alone.
It’s likely you can do with a little harmony in your life…
Fortunately, there are still harmony-makers out there — men and women who work hard to end the flames of discord. To extinguish the hate before it’s even started.
Prejudice and intolerance can be overcome by harmony. And the path to harmony is through sharing. Social activism doesn’t have to be an open struggle or militant resistance. No, all that’s needed is the strength to cooperate. The willingness to share experiences.
How many musicians have shown us the way? Leonard Cohen, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and John Lennon. And many more. Add to that list the Israeli singer-songwriter DAVID BROZA.
The multi-award winning performer David Broza has worked for peace from day one.
Son of an Israeli-British businessman, and from a family of great peacemakers, including his grandfather Wellesley Aron [who created the Neve Shalom] multi-linguist Broza was educated in Israel, England and Spain. He spent 17 years living in New Jersey.
His hit song “Yihye Tov” (Things Will Get Better) was written during the Arab-Israeli talks and became the anthem of the peace movement.
He performed a Sunrise concert at Masada in 2007 when he collaborated with Shawn Colvin and Jackson Browne.
In 2013 Broza began sessions at Sabreen Studios in East Jerusalem with a band that included Israeli and Palestinian musicians that he had worked with, informally, over many years. These artists included Mira Awad, Shaa’nan Streett of Hadag Nahash, West Bank rap duo G-Town. Wyclef Jean also collaborated.
The project became known as “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem” and an album was produced by Steve Earle and Steve Greenberg (and released in 2014) with an accompanying film.
This week David Broza came to London to spread the word about his forthcoming London concert — set for April 27th.
He played to a small audience at the excellent Parisian-Algerian restaurant, Momo in Mayfair. He performed a selection of his most beloved songs.
“It’s All or Nothing” is inspired by a popular Algerian song about a tired traveler on his way home. On the Broza version the feelings are exposed guturally in Hebrew.
At Momo Broza played an extravagant sandstorm of energetic finger picking on his Spanish guitar, with the accompanying rhythmic flares (heels & finger taps) we expect from Flamenco.
The musician managed to capture the sensation of immense emptiness, of the desert air and bleaching sun, and of running towards a softer breeze. To find a home. And reach salvation.
“One to Three” started with a simple line, “Don’t want to preach to no one tonight…” This slowly gathering folk-song harnessed an excited tremble of guitar as if keeping “Peace within” required an extertion of willpower. Perhaps healing through harmony requires inner strength and energy. And Broza finds he can conserve that energy through love.
Palestinian rap-star Muhammad joined Broza on stage for “East Jerusalem / West Jerusalem .”
The lead song from the 2014 project not only unites two sides of a long embittered political divide, but also unites different musical styles — young and old, black and white, rich and poor Because the same faces — the faces of pain, distress and hardship — they are seen all over the world .
Those in authority should never allow themselves to go blind to human suffering.
And we, the audience, will never lose hope. Especially because we have artists such as David Broza to guide us.
David Broza will play The Union Chapel in Islington, London, UK on Thursday 27th April 2017
Words: Neil Mach 2017 ©