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Cultural Fusion Hits the Santa Monica Pier Thursday Night

By Lookout Staff

August 13, 2009 -- Music that crosses borders to embrace different cultures will be showcased when Israel's Idan Raichel Project and bilingual raggae artist Elijah Emanuel take the stage at a free concert on the Santa Monica Pier Thursday night.

Launched in 2002, the Idan Raichel Project changed the face of Israeli popular music, offering a message of love and tolerance and fusing electronics, traditional Hebrew texts, Middle Eastern and Ethiopian music.

In a region dominated by violent headlines, the Idan Raichel Project quickly became one of the most unexpected success stories in Israeli music history.

Raichel, who composed and arranged many of the tracks, sings mainly in Hebrew, although several songs are entirely in Amharic, and plays keyboards joined by other vocalists and musicians, such as Ivri Lider.

As the album raced up the Isreali charts, Raichel was booked to perform at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center. In 2005, the Project headlined at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and performed at the legendary Apollo Theater in Manhattan. www.idanraichelproject.com/en

Sharing the bill is bilingual raggae artist Elijah Emanuel, whose songs celebrate a mixed heritage of African, Indigenous and European ancestry.

Using African poly-rhythms, Native American chants, Cuban tres, funky jazz horns and cello, the music showcases a bilingual approach to reggae that gained Emanuel a loyal following in California and Mexico in 2001.

Emanuel -- who has been an activist for Hispanic and African cultural integrity -- says he has been searching for the essence of reggae that makes it timeless and universal. www.myspace.com/elijahemanuel

The concert run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the pier parking lot (on the pier) and is free. No alcohol is allowed. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash.

Guests are more than welcomed to bring their own seating but seats will be available for rental.




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