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Multi-platinum musician’s 44th album will be markedly different from the rest

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Photo: Al Weis

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As an Israeli icon with a global impact, David Broza has touched millions of hearts with the release of 43 albums in Hebrew, English and Spanish over the course of his 43-year career.

He has played live dozens of times in Canada over the decades. These days, the troubadour is on lockdown in New York due to COVID-19. We spoke with David about his role as an artist, the effects of the pandemic on the music industry, and his new album, slated for release this fall.

When did you first decide to become a musician?

Unlike most of my friends who envisioned themselves in the music business from a young age, I had no notion that I was going to be a musician. It wasn’t my passion. Music was, but to perform definitely wasn’t. Then I started playing, and as the years went by I started performing on the street. After my military service in Israel – half of which was in entertainment – a lot of possibilities opened up.

[One day] I got a phone call from an Israeli powerhouse named Yehonatan Geffen who was looking for someone to work with him on a show called Sichot Salon (Small Talk). I auditioned. I was a big fan of [his]. I was accepted. I started performing – I was 22 – thinking I’d perform for a year or two, as long as the show lasted. I’d save some money and move on.

During that time, I wrote my first song called Yihye Tov, which became a hit; then [I wrote] Bedouin Love Song… every song I released on the radio was a big success – a number one hit. So I was offered a recording deal from CBS records at the time and I never looked back.

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How has COVID-19 impacted your approach to music in the last few months?

In the past 100 days, I’ve [made about] 70 appearances on different [media] platforms – whether I do a few songs for the sick or a community in Brazil, the U.S., or Canada, it’s just endless. Last Sunday, I decided to see if we could monetize these performances from the living room. It was a great experiment. I’m planning to do another show in a month, the equivalent to the “Sunrise Show” at Masada. We’ll enact the sunrise with cameras at Masada.

I’m fortunate that I can play my songs as a frontman. But, my musicians, some are becoming delivery people; some are gardening – all kinds of things to bring cash home. It is the beginning of a difficult phase as we are coming out of this traumatic pandemic.

Photo: Al Weis

What is unique about your new album en Casa Limón?

First of all, it’s my first instrumental album. I’ve released 43 albums in my career, always singing. I’ve had two or three instrumental pieces in my albums, but I’ve never put one out that is conceptually just my guitar. My discipline is writing music for lyrics. I wake up very early, no matter what time I get home from a show. When I’m in my writing mode, I pull out my guitar and check out where my fingers are headed. There’s always a melody I haven’t played before that’s born in that moment. I sit until I figure it out [sometimes for] six hours straight. Then I let it rest and continue the next day. That’s my discipline.

My wife suggested I call Javier Limón [to collaborate with me on the album]. He is a renowned producer for Spanish guitarists and worked with Paco de Lucía, the greatest Flamenco guitarist who ever lived. We met in Boston and he fell in love with the music, and we recorded in his studio in Madrid.

Photo: Al Weis

Tell me more about the album.

It will be out around mid-September and has 12 songs, [including] Tears for Barcelona. The album is mixed; some Flamenco, some classical, some jazz. I [didn’t write] it for COVID-19, but it resonates with the times. I wrote it on the day there was a terrorist attack in Barcelona. Everything I write [has] been inspired by something I’ve heard in my life. This one [song] had a very Spanish, deep feeling that came out of me. So, I dedicated it to Barcelona.

Your songs have been anthems of love and peace in Israel for many years. What is the artist’s role when it comes to politics?

Culture plays a big role in maintaining the pulse of society. I never really liked seeing music being manipulated by political bodies; it’s populism, in my opinion. It makes the music part of a dictated mood. I steer away from it. But, on social issues and the peace movement – which I’ve been very supportive of – if I can ease the mind and soothe the hearts of those trying to carry a message of togetherness, then I’m there.

I’m also an anti-boycott person; I perform in settlements. I perform in front of people who absolutely disagree with me politically. I won’t tell anyone [how] to run their lives, but I insist that people at least have an awareness and openness to one another. I want to converse with people regardless of religion, regardless of anything.

My recent project is called One Million Guitars. I’ve created a foundation with two friends in New York. We raise money to produce guitars and give them to underprivileged children. We are in 43 states and 3,300 schools – 4th and 5th grades.

This year we came to Israel and we’re spreading so fast you can’t believe it. We provide a Spanish guitar for every child – a copy of my guitar – and the kids sign up for a [guitar] course for two years. At the end of the second year, they get the guitar for life. So, they have to earn it. The kids are from Tel Aviv, Arab villages, Ashdod, everywhere. These are the things that keep me going. Those are my roles as a musician. 

For more on David Broza and his music visit davidbroza.net or Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Spotify and Instagram.

Igal Hecht is a documentary filmmaker and journalist who works all over the world. 

For more info visit www.chutzpaproductions.com

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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