Israeli conductor, Moroccan pilot break sound barriers

i24NEWS

3 min read
Musicians perform at a concert held at the Jerusalem Theatre in Jerusalem, on November 27, 2014.
Yaakov Naumi/Flash90Musicians perform at a concert held at the Jerusalem Theatre in Jerusalem, on November 27, 2014.

'Music has the magic to connect people, even countries. I'm singing to all of the world'

The first Royal Air Maroc flight from Morocco to Israel touched down in Tel Aviv on Sunday, but the pilot of that flight was in the Jewish state a week earlier for a unique musical performance. 

Israeli conductor Tom Cohen together with the pilot Karim Taiser, founder of Morocco’s Symphony Orchestra, are reviving ancient Andalusian music with Cohen’s Jerusalem East and West Orchestra.

“To have all these things that I dreamed of… coming to life, having all these people coming together to play, it’s a dream come true,” Cohen told i24NEWS.

“We are trying musically to take it to a new place, but it’s not a revolution, it’s evolution.”

Andalusian music encompasses traditional and modern musical genres that originate in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, which was inhabited by both Muslims and Jews before Catholic Spaniards reconquered it in the late-15th century.

“When we talk about Andalusian music, we talk about music that was created in the Golden Age, when Jews and Muslims lived and created together,” Cohen continued. 

“This music in its origin is music made out of coexistence.”

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That coexistence seems to be returning as Israeli and Moroccan musicians, who were holding their breaths during the Covid pandemic, can once again play together. 

“I was born in Sefrou, they call it ‘small Jerusalem,’” Moroccan singer Sanaa Marahati told i24NEWS.

“My grandfather always told me that he grew up with Jewish people, and said it was a normal thing, people singing in Arabic and Hebrew.”

For Narkis, an Israeli singer and Orthodox Jew, music is a way to bring people together. 

“Music has the magic to connect people, even countries. I'm singing to all of the world,” she said.

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