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Would You Like to Sing Like That? (You Can…) | Welcoming Yair Harel to “Jewish Nightlife”

Would you like to be able to sing like this?


Well, as a student of Jewish Nightlife you have a chance to work with Yair Harel (whose musical direction inspired the music in the video included above), who will begin to co-teach our course today, and stay with us through the end of the Semester.

As described in the page about the Instructors on this blog, Yair Harel is a performer, and artistic director, and a community organizer from Jerusalem, Israel. He is the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist at The Magnes, UC Berkeley, this Fall semester.

Harel received a traditional Jewish education in Israel before going on to study zarb(Persian drum) in Israel and France with Roger Yshay and Daghmeshid Chemirani, tar and Persian classical music with Peretz Eliyhau, improvisation with André Hajdu, and Jewish-Andalusian Vocal traditions with Rabbis Meir Atiyah and Haim Louk. Over the last twelve years, he has focused on exploring, teaching and performing traditional Jewish music from North Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, taking a major part in numerous multimedia productions based on encounters between traditional and contemporary music, in Israel and abroad. He has been the artistic director of the Ben Zvi Piyut Vocal Ensemble since 2008, has led workshops and courses in traditional Jewish vocal music, Middle Eastern percussion and improvisation at The Hebrew University, the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, and The Jerusalem Academy High School for Music and Dance. In 2010 he created the New Jerusalem Orchestra. As one of the main figures behind the Piyyut scene that has revolutionized the face of Israeli musical culture, he is a founding member of the “Singing Communities Project,” the founder and the present Editor In chief of the “Invitation to Piyut” website, the artistic director of the Jerusalem Piyut Festival, and a co-founder of Piyyut North America. He is part of Tafillalt Ensemble, which in 2010 released a new album under John Zorn’s Tzadik label.

In addition to teaching the music labs of Jewish Nightlife, Harel will be presenting concerts at The Magnes and across the San Francisco Bay Area. (More information here).

Let’s begin with a “Wordle” (or three)

These typographical layouts usually help me frame what I am writing/thinking, so here you go:

Jewish Nightlife Wordle 01

Jewish Nightlife Wordle 02

Jewish Nightlife Wordle 03

The content is the same (and it is based on the introduction to Jewish Nightlife as written in the course syllabus). But the layout changes highlight different aspects of the thinking behind the syllabus. It’s good to visualize things now, and then, eventually go back to them later in the semester to see if what has been developed is in line with its premises.