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Ethno-Jazz Music by Israel's Acclaimed Shem-Tov Levi Ensemble - P2/2 (In Hebrew)    
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Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Hebrew and English, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Welcome artistic viewers to part 2 of our two-part program featuring the acclaimed Shem Tov Levi Ensemble from Israel. Founded by the renowned Shem Tov Levi, the band has been performing its unique ethno-jazz music since 2003 to the delight of audiences around the globe.

Considered a cultural icon in Israel, Shem Tov Levi is an award-winning musician and composer who is known for producing many songs over the decades which have been become beloved classics in the country.

I will praise you, God of all souls And I will thank you with great fear and awe. As I stand in your congregation, Stronghold to be praised To you I will bend the knee and bow head and body The high heavens - Has He not stretched them forth with His speech? And He founded the earth upon nothingness Can a man discover the secret of his Creator, And who He is, with great fear and awe? He is praised by every mouth and tongue He who did wonders and did everything wisely He will be made great with the holy, high people May His great name be sanctified in His world.

He will be made great with the holy, high people May His great name be sanctified in His world.

I was raised as a flute player, this is the first thing that I get to start to make music, and I studied flute with Israeli philharmonic players, very good players, and then I start also piano to write music and started at the Academy, and later I started to sing. I don’t think I’m a great singer but I just sing… my songs, songs that I feel that I can give something from my soul.

Like the music that we chose for the albums, it’s from a lot of places all over the world. First of all Israel is a country, a young country, 60 years old, 62 to be exact, and a lot of Jews came from all over the world, from India, from…. I think in Japan, there’s also big community of Jewish people.

From Arab countries, from East Europe, from West Europe, and along the years, for almost 2,000 years, when Israel people went to other places than Israel before they came back, so they were influenced by music from Spain, from wherever they lived it, so there’s a lot of Jewish traditions musically, not one.

You know, there’s one tradition that came from East Europe and one tradition that came from Spain, another tradition from Morocco, another tradition where my father came from, Syria, from Iraq, from lots of different places.

And also the instrumentation is… the contra bass is from a western instrument. The flute, you can say it’s western but also a lot of flutes that Shem Tov is using are like ethnic flutes.

The percussion is more Arabic oriented, hence the frame drumming and darbukas, and sometimes even play on Kahon, which Kahon, it’s Spanish for flamenco instrument originally, and the name is actually a box, it’s a wooden box. The oud, of course, is an Arabic instrument, I think it originated in Persia, and it’s a very ancient instrument. We are examining all the time how it will sound together.

And it doesn’t matter for a musician what instrument he’s playing, if it’s his voice or flute or piano or something else. It depends how he is doing and how he gives to the people.

So I always tried to think about this and what instrument is the best for doing it, sometimes it’s the piano, sometimes it’s the flute, sometimes it’s the song, sometimes it’s one of my friends give the bass player to play or the oud player. The music is the important, not the instrument; the instrument is just an instrument.

If you go to a synagogue in Israel, if you go to a synagogue that people came from Yemen, you will hear different melodies, different texture, different harmonies. And if you go to Ashkenaz, which is an East European synagogue, you will hear totally different. So part of the the musical melting pot in Israel is that we came from different influences from home.

As a kid, I remember I used to play with the family after eating and having fun together, we used to circle with chairs and singing for almost two, three hours, and I used to play darbuka with them as a kid.

Another guy remembers different, two of the members over here are originally, their parents come from Morocco or the grandparents came from Morocco, it’s totally different music. It’s African Moroccan, mixed with Andalusia Spanish music, and Noaam, the percussion player, his parents are from Iraq, and Shem Tov is Bulgarian, his parents is Israeli like me, we call it Sabahr, but we were born in Israel. But our parents or grandparents came from different places.

And so different influences make it very versatile, not one sound. That’s probably the reason that the music sounds very different, each piece sounds different from the other.

Dark window and closed shutters Come back to your home High midnight moon Light on tree branches Let your soul hear Little singer Look up to the firmament Dawn breaks and lightens the sky One bird has been awakened Come back to your home

We are good friends altogether, and a mixture of us, the gentleman approach to each other, it’s number one special. Number two is we have a genius named Shem Tov Levi, a lot of pieces are written by Shem Tov. His music is already Israeli traditional music because it’s like everybody almost in Israel knows a lot of songs that we sang today.

And he also wrote a lot of film scoring for famous TV series and movies and he’s a genius. So he writes beautiful music, and also has a very delicate taste, he doesn’t like aggressiveness; he likes more gentle ways of approaching the audience and the audience’s ears. I think this is the magic, if you are looking for a secret, the secret is to be really delicate.

Let us conclude today’s show with a moving performance of the elegant score by Shem Tov Levi for the 2000 film, “Circle of Dreams,” in which he received the Israeli Film Academy Award for his music composition.

We thank you, Shem Tov Levi Ensemble, for bringing harmony to the world through your God-given talents. May your beautiful melodies continue to offer many joyful moments to music lovers everywhere.

For more about Shem Tov Levi ensemble, please visit:

Elegant viewers, thank you for joining us for today’s Enlightening Entertainment. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, up next after Noteworthy News. Let us always be grateful for Heaven’s infinite blessings.
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