Maureen Nehedar: Gole Gandom

Her voice has an exquisite purity that commands without overwhelming. The facets of her life and music—liturgical poems and love songs—add to the aptness her name: Nehedar means “splendid” in Hebrew. Maureen Nehedar was two years old when her family left Isfahan, Iran, in the wake of the Islamic Revolution. They arrived in Israel with few tangible belongings but, as she describes it … More Maureen Nehedar: Gole Gandom

Idan Raichel: Piano • Songs

Though recognizable by his dreadlocks and turban, Idan Raichel often seemed to hide in plain sight. Concerts of his Idan Raichel Project feature up to 15 artists at a time on stage, no one commanding the spotlight and the self-effacing maestro—as pianist, composer, lyricist, singer and producer—always at stage right. To date, he’s made six albums with the Project, a rotating assembly representing Israel’s diversity, with artists singing in Amharic and Arabic alongside Hebrew, plus guest performers from Africa … More Idan Raichel: Piano • Songs

Mor Karbasi: Ojos de Novia

The Sephardic saga includes chapters of persecution and expulsion, but on her forth album the Israeli singer-songwriter Mor Karbasi (who has also lived in London and Seville) looks at her Jewish heritage from Spain and Morocco mostly through the prism of love. Ojos de Novia (Eyes of a Bride) embraces songs of romantic love (though sometimes involving disapproving or even warring parents), love of family, of God, of singing and of nature. This is an … More Mor Karbasi: Ojos de Novia

Kobi Aflalo: Marot

A doomsday joke: Hearing that the earth will be submerged by rising seas in 72 hours, clergymen counsel prayer and repentance. But a lone scientist goes on global TV and issues a challenge: “We have three days to learn how to breathe underwater.” There’s a kernel of this story in Kobi Aflalo’s fourth album, Marot (Mirrors). The title song reflects on some of the stark realities of Israeli life: existential threat, military service … More Kobi Aflalo: Marot

Rotem Cohen: Lo Dimyanti

Reviews of his live shows describe Rotem Cohen as charming, engaging, funny—and with a soulful voice—but he took a crooked route to the stage. He tried acting school, but skipped classes to compose music. He wrote for some of Israel’s top singers before releasing his own first album—which went gold. If his second album, Lo Dimyanti (I Never Imagined), is any indication, he’ll be a fixture of the Israeli cultural scene … More Rotem Cohen: Lo Dimyanti

Rami Kleinstein: Matanot K’tanot

In the Presence of Presents Listening Post 6. From universal themes of love, life and parenthood to the particulars of Israeli life, always wrapped in pitch perfect arrangements, Rami Kleinstein’s musical gift is anything but small. The 12 tracks on Matanot K’tanot (Small Gifts) deliver consistently great melodies in a diverse collection folk, pop and … More Rami Kleinstein: Matanot K’tanot