Shalom in Szeroka
Krakow Jewish Culture Festival 2013 Finale
THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2013
"But the most most inspiring and quite symbolic performance of the night, was given by the Diwan Saz. A group which embodies the ideals of the Festival - diversity and mutual respect. Diwan Saz marries together two great traditions that coexist in the Holy Land - that of Jewish and Muslim music (Persian, Kurdish, Turkish and many others).
The songs are sung together by the Rabbi David Menachem and muezzin Saead Tarbiye, whose powerful voice, rising above the instruments, demands almost undivided attention. That same singer, the night before, along with the crazy baritonist Zach Mayer led a couple hours long hypnotic groove marathon during the midnite jam session at Alchemia.
A true music of peace and harmony. To see a rabbi and muezzin dance together on stage, that's as good a miracle as you can witness."
"The musicians from Diwan Saz go even further in their exploration of such relationships; they perform in many languages, and frequently invite guests from around the world. Their concert includes a special event: a joint performance by singers brought up in Jewish and Arabic traditions (Rabbi David Menachem and Saead Tarabiyeh). Such moments brings Kraków closer than ever to Jerusalem…"
אם יופי הוא אמת המידה, בואו נדבר על הסאז
23.06.2018-בן שלו- עיתון הארץ
הסאז, כלי המיתר עם הצליל הייחודי שבולט בין
איראן לבלקן, זכה במיני־פסטיבל ליד יודפת. ההרכב "דיוואן סאז", הפרקשניסטים זוהר פרסקו ואיתמר דוארי ואורח כבוד מטורקיה פרטו, והוכיחו שיש מתחרה לעוּד
-"הצניעות, הנדיבות והעומק של "דיוואן סאז
12.06.2016-בן שלו- עיתון הארץ
מניפת המתכת האוורירית, הרחבה והמהדהדת
היא לבו של הצליל של ההרכב
"ההופעה שלו בפסטיבל "מדיטרנה
.באשדוד היתה מצוינת
Diwan Saz performed a Middle Eastern musical dialogue at the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival
by Benjamin Kweskin, April 03, 2015
"Diwan Saz founder Yochai Barak sternly scolded 14-year-old Muhammad Gadir, aka Hamudi, exactly like an older brother. Hamudi had ventured outside of the hotel unattended without anyone’s knowledge. “Don't do that,” Barak calmly told the youngest member of the nine-piece ensemble. “It's not a good idea. Something could happen.”
Hamudi, the youngest member of Diwan Saz’s multicultural ensemble, enjoyed visiting Austin, Texas, where the classical Israeli group had recently performed during SXSW. The 14-year-old saw a lot of cows there and proudly emphasized that his father owns 120 cows near his lower Galilee Bedouin village of Bir el-Maksur in Israel, population 7,000.
Diwan Saz, along with Yael Deckelbaum and her band headlined the sixth annualAtlanta Jewish Music Festival (AJMF) on Mar. 28 at the Variety Playhouse, playing spiritually fulfilling and hauntingly beautiful music on traditional Central Asian and Middle Eastern instruments. AJMF has supported the increasingly diverse Atlanta Jewish community through its musical variety. Diwan Saz, a group that includes Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Bedouin members, embodies this sentiment, proving that people from different religions and ethnicities can be much more than tolerant. Diwan Saz’s name also relates to its philosophy, which focuses on promoting tolerance and using the power of music to build one community. A diwan is a Middle Eastern salon, where people discuss ideas and community affairs. A saz is a stringed instrument prominently used in the band, symbolic of its deep connection to traditional Middle Eastern music...." TO READ MORE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ONLINE VERSION
Diwan Saz impresses
at the Aga Khan Museum
By Rida Talpur |Mar 25 2015
Diwan Saz performs.
East York’s own Aga Khan Museum hosted a special event last month to celebrate ethnic and cultural
diversity through the power of music.
Diwan Saz is a classical music group from Israel with multicultural, interfaith members. Their goal is to promote peace and unity, and above all, illustrate a side of Israel that they say has not always been reported. So they’re on a world tour to promote that climate of
“We connected by the music,” said Tzipporah El-Rei, one of the star vocalists in the group. She said the group consists of members that are Jewish, Muslim,Christian and Bedouin — who all play various instruments such as the Saz (the instrument their group is named after) and who all have impeccable, high-note-reaching, vocal talent. They play music that they say is inspired by ancient Sufism and folk songs from Jerusalem.
“The message was being conveyed through the art,” said Amirali Alibhai, the head of performing arts at the Aga Khan Museum, which is located on Wynford Drive. He said he was proud to host the event and added that it shows the strength of diversity — while acknowledging that some people might find it surprising that a centre for Islamic culture would host an Israeli musical troupe.
Eric Stein, director of Ashkenaz Festival — a festival of Yiddish and Jewish culture and the organization that helped put the event together — said he wouldn’t have it any other “It’s the perfect venue…. The medium is the message. This venue was as much as communicating what the concert was about as the group itself.” He said the museum and Ashkenaz sought to break down barriers from all religious perspectives, and therefore collaborating was in everyone’s best interests.
“The museum is not just for Muslims,” Alibhai said. He said it offers learning opportunities for everybody in all cultures, races, and religions.
Departures / Arrivals:
A Jewish-Arab ensemble gets ready for a concert - and a prayer
By Liat Elkayam Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
Left to right: Udi Ben Kna’an, 42, from Tel Aviv; Itzhak Ventura, 33, from Arsuf; Eyal Luman, 41, from Tel Aviv; Rani Lorentz, 42, from Yodfat; Tzipora El-Rei, 31, from Tekoa; Saead Tarbiah, 29, from Sakhnin; David Menachem, 33, from Jerusalem; Yohai Barak, 38, from Yodfat; and Aviv Bahar, 28, from Tel Aviv; flying to Tallinn, Estonia
Hello, who are you guys?
Yohai: We’re called Diwan SazWhat does that mean?
“Diwan” means a musical sitting, gathering or coming together. “Saz” is a musical instrument, which I play. Saz has more than one meaning in Turkish − it refers to musical instruments in general.
Where did you learn to play the saz?
In Turkey and Greece.
You’ll have to elaborate a little, because I’ve never met a saz player.
Saz is a folk-style stringed instrument used by storytellers in East Asia. The instrument I play is the Turkish version and is a source of pride to the Turks. It has distinctive rhythms and is played in some Sufi orders, usually in large groups. You might even see 40 sazes being played together, because what’s important is the diwan, the coming together.
How many years has your group been together?
Something like 10 years. The concept keeps changing. Someone occasionally joins, someone else leaves, but overall it’s the same group.
How did you come to form a group?
David: From heaven.
Yohai: It’s really good you came.
Do you play original material?
We play Turkish material, and Kurdish and Persian piyyutim [Jewish liturgical poems].
David: The texts we sing include many songs of passion and love for God, but not only. We sing in Turkish and Arabic; Saead and I sing in Hebrew and Arabic alternately. Our music is filled with ecstasy.
It looks like there’s an interesting mix here in human terms, too.
Eyal: David is actually a rabbi.
David: The real story is the Jewish-Arab aspect. This is a culture that the Jews from the Arab lands brought with them to this country, and now it is being given a respectful interpretation, albeit new. For example, there is a song that people sang in Iraq − my grandmother sang it − which is called “At the Midnight Hour,” and we juxtapose it to a Kurdish song. In the middle of the song Saead comes in with a section from a Bedouin song.
Wait a minute − again, you’re a rabbi?
David: I am the rabbi of a congregation − what the Sephardim call a hakham. And I am a paytan [writer of piyyutim].
How did you come to join the band?
David: I officiated at Yohai’s wedding. His wife attended one Shabbat when I sang − that’s how I met them. I saw a performance by the band and I joined.
Does that jibe with religion and belief? Performing onstage with women, for example?
Wherever there is love, we embrace it.
And singing in Arabic? In an Arabic society?
That is quite common in the Sephardic religious world. Most of my performances take place in Arab communities. I sing Umm Kulthum. I used to play for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef [the late spiritual leader of Shas], and what do you think I played for him? Umm Kulthum and “Bab al-Wad.” That’s music that strengthens people. Yohai mentioned Sufi music, and I am a Sufi in my essence.
Isn’t that a religion?
Judaism, too, is not a religion, but a national story. A Sufi can be a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian. A Sufi is one who loves God and wants to love all his creatures.
Yohai: Ask him to tell you about the concert in Krakow.
What happened in Krakow?
Besides the concert, which was dignified and lovely, there was an all-night jam session that went on until 6 A.M. We had a central stage with 20,000 people, and we had them dancing.
David: I taught them to sing “El Eliyahu” in Arabic. They sat like a class and learned it. And then we sang and everyone jumped up, and Saead and I danced on the stage. It was really special. You can see part of the concert atwww.diwansaz.com.
Where are you going now?
Yohai: To the Ariel Festival of Jewish Culture in Estonia. I was there once before, but I don’t know exactly how it will go this time − we have a concert of one and a half to two hours. Our shows are big − I think it’s more like prayer than a concert