Jerusalem Song Club «Zimrat ha-Aretz »

Russian / на русском

Hebrew / בעברית

On the first club concert for the Golan Heights, 09.02.2000

Ilya Kutuzov, Yuri Lipmanovich, Mark Epelzaft, Gregory Ioffis, Nathan Perchikov, Eugeni Kambur

Zimrat Ha Aretz songs are NOT "Haaretz" newspaper SHALOM songs.

It is the name of a young singing-songwriting Club.
This name stands for a relatively new phenomenon in Israeli what-nowadays-is-called "immigrant subculture". In the time of global villaging, should we go on dividing cultural space into narrow shells - or should we integrate the puzzle pieces into a whole? Are we in to say, "Well, this is just a Russian traditional singing-songwriting group", or are we ready to respect the new flow as a part of Israeli cultural sphere? What is a horse - "a granivorous quadruplet" or a living part of the nature?
Somewhere at the end of the 1990s certain people in Israel went out to oppose the fashionable tendency, the best description of which I once heard on the radio. An anchorman said, "We should promote the peace process, for we have the spirit of Oslo, why should we pay attention to the reality?" Too sad I cannot name neither the anchorman, nor the program. The Spirit of Oslo was then at his best with bus bombing. Nightclubbing and shopping mall visiting was then "a provocative speculation", but not in every pair of ears.

Of those who were not explicitly happy about the way the Spirit of Oslo was transforming the reality, some wrote songs, and some found it a great idea to promote then amateur authors, make them audible and give the audience a spark of good laugh.

The first show took place on February 9, 2000. It was a small club with not much of the audience. The first show was dedicated to the Golan Heights question. Now, the business was not about tailoring momentarily hits to a fixed agenda. The authors proved to have written the songs long before the agenda was declared.

Since then, the Club has delivered more than 50 performances all over Israel, produced three CDs - two in Russian and one in Hebrew, and has opened this site. Nothing of this would be possible without the help of people who estimated the significance of the project.

Michael Shovman, Yuri Lipmanovich, Mark Epelzaft, Greg Ioffis, Nathan Perchikov and Iliya Kutuzov have founded the Club. Mr. Shovman acts as the manager, while the rest experience a variety of performance gags. Yura writes witty songs and short prose on the actuality. Mark holds on to the Vyssotsky bard tradition, so strong among the Russians. Gregory swings around the everyday in his humorous jazzy mood, while Nathan goes deep to the places where old Spanish tradition picks up its Judaic and Moorish roots. Iliya works the Rasta way in his songs and prose.

Then, Hebron resident Alexandra Shaak has joined the club, Elena Vesyolaya has added her vigorous voice to the Club ensemble, as well as Eugeni Merson has joined in with his alkali essays covering the part of Oslo bargain seen by the eyes of an Israeli army field medical lieutenant.

Of the late, born in Russia but grown in Israel delicate poet and famous bard, writing both in Hebrew and in Russian, singing Rabbi Eli Bar-Yahalom has joined the club, as well as Victoria Raicher, Tkoa resident, writing inimitable poems and short stories. We are also proud to publish poems and songs of Alexander (Sasha) Alon, a big patriot of our country, a poet and a soldier, murdered in 1985.

Suddenly the leaders of the Middle East have found themselves in a song. This happens to leaders sometimes, no news all right, Stalin, Mao and Hitler were sung about a lot. Singing about Rabin and Arafat does not pay well in dollars, nor it can make for a Nobel Prize - but let the TNT piece process leaders be awarded with the TNT inventor money - that is only fair. The prize of our work is the laugh and joy of the audience. Listen to the songs and see for yourself!


Russian Homepage / на русском

Hebrew Homepage / בעברית

Publications (in English)

Lili Galili The nostalgic evenings have become political ("ha-Aretz" 14/12/2000)

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Last updated 15.11.2010