by Mara Dresner
Israeli singer-songwriter Noa, who recently earned international praise for recording classic Israeli songs with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, is helping Americans celebrate the State of Israel’s 65th anniversary this month by performing cultural treasures created by Israel’s most illustrious songwriters. Among the stops on her “The Israeli Songbook” tour, Noa will perform at an Israel@65 celebration hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven on Wednesday, April 24, 8 p.m., at Battell Chapel in New Haven.
Known in Israel by her given name Achinoam Nini, Noa is Israel’s leading international concert and recording artist. She has shared the stage with many artists, including Sting, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Sheryl Crow and George Benson. In March 1999 Noa sang for President Clinton at the White House. The Ledger spoke with Noa recently about her music and her concert tour.
Q. You have performed with some amazing people and at extraordinary events. What have been some of your favorite moments of your career?
A. Working with Pat Metheny, whom I admire and adore. Performing for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. My tour with Sting, who was my teen-aged hero! Meeting and performing with Stevie Wonder, who is an amazing musician and sweet person. Performing at the White House for Bill Clinton, and on it goes.
Q. You have collaborated with Arab and Palestinian artists. What role do you think the arts can play in bringing about peace and understanding?
A. Art is instrumental in facilitating dialogue and understanding in that it is opposed to religion for example, non-dogmatic by nature. Art is about curiosity. It is a journey into the soul. Art emphasizes all that we have in common, while at the same time elevating us to a higher level, a plateau upon which we stand face to face, see each other as what we really are: simply human beings.
Noa will bring her Israeli Songbook Tour to the Battell Chapel in New Haven on April 24. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Buy them in advance at jewishnewhaven.org or by calling 203.387.2522.