Web site: http://www.piranha.de/english/piranha_musik_verlag/emil_zrihan
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"As a singer I act as a bridge between the Arab and the Jewish cultures. We always lived together, ate together and sang the same songs together. And suddenly we find ourselves in a fight for the same piece of earth. It is bizarre and that fight is not what we want to do."
Emil Zrihan keeps the Judeo-Andalusian and folk traditions of his mother country Morocco alive in his heart. Born in Rabat, Morocco, he is now cantor at the main synagogue in Ashkelon, one of the oldest cities in the world, situated along the Via Maris which joins Egypt and Syria. The impressive vocal range and power of Zrihan's counter tenor voice express both the emotional intensity of North African religious songs and the vivacity of Andalusian music. His fascinating "mawals" (improvisations), in which he demonstrates the effortless elasticity of his vocal prowess, are subtly enhanced by oud, violin, accordion and darbuka. The upbeat rhythmic tempo with its Mediterranean flavour alternates with passages imbued with the languor of the Orient, a mix which evokes the family gatherings, songs and dances of the Sephardic culture.
With a repertoire that spans his ancestors' Spanish roots, the North African secular music of his youth and Jewish liturgical song, Emil Zrihan shows us why in Ashkelon he is known to all as "the voice of the mocking bird".