Oldies but goodies

Musicians produce album of covers for Israeli classics

Well-known local performers team up with fellow industry professionals as part of foundation’s effort to support music industry

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

It’s a fun listen with “Tzav HaShaa” (Call to Action), an album of 50 covers of classic Israeli songs by Israel’s best-known singers produced in support of the struggling local music industry.

The album, put together by Nacht Philanthropic Ventures, is the latest of several cultural projects launched by the Inbar & Marius Nacht Family Foundation in support of the performing arts since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Nacht is one of the three tech entrepreneurs who founded the cybersecurity company Check Point Software.

The covers were performed by 80 Israeli artists, working with 600 music industry professionals, from production staff to fellow musicians, all of whom will receive personal Rosh Hashanah grants of NIS 2,000.

“They worked around the clock, and got the first part done in a month and a half,” said Nachman Rosenberg, CEO of Nacht Philanthropic Ventures.

The underlying cause of the album is to promote legislation of the proposed Israel Music Law, intended to protect musicians’ rights and allocate budgets and investments for original Israeli productions.

The family foundation has been supporting culture and the arts during the pendemic, donating NIS 3.5 million (around $1 million) during the summer to music industry professionals, benefiting 700 musicians, lighting professionals, sound technicians and production workers, who each received NIS 5,000 ($1,407).

The foundation put together a committee to work on a draft of the music law to support the local industry at the start of the COVID-19-caused industry slowdown, with a legal team researching similar laws in other countries. The draft of the law should be ready at the start of November, said Rosenberg.

“In France, all the radio stations have to play at least 40% French music, and in Canada, there is a state investment fund that invests in local music,” added Rosenberg. “Many western countries allocated funds to support local music; Israeli music was left behind.”

The artists involved in the project include Aviv Geffen (Ma Atta Bichlal Yodea al Ahava [What Do You Even Know About Love?]), Etti Ankri and Maayan Linnick (Masach Ashan [Smokescreen]), Berry Sakharof (At Heruti [You are My Freedom]), Danny Sanderson (Hidah At Li [You’re a Puzzle to Me]), HaDag Nahash (Ovdim Aleinu Avodah Ivrit [They’re Fooling Us]) and others.

The album is available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Bandcamp and several other music streaming platforms.

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