Eminently capable

Musicians with disabilities win audition on ‘Rising Star’

The Shalva Band, from Jerusalem’s Shalva National Center, makes it to round two on the reality singing TV show

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

The Shalva Band on Kochav Haba - with English Subtitles

The magic of the moment was felt in all languages and touched hearts around the world. Therefore it was important for us to translate the video into English so you get to hear what the band had to say on this incredible occasion.Footage courtesy of makoThe Shalva Band להקת שלוההכוכב הבא

Posted by Shalva National Center on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Shalva Band, comprised primarily of eight musicians with disabilities, captivated judges during its Saturday night audition for “Rising Star,” the Israeli reality singing competition TV show produced by Keshet.

Singing The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” the band, led by two female singers, advanced to the next round of the competition, with 91% approval from the judges.

The judges, including singers Harel Skaat, Keren Peles, Static and Ben-El Tavori, Assaf Amdursky and Shiri Maimon, were clearly moved by the band and their audition.

“You got 91%!,” said Maimon.

“We didn’t see,” quipped Anael Khalifa, one of the two lead singers, who is blind. Her fellow lead singer, Dina Samteh, is also blind.

According to a recent article in JTA, the band was founded 12 years ago by Shai Ben Shushan, a drummer who sustained a head injury in special forces combat service.

After recovering, Ben Shushan volunteered with Shalva, a Jerusalem organization that provides a range of services to people with disabilities, including therapy, arts programs, job training and advocacy work. He formed the band from Shalva participants with musical talent.

The band, with a playlist of popular covers, has toured schools and synagogues worldwide, and played with celebrity artists.

Static said he hoped the band would represent Israel at Eurovision 2019. The winner of “Rising Star,” known in Hebrew as “HaKochav HaBa,” will represent Israel at the next Eurovision song contest, which will be held in Tel Aviv next spring.

Rising Star, part of the Keshet Broadcasting franchise, is a continuation of the former program, “Kochav Nolad,” or, “A Star is Born,” which combines judges’ scores with audience approval.

Last year, singer Netta Barzilai won the competition and went on to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with her song “Toy.”

After the Shalva Band audition, Maimon asked Khalifa to sing her version of “Toy,” which she had heard was “amazing.”

“You feel like singing a little bit of it for us?” she asked.

“Sure,” said Khalifa, and launched right in.

להקת שלוה מפתיעה את השופטים

אף אחד לא ציפה לזה, #ארוויזיון 2019 אנחנו בדרך!Netta Barzilai נטע ברזיליFootage courtesy of makoTV

Posted by ‎The Shalva Band להקת שלוה‎ on Monday, November 26, 2018

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