Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Israeli Music: Zion Golan

As you may have noticed from previous posts that some of my favorite music is Yemenite Israeli music. One of the most well known names in Yemenite Jewish music is Zion Golan. Golan was born to Yemeni Jewish immigrants to Israel in Ashkelon, Israel. He currently lives with his wife and three children (two girls, one boy) in the Ahuzat Etrog neighborhood of Merkaz Shapira, Israel. Zion Golan is a legend in Israel and even Yemen.

A Yemenite Jewish woman that I knew in New York said that she remembers how Zion Golan was one of the first to perform many of the old school Yemenite Jewish music in Israel in dialects that Yemenite Jews spoke when they lived in Yemen: languages such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic. Most of Zion Golan's early work is credited to the tunes written to psalms by Rabbi Shalom Shabazi in Yemen in the 17th century. Even today in most Yemenite Jewish synagogues these songs are still sung during the Sabbath and at weddings.

The songs below are a mix of Hebrew and Judeo Yemenite Arabic. Enjoy. So enjoy three of my favorites of his performances.

Zion Golan singing Ya Mehji


Zion Golan and Lior Farhi "Pasaq Zeman"


Zion Golan singing Ada al-Yamani

4 comments:

Miriam said...

Hey! I have, like, three of his CDs!

Ehav Ever said...

Yeah, he is a great singer. His voice also sounds so natural during live performances. I have to see if I can find a CD with Ya Mehji on it.

Bohemian Hippie Chick said...

Nice music! I like his voice (I will be adding him to my collection). I really liked the second video.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey BHC,

Yeah Zion Golan just has one of those strong natural voices. You may be able to find him in the international section of your local record store. In the Israeli part. When Tower Records was around they had a set with him and several other Yemenite Israeli singers.