Apologies–this is a very large post, because Be’er-Sheva is rife with music and musical talent and, as such, it will never be entirely complete and up-to-date. I want to include examples of everything and everyone associated with music in Be’er-Sheva to date.
The Be’er-Sheva “Conservatorion” – the municipal conservatory of music was founded in 1961 (in memory of philanthropist Samuel Rubin, 1901-1978), by pianist Ruth Hillman (1917-2010) and conductor Nissim Alsheikh (b.1926-). Each year, over 600 students from the entire Negev Region (including Bedouins) attend classes to learn music theory, music appreciation, and how to play all the various instruments.The “Conservatorion” houses the Hillman Concert Hall and the Municipal Music Library. The current director (2017-) is Jacob (“Yaki”) Reuven. Outstanding students are invited to perform in the various ensembles and orchestras. Many of Israel’s well-known musicians began their musical careers here, such as: mandolinist Avi Avital (b.1978-); mandolinist & musical director Tom Cohen; mandolinist & conductor Shmuel Elbaz; Jewish music producer Gabriel Hasson; mandolinist & “Conservatorion” Director Jacob (“Yaki”) Reuven; accordionist & conductor Eti Tevel (b.1985-); cellist Ariel Tushinsky (b.1969-); conductor Omer Meir Wellber (b.1981-). It is located at 10 ha-Meshahrerim St. (adjacent to the Municipal Public Library) – 08-6276019.
Orchestras and instrumental ensembles:
The Israel “Sinfonietta” Orchestra (Be’er-Sheva) was first founded in 1973 as a small ‘cameri’ orchestra (22 new-immigrant musicians) by international prize-winning conductor Avi Ostrowsky (b.1939-). After expanding, in 1978 it became a full, classical symphony orchestra, performing under the baton of another internationally acclaimed conductor Mendi Rodan (1929-2009), who served until 1991. Rodan was then followed by violist & conductor Uri Meir (b.1946-) from 1991-1999. Next were: conductor Menachem Nevenhoiz (b.1960-) from 2001-2002; pianist & conductor Yaron Traub (b.1964-) from 2002-2005; classical guitarist & conductor Doron Salomon from 2005-2013; and, most recently, pianist & conductor Justus Frantz (b.1944-) from 2013. The “Sinfonietta” was awarded the 1995 Prize by the Israel National Council for Culture and Art and the 1998 “Wandering Cylinder” Prize by the Israeli “Art for the People”Organization for its service to the entire Negev Region. Office: 08-6266422.
Nissim Alsheich (b.1926-) was a co-founder of the Be’er-Sheva Municipal Music “Conservatorion” and founder of the Be’er-Sheva Youth Orchestra, both in 1961. In 1973, he founded the Be’er-Sheva Chamber Orchestra and, in 1996, he founded and conducted the Be’er-Sheva Wind Orchestra (consisting of woodwinds & brass instruments) until his retirement in 2010, when lawyer, conductor Micha David took over. Alsheich published a Hebrew autobiography entitled My Life’s Symphony: The Realization of a Dream (2016?).
The Be’er-Sheva String Orchestra was re-established in 2014 by “Conservatorion” Director Jacob (“Yaki”) Reuven. The current, internationally- acclaimed conductor (2017-) is Maestro Barak Tal, was also the recipient of the 2006 Oedoen Partos Award for outstanding performance of an Israeli composition, granted by the Israeli Ministy of Culture.
Be’ershevan accordionist & conductor Eti Tevel (b.1985-, in Be’er-Sheva) received her early classical music training in the city, then studied at the Rubin Academy of Music & Dance in Jerusalem, played with the Israel Police Orchestra, and was a soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony & Philharmonic Orchestras (studying under conductor Mendi Rodan), also playing with the Junior Andalusian Orchestra from 2004. In 2012, she became the conductor of the reconstituted Andalusian Orchestra of Ashkelon. In 2016, she also became the first Israeli conductor ever invited to conduct the German Philharmonic Orchestra.
Be’er-Sheva-born and trained mandolinist & conductor Shmuel Elbaz and his Israeli Kerman Mandolin Quartet took the 1st prize at the 2003 International Music Competition for Plectrum Instruments held in La Rioja, Spain. Then, his Israeli Andalusian Orchestra (founded 1994 in Ashdod, Israel) was awarded the 2006 Israel Prize for Music. In 2021, the Be’er-Sheva Sinfonietta aired an online series of mandolin concerts honoring the city’s local, legendary initiator of mandolin music in Israel, Simcha Natanzon, entitled: “Made in Be’er-Sheva.”
The Kerman Mandolin Quartet was created in 2000 by 4 talented Be’ershevan musicians trained originally at the “Conservatorion”: Jacob (“Yaki”) Reuven, Shmuel Elbaz, Avi Avital & Lev Haimovits (with standby mandolinist Tom Cohen). In 2017, the Quartet is now comprised of: Jacob (“Yaki”) Reuven, Mari Carmen Simon (Spain), Fabio Galluci (Italy), & Vincent Beer-Demander (France). This Quartet renders musical works originally written for string quartets on 4 mandolins.
A Be’er-Sheva trio ensemble consisting of local soprano Isabel Marie Hass and local musicians–French hornist Roman Kott and pianist Raimonda Sheinfeld, give classical performances.
Choirs and vocal ensembles:
“Cantacapella” Choir (established 2011), sings classical & world music under the musical direction of bass/baritone & conductor Yoel Sivan – 054-4949854. It has performed at a number of venues in southern Israel and, on a few occasions, with the Israel Sinfonietta Be’er-Sheva and/or with soloists from the Israel Opera Company. “Cantacapella” is currently seeking more tenors and basses. Sivan – 054-4949854.
Yoel Sivan also founded and sings in a Renaissance vocal ensemble called “Gloriana” (founded 2010) with soprano Lucy Bloch, tenor Hillel Sherman, and baritones Yoram Bar-Akiva and/or Guy Pelc. Sivan is also a performing member of the Israeli Vocal Ensemble. Sivan – 054-4949854.
“Andinat” (Amharic word meaning: ‘together’) is an Ethiopian children’s choir founded in 2018 at the “Haruv” Absorption Center in the Gimel neighborhood that sings Hebrew, Amharic and English songs, directed by its founder, singer Josh Perets. Netflix airs a filmclip of them performing. They also appear in an Israeli movie depicting Ethiopian Jews immigrating to Israel in the 1980s.
“Coloratura” classical ensemble, founded in 2019 by Diana Eidelszstein (052-5013327) meets every week on Wed. evenings at Matnas Yud Aleph and is currently seeking more singers.
“LOGON” – Light Opera of the Negev (founded 1981) puts on an English-language operetta or musical production annually, which it performs across the country. Rehearsals are held in Be’er-Sheva. Participation is voluntary, but those who volunteer must perform, excepting cases of illness or injury. To join the cast or stage-crew – 08-6414081 or http://www.lightopera.2ya.com. There’s even a book about LOGON entitled: The stage is our world. If anyone can tell me who wrote this book and the year of its publication, I’d be grateful. Thanks, Ethelea. By the way, I sang in the choir, danced a can-can and a waltz & had a great time with LOGON in 1993, when we put on an English adaptation of the wonderful operetta “The Merry Widow” by Franz Lehar.
In 2021, at the “Dekalim” School for Special Education, veteran music teacher, Zhana Mikhailov, created a successful choir, with the support of the local chapter of “Lions – Israel: Ahvah ba-Negev.” The members of the choir range in age from 13-21. Music is a perfect and joyful way to overcome disabilities.
***I heard from someone that years ago Prof. Shalom Altman produced an album entitled: “One God” for the Philadelphia Jewish Community Choir, which includes a song that begins with the words: “Here is Beersheba, where Abraham the Patriarch, leader of …” If, by chance, anyone has this album or knows this song, please contact me in Be’er-Sheva at 972-77-4180008. Thanks, Ethelea
***P.S. I made ‘aliyah’ to Be’er-Sheva from Philadelphia in 1972,after dancing & singing in the late Rabbi Efry Spector‘s Israeli performing troup (in support of Israel). I remember handing flowers to the late Abba Eban decades ago. I also took great pleasure when appearing with the 120-voice University of Pennsylvania Choir and the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra at the elegant Academy of Music under the baton of the fiery-tempered Maestro Zubin Mehta, who has only recently retired as conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Not to mention how exciting it was to sing Carl Orff‘s “Carmina Burana” in a huge, old cathedral in Philadelphia–and making the chandeliers shake…
Retired academic librarian Pinhas Ziv resided in Be’er-Sheva and worked at BGU’s Aranne Library from 1970. Around 2010, he began to sing Jewish cantorial music, performing and also recording an album of the same material.
Contrabassist & composer Max Stern (b.1947-) became a resident of Be’er-Sheva in 1976. Much of the inspiration for his classical and choral works he derived from biblical sources and from the desert environment. In 1990, his chamber-music work “Balaam and the ass” won the Israeli Composers League’s Lieberson Prize Competition. In Tokyo, Japan in 1991, his work for orchestra & narrator, entitled “Perek Shirah” (lit., a chapter of song), was awarded 1st place by the Japanese Contemporary Music Association. From 1993, Stern established the BGU Music Dept., a student choir & a student orchestra. In 2017, Stern released a classical music disc entitled: “Me’ever le-nehar ha-Sambatyon” (lit., across the [legendary] Sambatyon River, i.e., in exile), that he dedicated to the city.
Classical musicians conductors:
Classically-trained violinist and music teacher Vladimir (Bob) Yourochkin (b.1966-) frequently gets up on an upside-down pail in the Central Bus Station (“The Terminal”) and plays his violin for the public. He has been in Be’er-Sheva since 2015.
Be’er-Sheva-born mandolinist Avi Avital (b.1978-) made Be’er-Sheva proud not only by performing with the “Sinfonietta;” the Israel Philharmonic; and other European ensembles but, in 2007, he appeared as the mandolin soloist with the “Metropolis Ensemble” at the New York Center for the Arts, playing the U.S. premier of Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s “Mandolin Concerto.”
Freelance cellist, pianist, music teacher & vocal coach Hannah Blachman and her husband Asher Blachman, a professional violinist, sometimes perform as a piano & violin duo – 08-6413119 (not on the Jewish Sabbath, from sunset Fri.-sundown Sat.). Hannah also gives cello performances with pianist Gila Perach-Hirsch–they call themselves “Tsemed Kol Avi” (lit., the voice of my father duo).
Accordionist Alexander Suslov (b.1979-) often plays for the public at the central train station and in the Old City since his arrival in Be’er-Sheva in 2014.
Modern genres and folksongs
The Hebrew/Israeli Song Club usually offers a series of 6 evenings of Israeli folk and pop music at the Hall of the Performing Arts each year – for tickets *8557, line #1.
For decades, accordionist & emcee Yossi Lev (father of “Bat Dor” dancer Lior Lev) has given public Hebrew sing-along evenings, accompanied by guitarist & singer Dov Birkenfeld and drummer Alex Bellaish (father of “Bat Dor” dancer Natan’el Bellaish) – 08-6518139, 053-9428780.
Accordionist Rafi Shaked came to Be’er-Sheva in 1970 to study at BGU and stayed to live here, becoming known as: “the king of evenings of song,” thanks to his frequent public Israeli folk-music sing-alongs – http://www.rafi-shaked.co.il.
Vocal groups, combos and bands:
For over 45 years, “ha-Hedim” (lit., the echoes, established 1968), the first genuine pop & rock combo originating in Be’er-Sheva, started by guitarists & singers Shlomo (“Momi”) & Avi Asaf (father of Israel Beauty Queen, Ravit Asaf), gave shows filled with nostalgic Israeli and foreign classics from prior decades with: Uri Kariv on synthesizer; the late Ruby Serge on keyboards; and David Ya’akobi on drums. In 1972/3, they had an original English hit single entitled: “Fascination” on the radio, written by the late Ruby Serge and some clips on YouTube. In 2003, they revived the band and produced a special program covering “Pink Floyd”s greatest hits; later on, in 2021, the 9 “Echoes” share the stage with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, performing “Pink Floyd”s best songs, together with the “UK Pink Floyd Experience” in the Omer Amphi.
“Signon Acher” (lit., a different style) is a local vocal jazz ensemble created by Musical Director Yoni Shacham (b.1943-) that does humourous, jazzy & scat singing a-cappella in English and Hebrew, specially arranged by Shacham. In 2014, they put out a double album entitled “SomeSingElse” –http://www.facebook.com/besignonacher.
“Blueband” was a blues & alternative rock combo that existed from ca.1998-2002, founded by songwriter, guitarist & singer David Peretz; with lyricist & singer Elad Chopin; guitarist & singer Yohanan Kressel; keyboardist & guitarist Ya’ir Schleider; and songwriter, guitarist & singer Hagai Nahtomi. They put out one album in 1999.
“Lenses” (existed 2001-2009) was founded by songwriter & soloist Jo’an Safadi (b.1973-) with songwriter, guitarist & singer David Peretz and songwriter, guitarist & singer Yohanan Kressel, that lasted until 2009 and released 3 albums in Hebrew and Arabic.
“Side” – Be’er-Sheva‘s British-style electro-rock combo (established 2003) performed original English songs and toured Israel & Europe. Its original 6 Be’ershevan members were: bassist Shai Zrihan; drummer Itamar Abuhatsira (owner of “Feedback Studios”); guitarist Or Dahan; synthesizer Shahar Yampolski; guitarist, drummer & soloist Yossi Shitrit; keyboards & effects David (“Dudu”) Hemed (who is also a soloist in the “Machrumah” Band), later joined by soundman Nir Raveh. Some clips on YouTube.
“Marionetta Sol” is an alternative rock combo (formed 2003) by Be’ershevans Amir Grohman (b.1976-) and Ido Karov produced its 1st, mostly instrumental, rock & house album in 2004; in 2005, their 2nd album was released for free on Internet. In 2005, their vocal single “Hey” was aired on Israeli radio. They did a short performance tour in 2006. In 2008 they released 2 more singles. Album no.3 came out in 2009; then, in 2013, their 4th album was released. Current members: Amir Grohman – vocals, guitars, keyboards; Ido Karov – guitar, keyboards, drums, voices; Tal Fogel – bass guitar, sounds; and Nadav Gorali – drums. Former members: Elad Chopin – bass guitar; Yaniv Dagan – bass guitar; and Gil Namet – drums.
“Pinky” (formed ca.2004) – a Be’er-Sheva-born punk-rock combo consisting of bass guitarist & soloist Tal Leibel, guitarist & mixer Boaz Even-Ezra & drummer Avishai Hazan. Their first album was “Pink world” (2007) and they put out at least 2 more albums by 2015. Tal Leibel put out his first solo album in Dec. 2017.
“Jah-Nos” Band (formed ca.2006) – comprised of 4 brothers from the Be’ershevan Zennou family: Avi, Ben, Lavi & Shlomi, with three other backup musicians, had 2 ethno-rock hit singles on the radio and put out an album of original songs, some on YouTube.
The combo “ha-Shkhenah mimul” (lit., the neighbor lady across the way; formed 2006) started in Be’er-Sheva and plays original pop music. This combo includes: composer, keyboards & singer Ronen Yarkon; acoustic guitarist, singer & mixer Oren Steinitz; bass guitarist & singer Idan Weisman or Jonathan Balter; guitarist Yitshak Me’ir; drummer & singer Yuval Ben-Hai; and singers Roni Bratslavski and Hilla Millstein.
“Duo Azulay/Namet” was founded (ca. 2008) by two talented Be’er-Sheva-born singer/songwriters, Nadav Azulay (b.1987-) and Gil Namet (b.1987-, previously in “Marionetta Sol”), who contrast and complete each other. Together, they’ve put out 3 albums: “Ba-tsad shel ha-ra’im” (lit., On the side of the bad guys, 2009); “Ze’ev! Ze’ev!” (lit., Wolf! Wolf!, 2013); and “Telamed oti lirkod” (lit., Teach me how to dance, 2018). They are some of the key representatives of the so-called “Be’ershevan music” scene.
“Ensemble Peham” (lit., the coal ensemble; active 2016) is a local Canaanite-blues band that combines the talents of Karin Shapira (former soloist with the punkband “Tsenzurah” (lit., censorship)) and of Aviv (“Yaniv”) Noiman. Separately, Shapira released her personal album entitled “Tsemer” (lit., wool) and Noiman released his own entitled “David.”
“Two Girlz Cookin’ Duo” (established 2017) consists of classically-trained keyboardist, vocalist, composer, yukalele player & percussionist Lotem Asner (b.1983-, in Be’er-Sheva) with vocal coach, vocalist, composer & looper player Maya Pennington. This very creative duo creates brilliant pop/jazz/classical mashups and gives performances across Israel. Asner released an original solo album “Dived and disappeared” in 2015.
“Havruta Ensemble” (lit., band of buddies, formed ca.2018) – performs classic Hebrew/Israeli songs and provides the words on screen, so the audience can sing along. The band consists of: singer Itamar Abuhatsira on percussion; singer Shlomi Mathias on keyboards; Sha’ul Blachman on bass guitar; and Yossi Shitrit & Daniel Adda on guitars. 054-2030717 – email@example.com – https://www.havrutamusic.co.il/
Singers, songwriters and DJs:
Joe (“Yosi”) Moustaki (b.1939-) composed many Hebrew folksongs and sings a Hebrew & Ladino repertoire. He has lived in Be’er-Sheva since 1949 and was among the first 500 Jewish families to reside in the new Israeli desert town. In 1969, he wrote music for Talmah Alyagon-Roz‘s poem “Be’er-Sheva Iri” (lit., my city Be’er-Sheva). Moustaki is especially well-known for his original song “Yam u-shkiyah” (lit., the sea & the sunset) and the music he composed for the poem by Israeli poetess Rachel (1890-1931) entitled “Zemer nugeh” (lit., melancholy song) – soundcloud.com/yosi-moustaki.
Yehudit Ravitz(b.1956- in Be’er-Sheva) is a famous, veteran Israeli pop, rock & jazz singer/songwriter and music producer. She has appeared on many stages & in many shows, on TV, in Israeli films & in a number of YouTube clips, as well as having had many hit songs on the radio during her successful ca.45-year long career. In 1977, 1982 & 1987, she won the “Best song of the year.” To date, Ravitz has released 12 Hebrew solo albums (1979-2012) and 5 collections (1982-2007); not to mention her numerous notable collaborations with other artists over the decades.
Yair Nitzani (b.1958-) grew up in Be’er-Sheva and became a prolific singer/songwriter, screenwriter/actor/comedian, and radio broadcaster, becoming very famous as a member of the popular rock band “T-Slam” (1979-1983, together with Dani Bassan & Izhar Ashdot), that had many hit songs.
Avi Eilot Aloush (b.1959- in Be’er-Sheva) is a soul and R&B singer/songwriter who’s been singing in the Old City (ha-Simtah; Ashan ha-Zeman; etc.) since he was a boy (from 1973). Most recently, he’s been doing successful shows with singer Shivhiyah Bat-Israel, one of the black Hebrews from Dimona.
Mike Karoutchi (b.1963- in Casablanca, Morocco), a Be’er-Sheva resident, is a violinist, a pop ‘cover’ singer, and an events performer of traditional Moroccan folk-music. He was honored in 2014 by the King of Morocco for being an ambassador of Moroccan culture.
Zahava Ben (shortened from Benishti; b.1968- in Be’er-Sheva, twin sister of Etti Levi) is a highly-successful Middle-Eastern-style singer, who has released over 16 studio albums and more than 16 collections. She is known and admired even in Morocco & Turkey and has performed at a number of European venues.
Etti (nee Benishti) Levi (b.1968- in Be’er-Sheva, twin sister of Zahava Ben) is both a vegetarian and a prolific Middle-Eastern, Moroccan & Arab-style singer. In the years from 1993-2009, she produced 21 music albums, including some duets with Iraqi singer Jacob Nashawi.
David Peretz (b.1970-) is a guitarist, singer & songwriter of alternative rock, blues & Hebrew folksongs. He even started his own record company in Be’er-Sheva, under the “Cactus” label. He put out his first, original solo album “Haiku blues“ in 2007 and two more albums in 2009 and 2016. He founded the “Blueband” that existed from ca.1998-2002 that put out one album in 1999. In 2001, Peretz became a member of the first Jewish-Arab rock band in Be’er-Sheva – “Lenses” – together with Jo’an Safadi (b.1973-), that lasted until 2009 and released 3 albums. In June 2014, together with Amir Grohman & Ido Karov, he organized a special event combining local poets and songwriters, to present a collection of works relating to the theme: “Ru’ah dromit” (lit., a southern wind or spirit) – a (primarily) Be’ershevan poetic and musical fantasy; the Hebrew contents of this event may be seen (but not heard) online in the blog “Kikar ha-Ir” of June 11, 2014, in the section by Guy Tene “Shney yesodot.”
Yohanan Kressel (b.1972-) has been a resident of Be’er-Sheva since his student days, and is a songwriter, guitarist & singer; previously a member of “Blueband” from 1998-2002 and of “Lenses” from 2001-2009. Besides working as a physiotherapist, he released 3 albums: the 1st, a solo light-rock album (2008); the 2nd, a dark-rock collaboration with members of “Marionette Sol” (2013); the 3rd, a ‘kick-ass’ rock album with soloist Yossi Shitrit from “Side” (2016).
Dikla Dori (b.1973-) is a live-performing Be’ershevan singer/songwriter, described as a Middle-Eastern (Hebrew & Arabic) rock diva, who produced 5 albums between 2000-2016 and released many videoclips online. In 2002, Dikla performed in the Summer Festival at the Lincoln Center in New York. In 2004, she was named the “Best Female Singer of the Year” in Israel. Later, she appeared in the Israeli movie: “The ballad of the weeping spring” (2012). In 2015, she was awarded ACUM‘s “Uzi Hitman Achievement Award” and she also performed in Be’er-Sheva at the LGBT celebrations.
Eviatar Banai (b.1973- in Be’er-Sheva) is a guitarist, keyboardist, singer & songwriter. (His sister is comedian Orna Banai). Between the years of 1997-2017, he released 6 albums reflecting different musical styles: the 1st chamber pop (1997); the 2nd electronic (1999); the 3rd melodic rock (2005). Then he returned to his Jewish-religious roots, as reflected in the next 3 albums of 2009, 2013 & 2017. Many of his singles were radio hits.
Erez Biton (b.1973- in Be’er-Sheva) is an eclectic singer/songwriter & DJ, who released his 1st original rock album in 2009. He sings western-style pop, rock & soul music, as well as Middle-Eastern pop – www.erezbit.co.il.
Rinat Mor (b.1974- in Be’er-Sheva) is an events singer and YouTube ‘cover’ singer, who has also acted in a number of Israeli films since 1985.
Alon (“de Loco”) Cohen (b.1974-), a native & resident Be’ershevan, is a leading Israeli & international DJ and producer of hip-hop, R&B, reggae & dancehall music. In 2011, he appeared on the competitive Israeli TV reality show: “Living in La La Land” and won the competition. He’s currently signed to Geffen Records – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alon_De_Loco. In 2020, he released a new song “Titans” from his 5th & latest international album of the same name.
Amir Benayoun (b.1975-) is a very prolific (though occasionally controversial) Be’er-Sheva-born singer/songwriter, who has released 14 full & 2 mini-albums (one in Arabic) between 1999-2017. In 2006, he was given an AKUM Award by the Organization for Music Composers, Lyricists and Publishers in Israel. In 2011, Benayoun made an album in Arabic “Zini” in support of the Syrian people.
Amir Dadon (b.1975-) is a singer-songwriter and actor born in Be’er-Sheva, who will be starring in Ha-Bimah‘s production of “Les Miserables.” His first solo album, entitled “Amir Dadon” came out in 2010.
Nadav Dalumi (b.1976-in Be’er-Sheva, older brother of singer Roni Dalumi) is a pop, rock & indie singer/songwriter who released his 1st album in 2015; 2nd album in 2016; 3rd album in 2019. He writes in Hebrew and English. He also released a single entitled: “Be’er-Sheva” in 2013 and 2 new Hebrew singles: “Hungry winds” at the start of 2020 and, in March 2021, “In the end, everyone wants to go home.”
Sima Levy-Duchin (b.1976- in Be’er-Sheva, wife of singer/songwriter Arkady Duchin) is a sing/songwriter in her own right, who released her 1st album in 2006 and her 2nd album a decade later, in 2016. Her eclectic albums present a mixture of musical styles: pop, soft rock, folk and even some country-western, mostly in Hebrew, but also some English songs.
Hanan Dahan (b.1977- in Be’er-Sheva) is a sing/songwriter, who has been releasing original singles and remixed covers since 1998. In 2021, he also began appearing in duets with singer Gilli Argov (b.1973-).
Roy Edri (b.1978- in Be’er-Sheva) is a bilingual (Hebrew/English) singer/songwriter who does soul music, reggae, rock & even hip hop. He spent 16 years touring abroad and returned to Israel and his Jewish-religious roots. Edri released 2 albums: one in English: “Hear me out” (2008) and the other in Hebrew: “Ad ha-sof” (lit., to the end, 2008).
Itay Pearl (b.1978-) was born in Safed, moved to Tel Aviv in 1999 to further his musical career; then, in 2012, Pearl chose to reside in Be’er-Sheva. He is a successful singer & guitarist, and writes and produces rock, pop, blues & jazz music for other popular Israeli singers. His 1st solo album came out in 2005; his 2nd in 2008; no. 3, with Dana Berger, in 2010; his 4th original solo blues album was released in 2012; no. 5, with Dan Toren, in 2013; and the 6th solo album in 2018 here in Be’er-Sheva. Pearl says: “I fell in love with Be’er-Sheva, because here I don’t have to pose for anyone.”
Adi Cohen (b.1980-) was born in Be’er-Sheva and says: “It will always be home” to her. She’s a Hebrew pop singer who gained national recognition when she appeared on the Israeli TV reality show “A star is born 2” (2004). In 2006, she appeared in U.S. theaters in a live musical production called “Like a movie” consisting of ‘covers’ of theme songs taken from many Israeli films. Cohen released her 1st album in 2008 and her 2nd in 2012. In between, in 2010, she gave an extensive tour, singing in: France, India, the Philippines, the USA & Canada. After studying theater arts, she also became an actress, and first appeared in the Israeli film “Snails in the rain” (2013). She has appeared in over 21 Israeli musicals. Between 2005-2015, she released at least 9 singles on radio & YouTube.
Dana Mazal Malka (b.1982-) spent her childhood in Be’er-Sheva. She has become a prolific songwriter for many of Israel’s popular singers of the Middle-Eastern genre, such as: Moshik Afiya, Gili Argov and Etti Levi.
Noa Babayof (b.1982- in Be’er-Sheva) is a folk & alternative pop/rock music singer/songwriter, whose first English-language album “From a window to a wall” was released in both Israel & the USA in 2007. Her 2nd English album “Blue bound” came out in 2016.
Mor Luria (b.1982-), a resident Be’er-Sheva lyricist, put out an album including many of her original songs in 2017, together with some originals by songwriter & musical producer Moni Amarillio and with the help of singer Moran Sela and other singers of her lyrics.
Avia Barkao (b.1983-), a resident of Be’er-Sheva, is a singer both of American pop songs and Ethiopian songs; since 2011, she has also been writing original songs in Hebrew. https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Musician-Band/אביה-ברקאו-210777753030610/
Re’em Cohen (b.1983- in Be’er-Sheva) is a singer with a radiophonic voice that has his own weekday radio program “Brizah” (lit., a breeze) at 101.5 FM. In 2006, he released his first Hebrew single entitled “Transparent in your eyes.”
Dana Lapidot (b.1983- in Be’er-Sheva) is a pop music singer & songwriter, who became a soloist with “Hamsah” in 2001. She released her most popular Hebrew single in 2008 – “Meshuga’at” (lit., Crazy woman) and then her own 1st album: “Dana Lapidot.” In 2009, she gave a performance tour across Israel and in 2012, she released her 1st videoclip of a song “Ve-ulay ha-yom” (lit., and maybe today). Then, in 2015, her 2nd album came out. In 2017, she made Hebrew & French pop-music clips in collaboration with Eli Henree.
Noam Vazana (b.1983-, in Be’er-Sheva) grew up and received classical and jazz music training in the city. She is pianist, trombonist, composer and singer. Now, performing in Holland and in Israel, together with her musical partner, Turkish classical guitarist Aktash Fatih Erdogan (b.1980-), she sings and plays in her original show entitled “In the name of the mother,” based on his mother’s life story.
Asaf (“Cortex”) Weitzman (b.1984-, in Be’er-Sheva) is a rare specimen, a religious Jewish DJ doesn’t work on the Jewish Sabbath–so no dance, trance & house on Friday night or Saturday. He put out his 1st album in 2005 and immediately set out on his first DJ tour abroad in Mexico. He owns his own private record label. From 2015, he produces karaoke and musical events.
Vered Meiri (b.1984-), originally a resident of Be’er-Sheva, released her first 2 singles in 2021: “Bata elay” (lit., You came to me) & “Lo me’uhar miday” (Lit., Never too late). Her 1st album of original songs is to be released in 2022.
Eldar Mamo, a Be’er-Sheva restauranteur, wrote, sang and released his first Hebrew single, called: “You” in 2010 and another: “Someone’s watching over me” in Sept. 2020.
Sivan Talmor (b.1986-, in Be’er-Sheva) is a singer/songwriter who released 3 original English-language albums between 2016-2019. She gives live performances and has a personal music website at sivantalmor.com. In 2012 , she appeared on Israel TV in the 1st season of Israel’s “The Voice.”
Etti Biton (b.1988-) is a Be’ershevan born and bred singer and a self-proclaimed lesbian, with a number of successful singles to her credit. She also acted in 3 seasons of the Israeli HOT TV reality show “The Unit,” about new I.D.F. recruits drafted into the military performing troupe, aired from Sept. 2014-Sept. 2018.
Israel Bar-On (b.1989- in Be’er-Sheva) is a modest Hebrew pop/rock singer/songwriter, who was discovered when he won the 6th season of the Israeli “A star is born” (2008) with his original Hebrew song: “Just as it used to be” that soared straight to the top ten on all the pop-music charts. He went on from there to perform in many children’s musical shows. Bar-On‘s 1st album, consisting of 13 of his original songs, came out in 2010. He continues to do live performances and has clips on YouTube.
Miki Uzan (b.1990-) from Be’er-Sheva composed and released his first pop single “Mukhshaf” (lit., bewitched) on YouTube in 2014. In 2016, he appeared on the Israeli reality show: “Eyal Golan’s calling you!” In 2017, he sang a duet with guitarist and singer Reuven Carmel.
Tal Fogel (b.1991-), a resident Be’ershevan singer/songwriter/lyricist, released her 1st Hebrew solo album “Piles of dreams” in 2014 and her second solo album “To the large courtyard” in 2016. Musical arrangements done by Amir Grohman.
Well-known Be’er-Sheva-born pop-star stylist, Eyal Hadad (b.1991-), released his first Hebrew single, written with Be’ershevan singer Dikla, in 2020, entitled: “Lo medabrim ‘al ze“ (lit., nobody talks about that).
Shanim Maimon (b.1992-, in Be’er-Sheva) sings pop, soul, R&B & rap originals and ‘covers’ in Hebrew, English & Spanish and resides and often performs in London and Tel-Aviv. She was a winner of the Israeli music TV reality show called “Yeshnan banot“ (lit., there are girls) on Channel 24 and has a number of video-clips on YouTube.
Noam Cohen (“Numi”) (1993-2021) is a Be’ershevan rapper/singer who put out his first Hebrew album in 2019, entitled: “Rockstar kapara.” He claims to be a proud representative of the City of Be’er-Sheva. He died in a traffic accident.
Amir Abu (b.1994-) is a Be’er-Sheva-born Muslim-Arab resident, who participated in the musical reality show “The Four” on Israel Channel 13 in 2018. He sings covers in Hebrew and Arabic. In 2020, during the Corona pandemic, he released his first single: “Balagan.”
Ofir Alhayani (b.1996-, in Be’er-Sheva) is a singer/songwriter who used to sing with “Tse’ire Be’er-Sheva.” He debuted on YouTube singing covers. In 2019, his original Hebrew song: “It’s still not too late” came out &, in Sept. 2020, he released another Hebrew song entitled: “Calling you.”
Hadar Zecharia (b.1997-), born , raised, residing and working in Be’er-Sheva, is a singer/songwriter, guitar teacher and graduate of Ulpanat Bene Akiva. In 2021, she released her first single, “Mayim” (lit., water), followed by “She-yavo tov” (lit., let the good come).
Ma’ayan Kreisler (b.1997-) is a talented Be’ershevan singer.
No’a Faraj (b.1999-) was born and raised in Be’er-Sheva. She has written and released three singles: the 1st called: “ha-Yaldah ha-khi yafah” (lit., the prettiest girl”); the 2nd entitled: “Bella“ and the most recent, in 2020, entitled: “ha-Metsi’ut posa’at” (lit., reality steps onwards).
Ron Ribak (b.1999-) is an upcoming Be’ersheva-born singer/songwriter with several covers on YouTube. During her mandatory I.D.F. service, she sang in the I.D.F. troupe.
Ro’i Zohar (a.k.a. “Brainheart,” 2000-) from Be’er-Sheva, composed and released some electronic pieces on YouTube in 2020 that were picked up by foreign singer/songwriters such as: Ben Shavrin, Tom Star & Diana Miro, who added lyrics and re-released them as: “Younger than I’ve ever been,” and “In my soul.”
Ta’ir Martsiano (b.2001-), a young Be’ershevan singer/songwriter, released her first Hebrew single, entitled: “A little bit alone” in Sept. 2020, written by Cohen, Assulin & Tobel.
Maya Cohen (b.2002-) from Be’er-Sheva reached the final round (Sept. 2019) in the 5th season of the Israeli version of “The Voice” aired on Israel TV Channel 13.
Raz Teitel (b.2002-) from Be’er-Sheva is a singer/songwriter from a musical family. She has released a Hebrew few songs and her latest one, released in early-2021, is called : “After the earthquake.” She promises more to come.
Hodayah Shabah (b.2005- in Be’er-Sheva) is a singer/songwriter who released her first Hebrew song in March 2021, entitled: “Tell me who you are.”
Yolanta is a multi-talented, classically-trained contemporary musician–a singer, lyricist, composer & keyboardist who resides in Be’er-Sheva. She has released 4 music albums between 2013-2017, some with classical or electronic influences, all featuring her unique voice and special sound. Frequently, her music producer is Amir Grohman from “Marionetta Sol.”
Daniel Adda (b.1987-) plays some 20 instruments, teaches instrumental music at the Be’er-Sheva Municipal Music “Conservatorion”, and has his own personal recording studio at home in Be’er-Sheva. The international music journal BassLove raved about his unique cover clip of Bon Jovi‘s song “It’s my life” that went viral on Internet, in which he played all the instruments himself (like Andre “3000” Benjamin from “OutKast” in “Hey ya!” in 2003) and sang (though not as good as Bon Jovi).
Adiel Azrai (b.1990-), a graduate of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, combines music and art when he fashions his unique drums, such as the panticodrum (Kojix) at his studio in the Artists’ Quarter in Be’er-Sheva‘s “Old City.” These drums produce special musical tones and rhythms. He crafts, sells and teaches how to play them.
Alex Bellaish (father of “Bat Dor” dancer Natan’el Bellaish) is a well-known drummer in Be’er-Sheva.
The “Desert Drummers,” founded in 2000 by Dudi Bar-Yosef, give performances and teach drumming in Be’er-Sheva – Sarit 052-4457700.
Beershevan musician Rotem Kornfeld (b.2001-), whose parents work with disabled children at Kefar Refa’el, got his high-school education in the 1st anthroposophical school in the Negev (“Neta Erez Yanuch Korczak”), in Beer-Sheva, studied violin at the local Conservatorium, and completed the local, municipal young social leadership training course “LEAD”—founded (2020-) “Tsliley Musikah” [“The Sounds of Music”] to teach and make music with young people (10-21) with & without special needs together.
Avinoam Lasry, a Be’er-Sheva resident, builder of guitars and teacher of guitar building, also writes, sings & produces indie blues & reggae music, including his “Be’er-Sheva blues.”
Native Be’ershevan Alon Shacham (b.1980-) is a trained tenor saxophonist & composer of original, Middle-Eastern reggae, funk, traditional ska & jazz music. He’s a member of the “HoodSka Explosive” ‘big band’ (founded 2004) that produces original dance music, has done a European tour, and released a double album entitled “The misleading” (2007). Shacham is the CEO & co-founder of Compoze Music Solutions Ltd. (founded 2014).
Mor Avrahami (b.1988-); Lior Badash (b.????-; “Red Music”); Idan Hagai (b.1985-); Guy Haliva(b.1993-); Shay Manshuri (b.1990-); Oz Zigron (b.1989-).
***If you are interested in the world of Hasidic music, the resident expert in Be’er-Sheva is Rabbi Avraham (“Avi”) Sandik – 054-4805607 (He works with Bet Moriah). It’s also easy to find local klezmer bands, such as: “Tamid be-Simhah” (lit., always joyful); “Mazal Tov!” (lit., Congratulations!); “Nigunim” (lit., melodies); etc. listed in the local Hebrew weekend paper of the Haredi (i.e., ultra-Orthodox) community Mekomi dati (lit., local religious).
Live music and concerts are held in various venues relative to the size and type of the performance and audience. They may be held in the: River Park Amphi; Hall of the Performing Arts; Hillman Hall at the “Conservatorion”; Be’er-Sheva Theater; Youth Center; on the Art Museum lawn; and in various halls and many other educational and residential institutions.
Y.R.S. Recording Studio is located at the Youth Center in the Old City – 12 Herzl St., 08-6205003, 050-5872743.