Still Singing After All These Years; Paul Simon Returns to Israel

The 70-year-old singer-songwriter will be staging his third ever performance in Israel at the Ramat Gan Stadium.

“Shalom,” American Jewish music legend Paul Simon told reporters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday afternoon, on the eve of his first performance in Israel for almost three decades.

Simon is set to perform at the Ramat Gan Stadium Thursday evening, in his third show in Israel to date.

Paul Simon, shofar - AP - 20.7.11

The 70-year-old singer and songwriter – once half of the folk duo Simon and Garfunkel – told journalists that he had no political messages and that, as an artist, his sole aim is to play and sing the best he can.

Simon was presented with a shofar at the press conference, where he explained there was no particular reason as to why it has been so long since his last visit to Israel, but that he tends not to set out on lengthy international tours.

Unlike other performances in Ramat Gan, the stage will be set up along the width of the stadium. Only 24,000 seats were up for sale, as opposed to the stadium’s full capacity of more than 41,500 seats, in attempt to optimize audience conditions.

Simon first performed in Israel in 1978, and in 1983 he returned with Art Garfunkel as part of their famous duo. In his last performance Simon admitted he was not feeling well, and the concert was a disappointment.