Yemen Blues: An Hour With Ravid Kahlani

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Ravid Kahlani /Via TLV1.Credit: TLV1

Ravid Kahalani is the founder of the Israeli band Yemen Blues, who have played in many a music festival across the world, from New York’s Summer Stage to Denmark’s Roskilde.

Kahalani was born in Israel to parents who were very attached to their Yemeni roots. As a child, Kahalani was taught traditional Yemeni chants and was sent to religious courses with a Yemeni rabbi. He dropped out of school at the age of 15, and after a short stint acting and dancing, he finally realized that his real passion in life was music. He tried his luck with a number of activities, ranging from Serbian church music to a collaboration with the highly acclaimed Israeli musician Idan Raichel. In 2010, Kahalani formed Yemen Blues, whose music has a mixture of Yemeni and West African influences, and fuses funk, soul, blues and jazz. The band’s songs are written in a Yemeni dialect of Arabic, with a bit of Hebrew and gibberish thrown in for good measure.

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