Israel’s legendary singer-songwriter David Broza will release a new best-of album on March 31st, ahead of his first major UK concert appearance on April 27th at Islington’s Union Chapel. The album, titledThe Set List,a collection of studio and live recordings was conceived to celebrate David Broza’s 40-year career as one of Israel’s leading cultural figures. Broza is also a passionate advocate of using music as a way of encouraging dialog and co-operation between the country’s different communities. Consequently, the show will feature guest artists from Israel and East Jerusalem, Mira Awad and Muhammad Mughrabi.
Broza’s best-known song, “YihyeTov” (Things Will Get Better), was written in 1977, during the Arab-Israeli peace talks between Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin. The song has become an anthem of the Israeli peace movement. “Yihye Tov” is represented on The Set Listwith a live version recorded in 2007 at the singer’s annual concert held at the totemic fortress of Masada and features special guests Shawn Colvin and Jackson Browne.
Four years ago Broza, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, built on his contacts with fellow musicians including prominent Palestinian and Israeli musicians gathered them for eight days of recordings at the Sabreen Studios in East Jerusalem. Artists who participated included Palestinian/Israeli singer Mira Awad, the West Bank rap duo G-Town and Palestinian rapper Muhammad Mughrabi. The Americana artist Steve Earle produced the resulting album, East Jerusalem West Jerusalemand the process was documented in a film of the same name. The title track featuring Wyclef Jean also appears onThe Set List.
“We need to communicate if we are not to leave it to the voices of doubters, of prejudice and hatred. You cannot allow people to think that it is just black and white. We need education if we are to learn how to create respect. It is not that I don’t see evil, bad, negativity and violence. I see it and I refuse to submit to it,” Broza said recently in The Observer (March12th 2017).
The album will also feature “Night Dawn” the title track of an album which Broza wrote and recorded featuring the poetry of Texas alt-country legend Townes Van Zandt. The two met only twice before Van Zandt’s untimely death twenty years ago. Broza was astonished when he learned that Van Zandt had left a shoe box full of unpublished poetry with a request that Broza set the poems to music.The Set Listalso includes “The Long Road” featuring Irish singer Maura O’Connell. The song, written by Cliff Eberhardt, was recorded in 1998, but it and the ensuing album were shelved after Broza sustained serious injuries following a car crash.