Singer, songwriter and guitar virtuoso David Broza is a household name in his native Israel, but he's still relatively unknown in the U.S. As VOA's Doug Levine tells us, that's about to change with his long-awaited public television special David Broza At Masada: The Sunrise Concert.
David Broza is a powerful performer. His words and music have entertained and enlightened audiences around the globe for more than 30 years, with his most-dedicated followers right at home in Tel Aviv and other cities across Israel. Southeast of Tel Aviv, in the Israeli desert overlooking the Dead Sea, stands the ancient mountaintop fortress Masada, where Broza performed a sunrise concert before several thousand cheering fans. Broza describes the 90-minute concert as one of the highlights of his career.
"Musically and emotionally, it's an epic for me," Broza says. "I think it really puts me out there at my best. I've never had an opportunity to sing my material from all the different periods of my career."
David Broza was destined for a life of music. His mother, Sharona Aron, was one of Israel's most popular folk singers in the 1940s and '50s. Her influence, along with the music of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, steered Broza away from becoming a graphic artist to playing his guitar in cafes for extra spending money. Before long, he signed his first record deal and had a Number One pop song in Israel.
Though born in Israel, David Broza has lived in England, Spain and the U.S. Broza, who sings in Hebrew, Spanish and English, says he came to the U.S. to experience firsthand the origins of his favorite performers.
"I wanted to touch that same air and the same atmosphere and surroundings and feel where it all came from," he says. "And it was not New York, which would have been the easiest in the world. You know, I wanted to feel Minnesota. That's where Bob Dylan is from. I wanted to feel Buddy Holly's scene from the South. Or, Elvis [Presley's] Memphis scene, and I just had to touch it. I had to feel it in my feet and my legs, and actually see it in my eyes and hear it with my ears. And then, my interpretation comes out when I perform."
Adding to the mystique of Masada at sunrise were special guests Jackson Browne and Shawn Colvin, Israeli singer Keren Tennenbaum, and an Israeli-Palestinian school choir. An older, wiser David Broza describes the concert as a new beginning.
"This is to me starting all over again with all the experience and all the beautiful songs that I've got already recorded in my catalog," he says.
"David Broza At Masada: The Sunrise Concert" begins airing on American public television in December.