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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 5:58 am | Fair 48º


Judy Foreman: David Broza Giving Peace a Chance with Music and Deeds

Doing his part to bridge divide between Israelis and Palestinians, superstar guitarist stops in Santa Barbara for a concert and a teach-in

Charismatic Israeli guitarist David Broza has worked throughout his career to bring Israelis and Palestinians together. In addition to a Monday concert at the Lobero Theatre, he’ll be talking about his collaborative efforts at the 10th annual Teach-In on Israel on Sunday at Santa Barbara Hillel. Click to view larger
Charismatic Israeli guitarist David Broza has worked throughout his career to bring Israelis and Palestinians together. In addition to a Monday concert at the Lobero Theatre, he’ll be talking about his collaborative efforts at the 10th annual Teach-In on Israel on Sunday at Santa Barbara Hillel. (Raanan Cohen photo via Lobero Theatre)

World-class guitarist David Broza will be taking his flamenco-rock sounds to Santa Barbara on Monday with a performance at the Lobero Theatre.

But the Israeli icon also will be participating in Santa Barbara Hillel’s annual teach-in that may be just as important as well as timely.

Known for his intense, soulful voice, Broza is often compared to Bruce Springsteen and Leonard Cohen. But in his latest studio album, East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem, he conveys an ethos that is pure John Lennon. All he is saying is, give peace a chance.

The goal of peace between Israelis and Palestinians has always been central to Broza’s identity.

After completing his service in the Israel Defense Forces, he wrote his first song, “Yihye Tov,” which translates into English as “Things Will Get Better.” The song tapped into a national yearning that transcended political divisions, becoming a huge hit and launching a career that has spanned more than three decades.

At age 60, the charismatic singer-songwriter remains as passionate about peace as ever. He recorded East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem in a Palestinian-owned studio in East Jerusalem, using both Palestinian and Israeli musicians.

One especially moving cut, a cover of Nick Lowe’s “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding,” features the Jerusalem Youth Chorus, the nation’s only mixed ensemble. Broza and the teen chorus perform this song in English, and it’s impossible to tell the voices of the Palestinian teens from the Israeli teens.

At the Lobero, Broza will perform with his friend, Ali Paris, a virtuoso qanun player who also happens to be Palestinian. Broza sees nothing extraordinary in the collaboration.

“It’s not about proving a point — ‘yes, we can talk together,’” Broza said in a recent interview. “It’s about evolution, it’s about ... perseverance, about understanding, about empathy.”

On Sunday, Broza will participate in a day-long program of classes and lectures about Israel at Santa Barbara Hillel in Isla Vista. Described as a “teach-in,” the once-a-year program was founded in 2006 by the Israel Committee of Santa Barbara.

Peter Melnick, a Montecito resident and one of the group’s founders, told Noozhawk that the name “Teach-In” reflects a commitment to nuanced education rather than polemics. I’ve attended previous programs, which I found informative and thought-provoking.

Sunday’s program, which celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Teach-In, is headlined by Broza, who will talk about the making of East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem, and also will treat attendees to a performance of several songs from the album.

He’ll be joined by Northeastern University professor Dov Waxman, who is to discuss his upcoming release of Trouble in the Tribe by Princeton University Press.

The afternoon keynote speaker, Palestinian journalist and political analyst Bassem Eid, will talk about the Palestinians’ internal political conflicts, bringing a rare Palestinian perspective to Santa Barbara.

Click here for more information about the 10th Anniversary Teach-In on Israel, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Santa Barbara Hillel, 781 Embarcadero del Mar.

David Broza will perform at 8 p.m. Monday at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido. Click here to purchase tickets online.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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