The Idan Raichel Project burst onto the global music scene in 2003, changing the face of Israeli popular music and offering “a fascinating window into the young, tolerant, multi-ethnic Israel taking shape away from the headlines” (Boston Globe).
Idan Raichel, the creator and leader of the Project, began his musical journey by inviting collaborations from artists of different generations, multiple ethnicities and singing in languages as diverse as Hebrew, Spanish, Arabic, Amharic and Swahili. The resulting albums shattered sales records in Israel, made Raichel his country’s biggest musical breakthroughs, and sold over half a million records worldwide. The Project was honored as the “Musical group of the Decade” in Israel in 2010, and the song “Mima’amakim” was selected the “Best Song of the Decade”. As described by The New York Times, “His arrangements bind the voices together in somber minor-mode anthems paced by electronic beats, earnestly seeking to uplift.”
The Project’s blend of African, Latin American, Caribbean and Middle Eastern sounds, coupled with a spectacular live show, has enchanted audiences worldwide. They have headlined in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including New York's Central Park Summer Stage, Los Angeles’ Kodak Theater, The Apollo Theater, the Sydney Opera House and Radio City Music Hall. They have also performed across Europe, South & Central America, Hong Kong, India, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Singapore to enraptured audiences of all backgrounds.
In 2011, The Idan Raichel Project released Traveling Home, their first live album. A collection of performances in Hebrew, Arabic, Swahili, Amharic, Spanish and more, Traveling Home is a selection of songs from recently recorded live performances and features more than 40 musicians from Colombia, Mali, Rwanda, Israel and The Idan Raichel Project touring ensemble. The album quickly reached double platinum sales in Israel. Raichel has collaborated with many different artists from around the world, including Mayra Andrade from Cape Verde, Marta Gomez from Colombia, Ana Moura from Portgual, German counter-tenor Andreas Scholl and Vieux Farka Touré from Mali. The latter collaboration resulted in the formation of The Toure-Raichel Collective and the recording of the acclaimed album The Tel Aviv Session, which was released in March 2012. The result of an inspired afternoon jam session in Tel Aviv, the resulting album has been hailed by the media as “a masterpiece” (about.com), “simply divine” (Giant Step), “deeply affecting” (The Wall Street Journal), “a cross cultural triumph” (Time Out Chicago) and “the best album this year” (Pop Matters). The album reached the number one spot on the iTunes World Music sales charts and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard World Music Chart. The Toure-Raichel Collective’s US and Canada tour in April 2012 was an unparalleled success with numerous sold-out shows and rave reviews. In 2012, Raichel received a special honor when the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, asked him to compose music for a poem Peres had written in dedication to Israel’s Ethiopian community. The song, “The Eyes of Beta Israel,” was performed in front of 3000 people during a high-profile concert in Jerusalem in January 2012. Currently, Raichel is working with GRAMMY winner India.Arie on their joint recording project Open Door. Idan and India have become close friends and collaborators since they met in 2008 when India was visiting Israel. They performed their song “Gift of Acceptance” at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize gala event in Oslo, Norway, and in August 2011 they performed together at the dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC. India and Idan toured the US together in 2011, with more concerts planned to coincide with the release of Open Door in the fall of 2012.