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The Idan Raichel Project Band

Brief notes on selected members (current and previous)

Mayra Andrade
Mayra Andrade Although she was born in Cuba, the young singer Mayra Andrade grew up surrounded buy the Cape Verdean music and culture of her parents. She started performing at the age of sixteen and released her highly praised debut album in 2006. She has since become one of the most popular artists in the international world music scene, performing at New York’s Carnegie Hall and other prestigious venues. Idan met Mayra in Paris, where she now lives, and, impressed with her lovely voice and presence, invited her to write Creole lyrics and sing on the song “With My Eyes Shut.”

Maya Avraham
Maya Avraham The collaboration with Maya started with The Idan Raichel Project's second Israeli album, Out Of The Depths, on which Maya was the featured soloist on the song “From All the Loves.” Maya joined the touring cast of The Project and performed with Idan around the world. A year ago Maya released her first solo album and she is now collecting songs for her second album. Maya was delighted to accept Idan's invitation to sing 'Stay' on the new IRP album.

Anat Ben-Hamo
Anat Ben-Hamo A young singer-songwriter who used to sing solo with the jazz band Common Band. Anat is currently working with her brother on an album influenced by the American folk singers of the ‘60s. Idan saw Anat performing, loved her voice, her professionalism and her special approach to her music and invited her to record the song “River Waters.”

Shimon Buskila
Shimon Buskila A popular singer of Moroccan heritage, Buskila is the founder of the band Sahar, with whom he has released two albums. Shimon has also written many songs for other artists and has released two solo albums. Shimon was honored to write for Idan and their collaboration developed into the song “From the Day You Left.”

Amir Dadon
Amir Dadon A singer and musician, Amir started his musical career as a child in Eilat, a city on the southern border of Israel, where Israel meets Egypt and Jordan. In 2001 Amir began performing with his band, taking his original material to audiences up and down the country. He signed with Israeli label Helicon Records in January 2008 and is currently completing work on his first album. The connection between Amir and Idan came about when Gilad Shmueli, Idan's coproducer, heard Amir perform and was so impressed he introduced him to Idan. Idan liked what he saw and heard and decided to record the song 'Scraps of Life' with Amir.

Ilan Damti
Ilan Damti This is the second time that Idan has asked Ilan to sing on one of The Project's albums, the first time being on the second Israeli album Out Of The Depths for which Ilan soloed on the song “Shuvi El Beiti.” As well as singing on The Project's albums, Ilan works as the lighting operator for its shows. On the new album Ilan sings the song 'Most of The Hours'.

Marta Gómez
Marta Gómez Since graduating Magna Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music, Colombian singer and songwriter Marta Gómez has earned a devoted following through her successful touring and recording career. Not withstanding her youth, Marta has written over 70 songs, and has four critically acclaimed albums under her belt. She now lives in the New York City area and is backed in concert by a band that includes her husband, Argentinean percussionist Franco Pinna.

David “Duke Mushroom” Schommer
David Schommer A New York-based musician and producer, David Schommer started playing drums and keyboards when he was just 5 years old, founded his first band when he was 10 and went on to study at Boston’s prestigious Berklee School of Music. Schommer has worked in the techno scene of Detroit, the TV and film industry in Los Angeles, and even took a turn Off-Broadway as a member of the original US cast of Stomp. Though earning fame as a producer and musician for pop stars such as Janet Jackson and Gloria Estefan, Schommer decided to turn his attention to his passion for Ethiopian music, and working with producer Steve Mac, released the acclaimed album Bole 2 Harlem in 2006. It was during his research for this project in Ethiopia that Schommer first came across Idan Raichel, and Idan remembers him as the “white guy with a funny beard” that jumped on stage and started dancing during the Idan Raichel’s Project’s January 2006 concert in Addis Ababa. Eventually, the two formally met in New York and have become close friends and collaborators.

Gilad Shmueli Gilad Shmueli
  Musician and producer, who has played the drums since his childhood, at age 16 Gilad played with a band called Riding Gimel, formed by his older brothers. At 17, Gilan started playing with Ivri Lider, with whom he still records and performs, and has also worked with other artists including Funkenstein, Gilad Segev and Ben Artzi. Idan and Gilad first met when they were both playing with Ivri Lider. Since then and right from The Project's first album, Gilad has worked with Idan as co-producer and arranger. Gilad also collaborates with Idan in the live shows.

Somi Somi
L. Kabasomi Kakoma, better known as Somi, was born in Illinois to East African parents, whose careers as diplomats and professors exposed her to music and culture from all over the world. Somi has lived in Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania, and now makes her home in New York City, where she performs regularly. Somi has released two albums, which feature her unique blend of jazz, African music and soul. Idan was introduced to Somi through a mutual friend, Cameroonian singer Kaïssa, and they immediately hit it off and agreed to perform and record together.

Shai Tzabari
Shai Tzabari Shai took his first musical steps at his neighborhood Yemenite Synagogue, under the wings of his father the Cantor. Shai studied at the Rimon School of Music and was a member in the band Majik. After numerous collaborations with other popular Israeli artists, including Ehud Banai, Tal Segev, Zeev Tene, and Bari Saharof, Shai is now working on his solo album. Idan remembered how struck he was by Shai's voice when he first heard him singing eight years ago, and invited Shai to record the song “Locked in His Gaze” for the new IRP album.