An exciting new voice emerging from the NYC world music scene, Smadar is an Israeli-Moroccan singer whose craft is best described as pan-Mediterranean music peppered with a gypsy sound. Smadar sings original and creative renditions of traditional tunes in Hebrew, Arabic, and Ladino. The Epoch Times International recently dubbed Smadar “a euphonious and haunting voice” for peace and unity.
Smadar musical and life journey began in Sderot, Israel: A small town adjacent to Gaza, which has produced notable musical talents such as Shlomo Bar, Kobi Oz, and the band Sfataim. It was at home that Smadar was first exposed to the beauty and grandeur of Arabic culture. Some of her earliest memories include dancing to the pulse of the darbuka, and singing in Arabic in front of her family.
After her Army service in Israel, Smadar traveled around the world, picking up sounds and studying with various musicians. In 2000, she began working on her own project in New York City. This project consisted of an all-star international band, which included Israeli, Turkish and Arab musicians. The goal of this project was to create a Mediterranean artistic expression which transcended all national and religious boundaries.
In 2004, Smadar recorded her self-titled debut album Smadar to much underground buzz. The CD featured both traditional and original scores. The work was produced by Shai Bacher (Ishtar and Greg Wall), and Tamir Muscat from the band Balkan Beatbox. Two songs from the album have been recently selected to be featured on international compilations. The first song, “Ghali Ya Bouy”, is featured on the compilation Think Global: Bellydance (World Music Network). While the second song, “Mama”, is featured on the forthcoming Beginners Guide to Buddha Lounge (Nascente Label).
In addition to her own project, Smadar has lent her vocals to a number of recordings. These include The Spy from Cairo (Produced by ZEB from Organic Groove); Sultana Ensemble with Yoel Ben-Simhon; the 9/11 movie Narrow Gate; Living For Tomorrow (Film by Dekel Media); and the highly acclaimed 2006 art exibit “Fearful Days” (Daphna Shalom).
In February 2006, the internationally-renowned nonprofit organization Seeds of Peace honored Smadar with an award for “uniting cultures to achieve peace through music.” The award was given to her at a gala in which she performed along with three-time Grammy winner John Legend. In performing for Seeds of Peace, Smadar joined a prestigious list of musicians which includes: Cindy Lauper, Miri Ben-Ari, Hooti and Blowfish, Bare Naked ladies, and John Legend.
Other organizations that Smadar has played for include The New Israel fund, Unabridged Voices, and The Interfaith Center Award Ceremony along side Iranian singer Susan Dehyim. Places that Smadar performed also includes: Carnegie Hall, Knitting Factory, San Fransisco World Music Festival, and Joe’s Pub
Currently, Smadar is hard at work writing material for her second album. By the sound of it, this album promises to take Smadar’s music to dizzying new heights.
PURCHASE SINGLES IN THE AUDIO PLAYER ABOVE