Artist Spotlight: Yemen Blues with Ravid Kahalani

While Ravid Kahalani grew up in the culture, singing the songs, eating the food and speaking the language of his Yemenite heritage – he did so in Israel, part of a large community of Jewish Yemenites who settled there. While never having been to Yemen, the culture shaped Ravid’s musical world.

But Kahalani’s band, Yemen Blues, doesn’t limit itself to music from the Arabian Peninsula. As half their name tips off, Kahalani also fell in love with US blues as well as soul and funk. To this rich mix, the now seven member, diversely cultural band adds hard beats from West Africa and wild quavers from North Africa – specifically the gnawa culture of Morocco. It all comes together like it was meant to be.

The group has found fans not only at home, but in Poland (their biggest audience) and around the world – including here in Vancouver, largely due to their multiple appearances at the Chutzpah Festival. For us, what a treat now to welcome this brilliant group to the folk music festival – and Main Stage Saturday night!