The musical collaboration of Michael Chapman and Ehud Banai may not seem like an obvious coupling, except for the fact that Michael Chapman has for some years now been pushing his musical envelope in all directions, embracing many genres of music some for the first time, and Ehud Banai cut his musical teeth back in the 70’s listening to Michael Chapman, in the valley of Rosh Pina in Upper Galilee.
Michael knew nothing of Ehud while Ehud knew much about Michael’s music. They finally met in Tel Aviv in the autumn of 2013 in a local radio session when they played together for the first time.
“The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. There was such an instant rapport. It was totally mesmeric”- Andru Chapman.
Since then they have toured together several times with the musical empathy developing all the while into a unique combination of Middle Eastern chords, Chapman riffs and Hebrew lyrics.
Michael says the meeting up with Ehud has been the most rewarding and fulfilling event in the past few years.
They have completed an album together that was recorded in Tel Aviv, and the forthcoming concerts sees them touring & collaborating together for the first time here in the UK.
Ehud Banai was born in Jerusalem in 1953 to a famous family of artists – actors and musicians – of Persian background. He spent most of his life travelling both in Israel and around the world. The people and places that he encountered along the way define his creative landscape, and are always present in his songs and books. Banai is one of the most influential and appreciated artists in Israel. His first album, Ehud Banai and the Refugees, was considered by many to have forever changed Israeli music, and it has served as an inspiration for generations of musicians since.
Banai’s allure comes from the wealth of influences and hues that can be discovered in his music: sixties rock, eighties New Wave, folk music from around the world, Israeli-Arab music, British blues and Jewish psalms to name but a few. The result is a unique melting pot which gave birth to a new and distinct musical language. While his songs are intimate, at times almost private, he is also considered a rare rock troubadour, a storyteller who does not shy away from singing songs with a political and social statement.
To date, Banai has released ten albums. Eight have gone platinum and two gold. He has given hundreds of performances in Israel, written two books, hosts a radio show, composes music for the theatre, cinema and dance (twice he has won an Israeli Oscar for film scores) and, like the title of one of his songs, he always keeps moving.
2016 marked Michael Chapman’s 75th birthday and is 50 years since he first went on the road professionally. Leeds-born Michael Chapman first became known on the London and Cornish folk circuits in 1966. Playing a blend of atmospheric and autobiographical material he established a reputation for intensity and innovation. Signed to EMI’s Harvest label, he recorded a quartet of classic albums. LPs like ‘Rainmaker’and ‘Wrecked Again’ defined the melancholic observer role Michael was to make his own, mixing intricate guitar instrumentals with a full band sound.
Recent collaborations with Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and the American ‘primitive school’ of guitar players have opened up a whole new audience of admirers in the UK, USA and Europe. Still playing as well as ever and with an ever-popular fan base, Michael is always touring and recording new material and looking for new influences.
Michael Chapman and Ehud Banai UK Concert Dates
Tuesday 25th April – New Adelphi Club, Hull
Wednesday 26th April – The Cluny 2, Lime street, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Thursday 27th April – The Continental, Preston
Sunday 30th April – The Con club, Lewes, East Sussex
Tuesday 2nd May – Green Note, London