A Family Affair

Published: June 10th 2010
in Culture » Music

Gitit Shoval
Pic: Gitit Shoval

Seven years ago, Israeli singer Gitit Shoval moved to Canada with her husband, music producer Ron Druyan, and their four kids. For her first four years in North America, the famed artist put her career as a singer on hold to take care of her family.


“I was a stay-at-home mom,” says Shoval. “The only thing that was important to me was to get the kids settled in.” But eventually, the singing itch kicked in and she couldn’t wait to hit the stage. 


“Around three years ago, I started to feel like I needed to start singing again,” she admits. “I tried to figure out how I could get connected with the local music, the global music. I just wanted to be somehow, as an Israeli, connected to what was going on in North America.”


She surfed the web in search of songs and writers that were popular and came to a realization. “I came across wonderful, wonderful songs that at first, I didn’t know who wrote them. I just liked the songs. I started to sing them and for my voice, it was a perfect match,” Shoval reveals. “And then I researched.”


Shoval realized that both songwriters she heard, George Gershwin and Bob Dylan, were Jewish. “I thought okay, so many songs that I know are so beautiful, I love them so much, maybe we have something. Maybe this is the connection,” she says.


It was then that she geared her research towards the writers themselves instead of the songs. “I just found treasures and treasures and treasures and that’s actually how I came up with this idea,” she says of her upcoming live concert on June 16. “This is my way as an artist to sing in English, but still be connected to the material. I can sing everything but it won’t be from the inside, from my heart.”


The show is called From Gershwin to Dylan, but it will also feature a number of classics – including Broadway tunes – by other Jewish songwriters. When it came to finding a title for the show, Shoval says she had no doubt she would feature Gershwin and Dylan in the title.


“Gershwin, I think, was a genius,” she says. “Unfortunately, he lived just 38 years. He died very very young and it’s unbelievable the amount of songs, the musicals that he wrote during those years.”


She believes Bob Dylan is quite the opposite. “He’s a searcher. He’s looking around all the time for new things. He asks questions all the time. He’s very very unique in what he does.”


Shoval says people from different communities can enjoy the show because the songs are worldwide hits. However, she believes the concert will have a special meaning for Jews. “Every Jewish person who will come into the concert hall will come out much prouder,” says the Israeli singer. “It’s amazing what this small nation did and still does in the music field, it’s just unbelievable.”


Related articles: (gitit shoval, israeli singer, george gershwin, bob dylan)
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