I first heard of the Idan Raichel Project when I saw a screener of the film Black Over White, which documents the unusual Israeli worldbeat aggregations trip to Ethiopia, also a homecoming and pilgrimage of sorts for the bands Falasha Ethiopian singers. It was a somewhat strange journey peopled by strange personalities, but it was a transcendent one, too, and the music this group made a wayfaring mixture with Sephardic, Jewish, Arabic, African and Gypsy undertones, delivered in electrified traditional references was fascinating and beautiful.
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And now, the act thats sold hundreds of thousands of CDs around the world on the strength of its spellbinding sound will circle the globe to land here in Denver, where it will perform tonight at the Newman Center, 2344 East Iliff Avenue, as part of the Mizel Arts & Culture Centers November JAAMM Festival. The dreadlocked leader and his band of international musicians go on in Gates Hall at 8 p.m.; for tickets, $25 to $40, visit www.ticketmaster.com or call 303-871-7720, ext. 2.
Thu., Nov. 5, 8 p.m., 2009