Music

Israeli Riddim


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

When Tel-Aviv’s Zvuloon Dub System visits the Valley this weekend in support of their new album Anbessa Dub, they’ll be bringing not just nine bandmembers and their respective instruments, but the cultural influences of Israel, Ethiopia, and Jamaica as well. “It’s a natural mix,” says drummer Asaf Smilan. “We started out in 2006, playing roots reggae, all very ’70s ... Then Gili Yalo joined as the singer in 2009. He’s from Ethiopia. And once he came, everything changed.”

As a four-year-old, Yalo walked with his family across the dessert from Ethiopia to Sudan, then spent two months in a refugee camp before finally leaving in a truck and getting an airplane flight the rest of the way to his family’s ancestral Jewish homeland. “My father carried me on his shoulders most of the way, and I drove everyone crazy singing old songs that I knew,” Yalo explains. “My mother felt that singing was my true calling—and I haven’t stopped ever since.”

 

June 11, 8:30 p.m., Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton, (413) 586-8686, iheg.com.

 

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