In New York, The David Broza Concert is a December 24th tradition that spans generations. When the date falls during the celebration of the Hannukah holiday, the event is all the more special.
At the 92Y concert hall, some remembered the night another concert was cancelled as news of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin filtered through the Town Hall auditorium. Then the musicians did not play, the stage remained empty as Broza walked to its center, and confirmed what a packed audience had already heard, but hoped was rumor but was not. No concert was performed that fateful, bitter cold night. Hundreds left Town Hall to walk across Manhattan and stand vigil near the Israeli Consulate.
Many in the audience of the 2011 presentation were some not yet born when Broza performed his first December 24th Concert. The young couple seated nearby – attending their fourth December 24th event were children of single digit age in 1995. Others now relied on canes, their hair wizened in the sixteen years since that first Town Hall “replacement” event.
Broza, too, has grown. His virtuoso guitar is extraordinary – he makes the single instrument in his hands sound like the voices of many. A David Broza concert provides the comfort and enjoyment of familiar songs – often with the audience singing an unofficial “backup” – and the excitement of expected, but unknown surprises. Additions for 2011 included a full voiced Flamenco singer and a pas de deux of lithe and musical modern ballet dancers who performed beautifully to an a capella Flamenco accompaniment, a duet of Broza and full voiced Spanish Flamenco singer.
Broza’s musicianship is impeccable. The camaraderie between him and the onstage musicians on stage is tangible – and everyone in the room ets to enjoy the moments of humor and unique musical excellence. The Haifa born singer is a consummate professional who controls every sound, every musical innuendo. He has been called Israel’s Bruce Springsteen, and is beloved worldwide, offering songs in Hebrew, Spanish, or (a bit) of English. Broza has created a unique musical genre, combining Israeli/rock/gypsy and even a bit of the American west. His songs, many based in Spanish and Hebrew poetry, speak of love and hope, adventure and peace.
As he began the last song of the 2011 concert, “Yeheya Z’man (A Time Will Come),” Broza reminisced, saying “I’ve been singing this song since 1977. The song was composed to honor the visit of Anwar Sadat to Israel. He described how he and his “best friend at home in Israel,” Yonatan Geffen – who created the lyrics for the Broza melody – anticipated that, after a few months, peace would be established and the song would become outdated. “Can you believe,” he queried, “I started singing this song in 1977. So many years later, said Broza on December 24, 201, it is “still, it’s my song.” He closed the program with the singing of this ballad of essential hope; hundreds in the audience joined him, adding their voices to the prayerful chorus Yehiyeh Tov….