Celebrate Israel Parade
By Hank Levy
Celebrate Israel Parade
The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) once again coordinated top musical performers who entertained hundreds of thousands of spectators for the largest celebration of Israel in the world, the Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 2. In addition, the parade featured 28 floats, 17 marching bands and 35,000 marchers. This year, for the first time, a delegation from Cyprus, led by the Consul General, Koula Sophianou and the president of the Cyprus Federation of America, Constantine Tsentas were marching. They were very animated in exclaiming their support and solidarity with Israel.
Top talent at this year�s parade included; The featured guest entertainment performer, Gilad Segev, one of the most talked about Israeli artists in both the mainstream and world music scenes in Israel. His newest singles, �The Voices of the Heart� and �Holy Day� were instant hits, topping Israeli music charts. �The Voices of the Heart,� which is performed with Miri Mesika, was the most played Israeli song of 2012.
Amir Gwirtzman, a world renowned Israeli multi-cultural jazz artist who plays more than 20 different woodwinds, reeds, horns, pipes, flutes and percussion instruments as a one-man band called Inhale-Exhale. Amir recently headlined the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and has played saxophone at the White House for President Bill Clinton. His music is a combination of R&B, jazz and rhythms of Cuban jazz, along with Middle Eastern, Gypsy, Jewish klezmer, Armenian, Irish Celtic and Native American influences.
DJ Eyal Rob, an Israeli musical curator, musical producer, screenwriter, lecturer, music reporter focusing on hip hop as well as a music editor for the Israeli �24� music channel. As an Israeli DJ and musician, Rob tours around the world addressing the cultural phenomenon �Made in Tel Aviv� by combining his unique musical style with an interactive presentation.
Mama Doni Band, performed �funky music with a Jewish twist� atop a float. Winner of the Simcha Award for �Inspiring Joy Through Music,� this band celebrates Jewish culture with irrepressible zest in its high-energy, interactive family rock concerts and acoustic Shabbat experiences filled with a contagious and unexpected blend of reggae, rock, disco, Latin and klezmer � all woven together with soulful energy and a super hip Jewish sensibility.
Soulfarm, the parade�s house band performed at the 68th Street grandstand area. Founded in Israel by Grammy Award winner lead guitarist C Lanzbom and guitarist and lead singer Noah Solomon Chase. Their sound has been dubbed as New American music, with full melodic song writing and progressive modern arrangements. Their live shows are full of Mediterranean flavor with captivating guitar leads, dance rhythms and strong percussion breaks.
In addition, players from the Israel National Soccer Team, ranked No. 59 in the world, rode on a specially designed float, prior to their Sunday evening match against Honduras at Citi Field, which they won 2-0.
World-famous American pop artist Peter Max was the official artist for the 2013 Celebrate Israel Parade, designing its posters, flyers and street banners.
The parade is the marquee event of the JCRC-NY�s Celebrate Israel Initiative � an initiative largely sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York, Jewish Communal Fund and Consulate General of Israel in New York � that celebrates the positive impact the Jewish and democratic state of Israel has on the lives of people around the world.