ABOUT

Yemen Blues is a contradiction in plain sight. They’re a puzzle you unlock by finding the solution inside yourself. Solo voices in unison; a collective in many parts. On one level, it’s music at its most direct, it’s most emotionally emphatic. On another, it’s a spiritual quest, both enlightening and perplexing. A project that spans continents while preaching the universal, they obey multiple traditions while forging their own.

 

The first seed was planted by Ravid Kalahani – the founder, and talismanic audio guru behind Yemen Blues. That was back in 2010. In the years following, Yemen Blues have become a stamp placed on multiple projects, with many different voices. Rony Iwryn is one of the most persuasive – an Israeli artist from Uraguay, he’s been there for over a decade holding down the percussion chair, with an open heart, a thirst for salsa, and an ability to find strength in fragility.

 

Shanir Blumenkranz joined a long time back, his twin role on bass guitar and oud spanning different worlds, different sonic systems. His electrifying personality belies a zen-like calm; a giant in New York’s avant-garde scene, he’s worked on more than 150 albums, bringing together the twin poles of extreme noise and simple melody.


As each project was released, Yemen Blues adapted into different forms. The flavors varied, but the instinct stayed the same. Dan Mayo was the final part of the quartet to come into place, bringing a hip-hop crunch, a concentrated hunger for fun, a machine-like sense of the human groove.

 

There’s a certain magic to the way these four musicians interact. On one hand, their music is timeless, extending itself back through Millennia – you can hear the music of the desert in Ravid’s voice, and his compositions. But they’re also a radical break with the past, a four-part space where freedom is the only goal. Listening to Yemen Blues is like eating a rich, Middle Eastern soup made of only four ingredients – each flavor is profound, forever changing yet forever in balance. As Rony puts it: “Music that comes from freedom is the best form of music you can make.”

 

This year alone has brought their studio album ‘Shabazai – A Tribute To The Poet’, an evocation of the work of legendary Yemeni poet Shalom Shabazi. Working with alacrity, Yemen Blues are ready to spin the creative dials once more, and there’s no telling where it will land. “It’s beautiful and it’s fun and it’s smart,” says Dan. “It breaks the rules – there’s something different here.”

 

With a sense of the spirit in each note, Yemen Blues are worth comparing to spiritual jazz greats such as John Coltrane. Drawing from the great traditions of Jewish and Arabic culture in the Middle East, each note sings with a love for common humanity. “Spirituality unites us,” Ravid explains. “Love unites us. We move to extremes, but it’s soulful.”

 

Ever the purveyor of clipped, sage-like wisdom, Shanir puts it even more succinctly: “It sounds like today, somehow.”

 

Ravid Kahalani Vocal & Gimbri

Shanir Blumenkranz Bass & Oud

Rony Iwryn Percussion

Dan Mayo Drums

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MUSIC

TOUR

13 Sep 24
Hartford, CT
The Webster Underground
27 Sep 24
Saugerties, NY
The Local
29 Oct 24
Den Haag, NL
Paard
03 Nov 24
Berlin, DE
BiNuu
06 Nov 24
Dornbirn, AT
Spielboden
09 Nov 24
Zurich, CH
Moods
10 Nov 24
Bern, CH
Turnhalle im PROGR
14 Nov 24
Stockholm, SE
Slaktkyrkan
06 Dec 24
Portland, OR
The Abbey
10 Dec 24
New York, NY
Joe’s Pub
14 Dec 24
Miami, FL
Palapa
15 Dec 24
Miami, FL
Palapa

PAST CONCERTS

29 Jun 24
Kraków ,Poland
Jewish Culture Festival
26 Jun 24
Lärz ,Germany
Fusion Festival
13 Jun 24
Innsbruck, Austria
Treibhaus
09 Jun 24
Chemnitz ,Germany
Stadthallenpark

BIOGRAPHY

RAVID KAHALANI

Vocal & Gimbri

There are individuals, there are truly unique talents, and then there is Ravid Kahalani. The founder and beating heart of Yemen Blues, he’s taking the desert vibe into the 21st century, creating new truths, and fresh traditions in the process. A soulful performer in the most honest and literal sense, his spiritual approach to music-making encompasses every aspect, every feeling of the human heart.

SHANIR BLUMENKRANZ

Bass & Oud

Somewhere between the street level hustle of New York city and the infinite wisdom of Japan, that’s where you’ll find Shanir Blumenkranz. A wanderer in body and spirit, his work encompasses both structure and noise, careful discipline and trance-like levels of spirituality. Smart enough to play it simple, his adherence to melody and thirst for transgressive ideas lends his work an other-worldly quality.

RONY IWRN

Percussion

Rony Iwryn is an Israeli artist and percussionist from Uruguay. His music is inspired by his roots and influenced by his passion for world music. He has played and recorded with some of the most well known Israeli artists such as: Ofra Haza, Idan Raichel, Yoni Reichter, Gidi Gov, 
David Broza, and many others.

DAN MAYO

Drums

Dan Mayo is the epitome of a future rhythm machine. The most recent segment of the Yemen Blues puzzle, he blends human feel with an almost machine-like precision, losing himself in those endless waves of percussion. Approaching music with an air of positivity, he sits in that tight-but-loose pocket, blending Middle Eastern aspects with jazz, hip-hop, rock, and beyond.

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