Although Yaniv Shamay can rock out, he isn't interested in doing so. He's into creating gentle, soothing melodies on his santur. Never heard of it before? Neither have most people. But Shamay is bring it back with his group Agadetah, a band he founded several years ago with fellow Israeli world beat music enthusiast Amram Amar.
The group also includes fellow Mount Meron resident Yochay Shimon Koen and newcomer Moshe Maury Epstein. The later is a jazz guitar virtuoso from Cleveland, Ohio, who recently became religious and is now living in Israel. Epstein, who previously spent time playing on luxury cruise ships, was blown away by the trio of musicians with their long payos (sidelocks) and beards playing low key music in small, out-of-the-way northern Israeli towns.
Shamay, in his thick Israeli accent, talked to Ben Bresky, the host of Israel National Radio's Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast about his passion for haunting, peaceful melodies and rapid paced drum solos played on strange and exotic Middle Eastern instruments.Check out their music on Agadeth's myspace page.
Personally I found their music very soothing and pleasant to listen to.