David Broza to 'Post' on COVID: No mass music performances until mid-2022

Publication Date25 Feb 2021
Thank you, David.

Since the mid-1970s, David has helped form the soundtrack to the Israeli story from his anthem "Yihiye Tov" (things will be better) to his more recent projects with bringing together Jewish and Muslim musicians. He's done it all. So David, how have you weathered the storm the last year? I know many years you've been commuting between Israel and New York and beyond the United States to perform and that's all sort of come to a halt. What's happened during that time?

It's hard to put it all in one sentence, because it's an ongoing process. I think right now we're looking at a year since it all started, and since we've all been basically commanded and sentenced to a standstill globally, I mena everybody. Some fields have benefited, but in showbusiness and entertainment of course it's almost the death of the theater, the day the music died, you know? And it's hard. I think the first few months we were in emergency mode and at least I'll say my story.

I was in the middle of a tour in the United States. I just finished touring Israel. Out of my 43 year career, for about 35 years I've been commuting between Tel Aviv and New York and touring the Untied States, South America, Australia, Europe – all of that. So I've basically had 200 shows a year all these years. And so I was touring the United States and everything came to a halt in the first week of March. Everything was canceled.

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The first thought was that I didn't realize this is going to be where we are now, that a year later we would be in the same place. But quarantining for a long time was my first opportunity to see home seven days a week, four walls, my wife Nili who's just an amazing person, always has been but now I get to enjoy that. And I had to find a way to maintain not only sanity but maintain my technique, maintain positivity. So I would sit – and I still do – and play 4-5-6 hours a day, playing my guitar that never leaves my side, and maintaining some kind of discipline, which you have to. And leaving the house was at some points very limited, so we had to do everything here. Exercise in the morning, cooking three times a day – amazing. I mean, you'll probably tell me the same story. So we're all part of the same equation.

Then I released an album. Me and the record company which is S-Curve records, part of BMG which is a huge company, decided that my upcoming album – which I had just finished in February and is my first all instrumental album, where I'm not singing I'm just playing guitar which is a great experience, and took me two years to put together and months and months of hard training to become and instrumentalist not just a singer-songwriter with a guitar – should be released. They decided it's the right time to release the album. So at the end of August, I found myself in a global campaign, which meant that sometimes at 3 in the morning, 4, 5 a.m. I'd be on the phone interviewing with Spain, with Europe, with Israel, United States. That kept me really busy, that was a blessing. And that was over around only two months ago.

So the campaign was over, and now I'm working on my next project: finishing a film about the instrumental album, En Casa Limon, that's the name of the album. Not sure what the film will be called but it's about my relationship with the Spanish guitar and what Spanish guitar is to the world. We filmed everything in Spain, and I will be in Israel –

During the lockdown?

No, we filmed everything during the recording, which was a year before, it was the summer before the lockdown. So we filmed everything, and then we had to do just interviews. And yeah, we're completing it now, and we will be releasing it hopefully soon.

So you kept productive and busy. I want to get back to the album in a minute, but first, as a performing animal, you said you do sometimes 200 shows a year, how did it affect you emotionally not to be able to connect to the audience a few times a week?

David, it's a really important question. You know, 12 months is a meaningful period of life. It's four seasons. You watch the summer go by, you watch the winter go by, you watch the spring go by. And then you're back in fall and you're back in winter. All from the same, you know I'm basically looking out these windows (gestures at windows).

I'm in New York City. I was in Israel for a bit but not for long because I had to be quarantined 100% by myself. And then I did a couple of shows down in the desert. Huge show with the Andalusian Orchestra, and the Jerusalem Orchestra East West, which we streamed to the Gulf countries. I think now, and I can look back and I can look present – and I say this honestly, I'm being very candid with you – I think there's a certain level of fatigue, emotional fatigue, because when you're in emergency mode, you don't think about now, you don't think about your feelings. You look only on how to survive this, what do I do next? What is the prognosis? What are the chances? You listen to a lot of news, you read a lot of analyses about the situation. But after a...

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