Israel’s hottest, platinum-selling musical group, Hadag Nahash, is coming to Los Angeles for a one-night only, exclusive performance at one of Hollywood’s premiere nightlife venues, The Colony, on Feb. 28. Hadag Nahash has played with such hip-hop and rap greats as The Black-Eyed Peas and Cyprus Hill. Tickets are on sale now.
The concert, along with two on-campus events that will share insight into the band's influence and articstic scope, are part of the UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies’s effort to promote the study of the history, culture and society of Israel as a modern Jewish and democratic state, says Professor Arieh Saposnik, director of the center.
“Hadag Nahash is known for its ground breaking engagement with Israeli social and political issues in its lyrics and music,” says Saposnik. “This is a great opportunity for us to give our students and the community an up-close-and-personal look at this multi-award winning act and allow them to learn about Israel and its realities in a meaningful and powerful way.”
Earlier that day, the band members will lead an interactive program at UCLA that will include a discussion exploring the band’s history and musical influences, and examining the many ways their music is engaged with Israeli social issues. This workshop, which will also feature a rare acoustic performance by the band, is open to all UCLA students as well as members of the public, will be held from 1– 2:30 p.m. in the Schoenberg Music Building, Room 1343.
On February 29, Azzan Yadin-Israel, an associate professor of Jewish studies at Rutgers University, will give a free public lecture about Hadag Nahash’s multi-layered use of Hebrew and the band’s musical and cultural settings and impact. The talk will be held from 12-2 p.m. in Bunche Hall, Room 4357.
“The workshop, concert and lecture are all part of the Nazarian Center's overall mission to present a vast array of different aspects of Israeli culture and society – fostering a broad understanding of the country that goes beyond newspaper headlines,” says Saposnik.
In addition to earning awards for Best Band of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Video of the Year and Best Lyricists of the Year, Hadag Nahash is also known for its community involvement and social justice advocacy efforts. This includes the One Shekel Festival, an annual event founded in 2001 by lead singer Shaanan Street that aims to promote cultural harmony through music. Madonna, Leonard Cohen and the Pet Shop Boys are among those who have headlined the event in recent years.
The Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, which was established in 2010 to promote the study of the history, culture and society of Israel as a modern Jewish and democratic state, is the first full- fledged Israel Studies center on the West Coast and one of three in the nation that are named and endowed. It sponsors undergraduate and graduate-level courses on Israeli arts and literature, as well as law, politics, economics, and history for a curriculum highlighting the complexity, diversity and multi-faceted nature of Israel.