He’s lived everywhere from Argentina to Acre and played his unique brand of world music for people all over the globe. Now Gabriel Meyer Halevy is coming to Atlanta for shows Thursday and Friday, Oct. 27 and 28.
We caught up with him ahead of his trip to Atlanta.
AJT: You’re on a bit of a U.S. tour. How did Atlanta get added as one of your stops?
Halevy: Actually, it was through (Temple Sinai Bunzl Family Cantorial Chair) Beth Schafer. I heard from a good friend of mine that she liked my music, and then I contacted her through Facebook. She said they would love to have me here, so I booked my flights. I have to thank her from the bottom of my heart for bringing me there.
AJT: You’re performing three times here and once for students at the Weber School. Will you be doing anything different for them vs. your other two performances?
Halevy: Addressing high school students is a different vibe, so I’ll probably tell more stories and have a Q&A session. It will be more interactive than just a performance.
AJT: Do you have any specific message you try to get across when you perform?
Halevy: Yes, the message is connecting through song and story the values of the Jewish people which I got from my late father, Rabbi Marshall Meyer. Those are “Justice, justice shall you pursue” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The combination of those is kind of what we’re all about as Jews and as human beings.
AJT: What motivates you in your activism work?
Halevy: Again, it’s based on those values I got from my family. My father was a rabbi. He was very close to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who was close to Martin Luther King Jr., so those are the values that I got from birth. I also grew up in Argentina, which was a dictatorship throughout my childhood, and I was involved with human rights together with my father. I was born at a Jewish summer camp in Argentina, so those values are very important to me.
AJT: What was the inspiration behind your latest album, “The Human Project”?
Halevy: My most recent CD, “The Human Project,” which is what I’m going to be featuring mostly at the Intown Coffeehouse and Temple Sinai, has to do with all my work that has been done beyond enemy lines. For example, I wrote a song with a Pakistani musician that I met in Egypt. Israel and Pakistan don’t have diplomatic relations, so we were sending music files back and forth between Tel Aviv and Pakistan. That’s how the song came about. Much of the CD is done across enemy lines, proving that there is no enemy when it comes to music. Music is medicine and can be a cross-cultural bridge.
AJT: How can people get their hands on “The Human Project”?
AJT: Where else are you headed on this U.S. tour, and do you have any more openings if people want to book you for a show?
Halevy: I’m still open for house concerts and private shows. Message me on Facebook (facebook.com/gabrielmeyerhalevy) if you’re interested. I will be mostly based in New York when I get back from Atlanta, and I’ll be here until Nov. 12. I’ll be performing at the Heschel School in New York City on Oct. 21, and I’m about to head out to Connecticut in a few days for a Sukkot festival at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center.
2 Chances to See Gaby Meyer
If you’re not a Weber School student, you have two opportunities to see Gabriel Meyer Halevy perform with Iranian santoor player Alan Kushan.
Where: Intown Coffeehouse, 1219 Houston Mill Road, Toco Hills
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27
Tickets: $10 at freshtix.com/events/gabriel-meyer-halevy-presents-the-human-project or $15 at the door
Where: Temple Sinai, 5645 Dupree Drive, Sandy Springs
When: Erev Shabbat service, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28