Rita, Israel’s reigning diva, plays intimate evening in L.A.

Only Rita could have pulled it off. Her famous “One” concert was the first time any Israeli recording artist has attempted such an extravagant, multimedia performance. With its crew of 50 tumbling dancers, grandiose costumes, pyrotechnics and video art, the $5 million production looked like it came right off the Las Vegas Strip. Last summer’s show at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Center, which took its inspiration from Céline Dion’s year-round Caesar’s Palace concert, “A New Day,” drew close to 100,000 fans over a period of one month. That’s a lot of concertgoers for a country with a population of some 7 million, especially considering the concert was held during the height of the second Lebanon War. “It was like a miracle,” said Rita, who much like Madonna and Cher eschews her last name. “It was a huge success.” The concert proved that after 25 years on the stage, Rita is Israel’s most beloved diva. And at 45, the daring performer shows no signs of slowing down. READ MORE IN THE JEWISH JOURNAL

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Israeli DJs Popular the World Over

Though Israel’s public image overseas may be a source of constant stress for policymakers, if one recent poll is to be believed, the country is among the world’s most popular for devoted club-goers. Infected Mushroom, DJ Yahel and Offer Nissim aren’t likely to be familiar names to most people out of their 20s, but thanks to DJ magazine’s recent ranking of the world’s top 100 DJs, these performers – and three of their compatriots – are now among the hottest names on the global dance music scene. The results of the prestigious DJ annual poll have been a boon to these Israeli artists, and to Israel’s reputation on the electronic music scene. With six of its premier DJs ranked among the world’s top 100 – actually, among the top 50 – Israel is disproportionately represented, in a very big way, among the countries whose performers appear on the poll. “We don’t promote our acts in Israel,” says Avi Brand, the managing director of BNE, a Holon-based record and artist management company representing a number of the country’s top club DJs. Most of BNE’s prominent DJs are booked well into 2007 in countries as diverse as Ukraine, Canada, Portugal, Mexico and Japan. The company’s top act, Infected Mushroom (#12 on the DJ list, up 14 spots from a year ago), is performing almost every night this month just in Brazil, a country emerging as one of the top markets for trance

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