On this innovative album, Ray sings mostly his own compositions. In addition to Ray's own steel string guitar accompaniment, the album includes the contributions of acclaimed musicians such as * Concord Nkabinde (heard with Johnny Clegg) on bass and fretless bass * Kevin Davidson on flute * Johnny Sklar on nylon string guitar * Elad Neeman (Israel) on percussion * Paul Kimmel on bass flute * Shmueli Perkel on penny whistle * Akiva Centner on penny whstle and backing vocals * Neil Kuny on percussion and loops * Bham Ntabeni on backing vocals Ray Perkel has been creating music since the early '60s. In the '70s he featured in a highly original trio called Audacle, playing original soft electric music to a following of devoted fans at the Wits university campus in Johannesburg. In the late 70s Ray rediscovered his Jewish roots, became a devotee of Chassidic Judaism, married his artist wife Miriam. They have raised a family of 6 children. In the 80s and 90s Ray had the opportunity to back the famous Reb Shlomo Carlebach many times on his visits to South Africa, both at informal gatherings and as musical director for his stage performances. Reb Shlomo's style of music was a strong inspiration for Ray, for whom music has always been the language of the soul. In 2002 Ray formed the band Neshima with Chanan Rosin and Ray's son, Shmueli Perkel and they recorded the widely acclaimed album, 'Hakol Letovah'. This world music album is a highly innovative fusion of Hbrew/Chassidic music with African and Latin rhythms and has delighted fans in several countries around the world. The band toured Israel in mid-2002, playing to enthusiastic concert and club audiences. In 2005 Ray produced 'New Journey', his first solo album, featured here. Ray currently continues to explore original fusions of Jewish music with music of the African continent where he lives. FROM THE ALBUM INSERT: The endeavour of a musician is to create a space in real time-a space into which all who choose to open their ears and hearts, may enter and participate. The ancient Hebrew Prophet Tzephaniah, said of the coming time of ultimate world peace: "then I will evolve for the nations a clear language that all may call the Name of the Eternal One, and serve Him with common purpose". I humbly propose that this "clear language" of which the Prophet speaks is the language of music, of melody and song. Music is indeed the universal language. I pray for the day when we will all sing and dance together in praise of the Eternal King in the Temple of Jerusalem. I offer this collection of songs as a partial itinerary of my personal journey. I offer it in deep gratitude to the Creator of Creativity, and for the opportunity to work with the beautiful people who have shared their love, their generosity, their talent and their passion in the making of this album-and especially for the connection with you, the listener, who, by choosing to participate in our journey through these spaces, make it all worthwhile. With love & blessings, Ray.
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