Meir Banai (Hebrew: מאיר בנאי, born July 5, 1961) is a well known and respected Israeli musician, singer, and songwriter, who has been called a "veteran star" and "one of the perennial big guns of Israeli music".
Meir Banai was born in Jerusalem to a traditional Jewish family. He comes from a famous clan of actors and singers. He is the son of Yitzhak Banai and brother of Orna Banai and Eviatar Banai, the cousin of Ehud Banai and Yuval Banai, and the nephew of Yossi Banai
In 1999 he and Arkadi Duchin collaborated on a very successful recording. Tal Sondak, who represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001, says that Banai is one of his musical influences. In March 2004, Banai made his U.S. debut at Makor in New York City to a packed room.
Shma Koli ("Hear My Voice") in 2007 was a CD packed with traditional Jewish texts and prayers. The arrangements are based on traditional tunes but have been given a modern infusion. The single, "Lech Elay" became a hit as soon as it was released. Haaretz wrote that Banai, in composing some of the songs on his "excellent 'Jewish' album", created an upswing in the melody at key points in songs, in which the speaker/narrator lifts up his eyes to the heavens and calls upon God. As of February 2008, Shma Koli had sold more than 15,000 copies, according to NMC figures). At the 51st annual ACUM Awards on March 29, 2009, to honor Israel's composers, songwriters, poets, and authors, Banai won for composer for Shma Koli. In February 2008, the Israeli lottery, Mifal HaPayis, announced that Banai was a winner of the Landau Award for Stage Arts, an award for excellence in the Arts. After not appearing together on stage for a decade, Arkadi Duchin and Banai performed together in April 2009.
Banai has released ten albums.
- The First Album (1984)
- Rain (1987)
- Impressions Live (1988)
- The Colors Change/Changing Colors (1990)
- Including/In Between (1992)
- The Wandering Tune (1996)
- Heart Cracked/Fractured Heart (2001)
- How Much Love (2002)
- Shma Koli (2007)
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- Meir Banai at the Internet Movie Database
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- Sukenik, Tamar (2008-04-02). "Can't buy me album sales". Haaretz. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
- "Landau award winners announced". Fr.jpost.com. 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2011-07-21.[dead link]
- "מאיר בנאי – Discover music, videos, concerts, stats, & pictures at". Last.fm. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2011-07-21.