Shoshana Damari

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Shoshana Damari
Shoshana Damari - 1973.jpg
Damari in 1973
Background information
Born March 31, 1923
Dhamar, Yemen
Origin Tel Aviv, Israel
Died February 14, 2006 (aged 82)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Occupations Singer, actress

Shoshana Damari (Hebrew: שושנה דמארי, Arabic: شوشانه (شمعه) ذماري‎) (March 31, 1923 – February 14, 2006) was a Yemeni-born Israeli singer known as the "Queen of Hebrew Music."[1]

Biography[edit]

Moshe Vilenski playing piano, and Shoshana Damari singing, entertaining people in DP camps in Cyprus (ca. 1947–48)
Damari performing at a Cyprus detention camp

Shoshana Damari was born in Dhamar, Yemen. The family immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1924 in the wake of growing persecution against the Jews, and settled in Rishon LeZion.[2]

At a young age, Damari played drums and sang accompaniment for her mother, who performed at family celebrations and gatherings of the Yemenite community in Palestine.[2] At age 14, her first songs were broadcast on the radio. She studied singing and acting at the Shulamit Studio in Tel Aviv, where she met Shlomo Bosmi, the studio manager who became her personal manager. They wed in 1939, when she was only 16.

Musical career[edit]

Shoshana Damari's grave in the Trumpeldor Cemetery, Tel Aviv.

In 1945, Damari joined Li-La-Lo, a revue theater established by impresario Moshe Wallin. The group performed light entertainment and satire as a counterweight to the serious theater of the time.[3] Damari became known for her distinctive husky voice and Yemenite pronunciation. Her first record was released in 1948 and her best-known song Kalaniyot (Anemones), by Moshe Vilenski, dates from that period. She was especially popular among Israeli soldiers, for whom she frequently performed.

In the mid-1980s, Damari teamed up with Boaz Sharabi for a duet that brought her back into the limelight. She was awarded the Israel Prize in 1988 for Hebrew song[4] and a Life Achievement Award by the Israeli Composers and Publishers Association (ACUM) in 1995.

In 2005, she recorded two tracks for the Mimaamakim album by Idan Raichel's Project and participated in some of their live performances. The two had been slated to begin another joint project.

She died in Tel Aviv after a brief bout of pneumonia. She died whilst Kalaniyot was sung by her family and friends who had been sitting in vigil during her final few days.[5] She was buried in the Trumpeldor Cemetery in Tel Aviv.[6]

Film career[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]