Suki Lahav

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Tzruya (or Tsruya) "Suki" Lahav (Hebrew: צרויה להב‎, born 1951) is an Israeli violinist, vocalist, actress, lyricist, screenwriter, and novelist. Lahav was a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band from September 1974 to March 1975, then returned to Israel and found success there.

Biography[edit]

Tzruya Lahav was born and raised in Kibbutz Ayelet HaShahar in the Upper Galilee in Israel, where she played kibbutz harvest music[1] as well as classical music, growing up.

Following her service in the Israeli military, she arrived in the United States in 1971 with her husband Louis Lahav, a recording engineer who in 1972 began working with Springsteen, who in turn was looking for a violinist. On record with Springsteen, most of Suki Lahav's parts did not make it to released form, but she sang the choir-like vocals on "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" from the album The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle and played violin on "Jungleland" from the Born to Run album. In concert, Lahav's violin were a focal point of slow songs during Springsteen's shows of this time, and her "pale" "willowy" presence on stage contrasted with Springsteen's.[2]

During their time in the US, a daughter, Tal was born. She was killed in a road accident at the age of three and a half.[3] They returned to Israel in the spring of 1975.

The couple divorced in 1977. Lahav, now known by her Hebrew name Tzruya (or sometimes transliterated as Tsruya), established a family with Moshe Albalek in Jerusalem. By 1985, she had two children and little involvement in the music industry. But she began working as a violinist and violist, appearing with the Israeli Kibbutz Orchestra, and as an actress.

She became a successful lyricist, writing for prominent musicians and singers in Israel; "Shara Barkhovot" ("Singing in the Streets"), the Israeli entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1990 performed by Rita, featured her words, and some of her songs are considered icons of Israeli music.[4] She also recast existing song lyrics from other languages into Hebrew, such as the Leonard Cohen song "Famous Blue Raincoat" in 1993. In 1999, she wrote the lyrics for the multi-ethnic collaborative, Glykeria's recording "Tfilat Ha'imahot" ("Mother's Prayer"), which also featured Amal Murkus and Yehudit Tamir. In 2003, the album No Longer the Sea: A Collection Of Tzruya Lahav's Songs was released, featuring performances by Rita, Yehudit Ravitz, Meir Banai, Yehuda Poliker, and others. Her songs have also been performed by Israeli artists Gidi Gov, Rami Kleinstein, and Ricky Gal. In 2004, a show of her songs was produced in Tel Aviv.

Lahav authored screenplays, including the 1996 Israeli crime film Kesher Dam, and two novels: Andre’s Wooden Clogs (Kinneret, 2002), based on the true-life story of a boy's survival of The Holocaust in the Netherlands (in Hebrew, also translated to Dutch, Italian and English), and The Swamp Queen Does The Tango (Am Oved, 2004), an adult fairy tale (in Hebrew). Both books won numerous awards and prizes for literature, including the Yad Vashem Prize and the Minister of Culture's prize for first work. She also teaches creative writing in Jerusalem, where she lives in the German Colony neighborhood.

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