The musician: Asaf Avidan.

Position::The Emerging Canon - Interview

Asaf Avidan is a folk singer living in Jerusalem. Often labeled the male version of Janis Joplin, Avidan sings with a distinct rasp, indicative of his major influences--Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin and Joplin herself Though he intended to be an animator, Avidan could not resist the lure of the guitar. Avidan and his group--the Mojos--have toured Europe, Israel and the United States, performing to sold out audiences at every stop.

I was born in a nation of immigrants. Over the 62 years of its existence, Israel has become a melting pot of social and cultural exchange. Poles, Germans, Yemenites, Moroccans, Egyptians, Russians and more--all foreigners that have unintentionally contributed their traditions to the biological and cultural composition of Israel.

However, Israel is not my entire identity. My parents were diplomats, so I moved all over the world as a kid, living in Jamaica and in the United States. I never felt defined as an Israeli. It is my home, and my passport, but it's just another feature--like having blue eyes. It's another part of me. It's not what defines me.

The blues-rock I play is not distinctly Israeli. Sung in English, it is my own interpretation of what is undeniably an American genre. Then again, blues-rock was formed by the...

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