About David Broza
Israeli folk-rock singer/songwriter David Broza was already a well-established star in his own country before breaking out internationally with a series of English-language albums in the front half of the 1990s. With his powerful voice, strong poetic sense, and unique mixture of rock, pop, folk, and flamenco, he earned a reputation as a dynamic and versatile performer, and over the years has shared stages with high-profile artists like Paul Simon, Sting, Van Morrison, and Bob Dylan. Among his numerous albums -- split multilingually between English, Hebrew, and Spanish -- are critically acclaimed projects like 2010's Night Dawn: The Unpublished Poetry of Townes Van Zandt, and 2014's highly collaborative, Steve Earle-produced East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem. A longtime advocate for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Broza has also served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and been involved in various humanitarian projects. In 2020, Broza made his first entirely instrumental album, showcasing his supple guitar skills.
Born in Haifa, Israel, Broza spent many of his formative years growing up in England and Spain. Although he'd already been playing guitar in his teens, he originally sought a career as a graphic artist, selling paintings at a street market in Madrid while playing at cafés for extra money. As a musician, Broza began to develop a unique style that combined elements of rock & roll, flamenco fingerpicking and percussion, and passionate, politically conscious singer/songwriter folk. He scored an Israeli hit with the peace anthem "Yihye Tov" from his 1977 debut, Sikhot Salon, and over the next decade cemented his star status in the country's popular music scene.
By the late '80s, Broza had relocated to the U.S., where he began to make inroads into the Western music market with 1989's Away from Home, his first record sung in English. Over the next half-decade, he began to hit his commercial stride with well-received releases like 1993's Time of Trains and 1994's Second Street, albums that leaned more heavily into an American contemporary folk style and helped him secure dates with high-profile stars like Bob Dylan and Sting. The late '90s and early part of the 2000s saw Broza return to his roots with albums that mixed Hebrew and Spanish language and doubled down on his globally inspired sound. By the middle part of the decade, he was already a quarter-century into an impressive career, and a pair of greatest-hits anthologies attested to his lasting success, 2004's Hebrew-focused Hameitav and 2006's more general Things Will Be Better: The Best of David Broza. Rather than rest on his laurels, he continued to seek out interesting projects, including a captivating 2007 concert with Shawn Colvin and Jackson Browne at the ancient Israeli site of Masada and a 2010 collection of the late Townes Van Zandt's poems set to original music.
In 2012, Broza was recognized for his ongoing humanitarian efforts and named a Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF, who used his song "Together" as the theme for their 50th anniversary celebration. The following year, he gathered together an ensemble of both Israeli and Palestinian musicians at an East Jerusalem studio for a collaborative project. Co-produced by Steve Earle and Steve Greenburg, East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem was a late-career highlight for the prolific artist and yielded a documentary film of the same name. Another anthology, The Set List, appeared in 2016 and consisted of a mix of audience favorites from his studio and live recordings. Broza returned to new music in 2018 with Taba'at Ha'zahav (The Golden Ring), sung entirely in Hebrew and co-written with poet Tzruya Lahav. Although known for his passionate and commanding voice, Broza's intricate flamenco-influenced guitar work has long been one of the defining elements of his music. Seeking a new challenge, he recorded his first all-instrumental album at Madrid's Casa Limón studio. A mix of delicate originals and engaging covers, En Casa Limón was released in 2020. ~ Timothy Monger