Kobi Oz, singer for the Teapacks of Israel, can’t wait for the pandemic to be over.
“We are very, very hungry for the big stages, for the big concerts,” he said. “We are just getting out of the ‘corona’ crisis. The big lights and the smell of the stage. I just want to dance and sing to everybody.”
The fans know the words to the songs and that makes it electric. “For me, I’m just waiting for this moment to arrive,” Oz said.
Oz said he’s looking forward to giving Milwaukee a taste of the electricity. He will perform – virtually – for the Milwaukee Jewish community on Sunday, April 18, at 2 p.m, for Yom HaAtzmaut, which is Israeli Independence Day. A 30-minute Q&A with Oz will immediately follow the concert. Registration is required at MilwaukeeJewish.org/Yamim.
Music from Oz and the Teapacks is rooted in Russian, East European and North African culture. Oz calls it “a very special Israeli cocktail.”
The Teapacks broke up when Oz was 40, in 2009, and came back together in 2014. He used the break to connect with his grandfather’s generation through “Jewish soul food music,” he said.
Some young Israelis aren’t thinking much about older generations, Oz said. He believes in a different approach: “My solo album talks about not forgetting your grandfather, not forgetting his legacy,” he said.
Oz grew up near Gaza, “living next to rocket attacks,” he said. Maybe there’s something about that experience – he noted many musicians have come from his part of Israel.
“The most beautiful thing about my music is my audience,” Oz said. “They are very, very diverse. They can be very religious and very secular. They can be from big towns and little villages. We have old people and very young people.”
There’s friction among different groups in Israel. Through music, Oz said, “We’re speaking about unity.”
Oz said he loves that he can see both observant Israelis and secular Israelis in his audiences.
He has a message for Milwaukee: “I’m very excited to play my music to you and for us to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut together for Independence Day. I send lots of love to all the people who want to hear my music and connect to Israeli culture. This togetherness is very important.”
“You are all a part of our dream and my heart goes to you.”
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How to go
What: Kobi Oz performs for Yom HaAtzmaut, for Milwaukee
When: Sunday, April 18, 2 p.m.