Friday, May 26, 2006 | return to: Israel in the gardens


Israeli pop stars to tour U.S.

by dan pine, staff writer

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"Israel in the Gardens" always draws top Israeli rock and pop artists, but never before has the annual event booked a headline act comprised of Israel's most revered male pop singer, Rami Kleinstein, and its fastest rising international female star, Shiri Maimon.

The duo performs on the main stage at 3:15 p.m.

Though Kleinstein has been making hits for over 20 years, Maimon may draw the most attention. The gorgeous 25-year-old singer is coming off a surprisingly strong showing in the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, which is akin to "American Idol." She sang "Hasheket Shenishar" ("The Silence That Remains") in Hebrew and English, coming in as one of the top 10 finalists.

Those who know her aren't surprised by her international success. She dreamed all her life of a music career. During her stint in the Israeli army, Maimon joined the Air Force Entertainment Group where she performed for the troops.

Maimon was also a top finalist on the hit Israeli show "Kochav Nolad" (Hebrew for "A Star is Born"). She has hosted her own youth-oriented TV talk show, "Exit." The Haifa native released her self-titled debut album last fall.

Rami Kleinstein, with nearly a dozen albums to his credit, is way ahead of her. A classic singer-songwriter, Kleinstein has enjoyed a prolific career as a composer and performer. He was born in New York in 1962 and moved to Israel in 1970.

Kleinstein's 1986 debut solo album "The Day of the Bomb," went gold. His 1997 album, "Everything You Want" reached triple platinum in 10 days, and in 1995, when his album "Apples and Dates" also reached triple platinum status, he was named Israeli Radio and Television's "Singer of the Year."

Kleinstein has also collaborated numerous times with his wife, Israeli superstar Rita.

Kleinstein and Maimon have been touring together in Israel and will make other joint U.S. appearances.


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