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Ehud Banai

Today we would like to tell you about the singer and musician Ehud Banai, one of the most important and influential artists in Israeli music.

(Photo: Udi Even Haim For Diego Mitelberg)

1. He was born on March 31, 1953, in Jerusalem to actors Yaakov Banai and Miriam Banai.

2. As early as 1962 he starred in the Israeli film "Sinia" in which he played a Badaui boy.

3. He served in the Nahal and as part of his service, he stayed at Kibbutz Nir Eliyahu where he lost his good friend Bnei Brak, an event that is reflected in his books and poems.

4. For many years Ehud tried to break into the music industry, he tried to win the support of many producers, he tried to get accepted to the band "Natural Selection" and even almost collaborated with Zohar Argov, but all failed.

5. Only in 1985, when Ehud was at the age of 32, did he succeed in breaking into Israeli music and broke to successful with the two songs: "City of Refuge" and "The Golden Calf" which entered his debut album "Ehud Banai and the Refugees" two years later.

6. In the same year he wrote the lyrics to the famous hit of the "Mashina" band "Night Train".

7. In 1986, Ehud participated with his band "The Refugees" in the rock opera "Mami" which was a great success, where he collaborated with guitarist and creator Yossi Elephant, who will later accompany him in the band "The Refugees".

(Photo: Shaul Golan)

8. In 1987, Ehud released his debut album "Ehud Banai and the Refugees", which is considered one of the most important albums of the time and a milestone in Israeli music. He released the album together with guitarist Yossi Elephant and several other friends who felt like "refugees" of Israeli society, given the refusals they received and the difficulties of integrating into Israeli music.

9. The album combines protest and rage songs with longing for different times and journeys that Ehud shares experiences. Immortal songs came out of the album such as: "Your Time Has Passed", "Black Work", "Markistan" and "Mix the Plaster".

10. In 2012 the students of the music school "Muzik" released a tribute album called "Black Work" which included cover versions of the songs of the album.

11. In 1989, Ehud released his second album "Close". If the first album was characterized by an innovative sound that combines rock music with oriental music, in this album Ehud gives oriental music a more dominant influence. The album included prominent songs such as: "1 Pear Street", "Everyone Knows" and "Northern Winds", and it was produced and played by Ehud on several instruments, joining him the musician Oved Efrat who is known for the band "The Click", "Light as Demons" and more.

12. In the same year, Ehud also released a record with his father, Yaakov Banai, called "Under the Jasmine Discourse" and dedicated to legends with Persians, adapted and told by Ehud's father. On the record, Yaakov tells stories he heard from his grandfather, Eliyahu Banai, and Ehud accompanied him on playing the ood.

13. In 1992, Ehud's third album "The Third" was released. The album included successful singles such as: "David and Shaul" which he wrote about his friend the guitarist Yossi Elephant who has since passed away, "Florentine", and "Do not be afraid".

14. In 1996, Ehud's fourth album, "Soon", which included the songs "Running Film", "Published", "I'll Bring You", "Come Home", and Ehud's biggest hit to date, " Mahri Na" which is also known in the words that open it "the boy is thirty years old".

15. In 1998, Ehud's fifth album "Tip Tipa" was released, which was a collection of songs and instrumental pieces from various films and recordings. Among other things, the album includes the songs "Tip Tipa", "Spark of Love", "The Star of the Gush Dan District" and more ...

16. In 2001, Ehud published a book called "Remembering Almost Everything", which includes impressions from various travels, events, and anecdotes from the course of Ehud's life.

17. In 2004, Ehud's sixth album "Answer Me" was released, this is Ehud's most successful album which included the hits: "Canaanite Blues", "Today", "Borders", "Brooklyn" and "Hebroman". Following the album, Ehud won the title of Singer of the Year on the annual Hebrew chart of the radio station Reshet Gimel, and the titles "Singer of the Year", "Lyricist of the Year" and "Album of the Year" at the Channel 24 Awards.

18. In 2005, Ehud put on two plays, "The Butterflies of Concrete" and "The Butterflies of the Sprout", in which he performed under the name "Ezra Tisona". In these shows, he played with his band mainly cover versions of songs by composers who influenced him.

(Photo: Zvika Israeli)

19. In 2006 he released a triangular collection called "Continues to Travel". A collection of 39 songs as performed in live performances.

20. In 2008, Ehud released an album of songs called "New Song". In this album, the lyrics are based on traditional lyrics - hymns, piyyutim, and prayers. The inspiration for the album was drawn by Banai from his branched family, the synagogues on the street where he lives, and the culture of which he was a part.

21. In the same year, a documentary film called "Must Move - Ehud Banai and the Refugees" was also released, directed by Avida Livni. A film that describes Ehud's path to his debut album, the difficulties, frustrations, and considerations he went through until the collaboration with guitarist Yossi Elephant and the creation of the album.

22. In 2011 Ehud released his eighth album "Shards of Night". The album has 14 tracks that stand out: "I go", "Like a bird and Sarah" and "Until next time".

23. In 2012 he published a book called "This is the Place", consisting of six short stories ranging from his present life to memories of his past.

24. In the same year, his album "On Another Horizon" was also released, with renewed recordings of his songs in new arrangements by musician Ami Rice. The album also included two new songs: "The Environment", "Time and Situation" and "Through a Song".

25. In the same year, Ehud began hosting a weekly program on the Gali Tzahal radio station called "This is the Place", in each program Ehud deals with one topic, and combines songs and stories on this topic in the show.

26. In 2016, together with the band "The Snake Fish" he released the single "Earthquake".

27. In 2017 he released together with Berry Sakharof the album "She Performed Like the Wind", which includes 12 songs translated from Ladino, mostly by Sakharof and Banai.

28. In the same year, Ehud also released a studio album called "EB = MC²", together with the English musician Michael Chapman.

29. In 2018, Ehud received the "Lifetime Achievement Award for Creator" in the name of Ehud Manor.

30. In January 2020, Ehud released a new album called "Approaching".

31. Ehud has written music for quite a few movies, including: "A Sick of Love from Gimel Housing", "James' Journeys in the Holy Land", "The Lonely Samaritan" and more ...

32. In 2021 he was a guest on the song "On the Verge of the Well" from the album "A Piece Of Light" by Berry Sakharof and Dudu Tassa.

Listen to Ehud's latest album "Going Up" on: Spotify, Apple Music

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