World renowned Moroccan singer Jo Amar passed away in New York on Friday at age 79. Amar was an Israeli icon for the first decades of the state's existence, a favorite of the newly arrived Sephardic immigrants in the country. Amar, who immigrated to Israel in 1956, pioneered the fusion sound of Israeli eastern "mizrachi" music, merging classical Jewish Sephardic and Arabic tunes with Western musical sensibilities, along with lyrics that discussed the personal and social angst and joys of Middle Eastern immigrants who sought to find a place in Israeli society. He was also a highly-regarded cantor.
Amar's body will arrive in Israel on Saturday night. His funeral will take place Sunday afternoon at Yad Rambam, the moshav that was his residence in Israel in recent years.