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Sephardic Singer Jo Amar to be Honored

A musical evening of tribute is scheduled for Thursday evening for one of this generation's top Sephardic musicians, Jo Amar.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 7/17/2008, 5:47 PM

A musical evening of tribute will be held in Jerusalem on Thursday evening, honoring one of the generation's leading Sephardic-Jewish musicians, Jo Amar. 

The event will take place at Beit Avi Chai on King George St., one of a series of musical events sponsored by Beit Avi Chai during the months of July and August.

Jo (Yosef) Amar was born in Morocco in 1930, and came to Israel in 1956. Considered the first singer to introduce Moroccan Jewish liturgical music in Israel, his hits include Yismah Moshe, Shalom LeVen Dodi, Barcelona, Song of the Drunkard, Ani Havatzelet HaSharon, and many more.

The evening of tribute features appearances by Sephardic music veteran star Avihu Medina, Cantor Shlomo Glick of Jerusalem, Amar's music student and current star Moshe Giat, Sephardic musical soloist Ephraim Yogidayov, and child star Ohad Levin, age 13.

Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky will present a certificate of appreciation to Jo Amar, and selections from a movie on Amar's life, beginning with his childhood in Morocco, will be screened.

In 1970, Amar settled in New York, performing in the USA and in Europe as a cantor, as well as a teacher in cantorial workshops. He also published an anthology of Moroccan Jewish liturgical music.

Amar's more than 20 albums include two that he recorded with the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra in 2000. Jo Amar has residences in both Israel and Los Angeles, and has four children and ten grandchildren.