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Audio: Sephardic Metal Guitar Great Yossi Sassi Invents New Instrument

Yossi Sassi, the king of Oriental Sephardic metal guitar opens up in this exclusive interview.
7/21/2013, 10:00 PM

A7 Radio's "Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast" with Ben Bresky, Gabriella Licsko
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Tune in for an interview with Yossi Sassi who has just released his debut solo CD Melting Clocks. Sassi is the well-known as the guitarist for the acclaimed Israeli band Orphaned Land. Find out how he helped co-create the bouzoukitara, a combination electric guitar / bouzouki and how his famous paytan grandfather and father sparked his interest in music.

"My father used to take me and Kobi Farhi from Orphaned Land to synagogue when we were teenagers," Sassi reminisced, "and make us just sit and listen to piyyutim, to spiritual music from the Bible. And we sat there, two kids with Slayer t-shirts, listening and thought how it would sound with distorted guitars."

Find out why Sassi left a lucrative position at Microsoft to pursue his musical dreams and why he passed up on a serious job opportunity abroad to stay in Israel instead.

For this fascinating and in-depth interview, download the podcast.

This week's show is guest hosted by researcher and historian Gabriella Licsko, who lectures twice a week at the OU Israel Center. For archives of Gabriella's show Welcome to the Tribe on Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio click here.

* To download the mp3 click the down arrow or right-click here.
* For podcast archives click the right arrow or click here.
* To email Ben Bresky click here
* To email Gabriella Liscko click here.

This summer Gabriella will travel to the Wacken Open Air Festival near Hamburg, Germany from August 1st - August 3rd. Wacken is the largest international Metal festival in the world and considered not only a musical event, but an anthropological and cultural phenomenon. "It is a meeting point for metal fans from around the globe, including Scandinavia, the US, India, Africa, and of course from Israel," Licsko stated. Find out how the "metalhead" identity interacts with various local and national identities including the Israeli and Jewish identity. Stay tined for this unique report about Israeli metal fans at the W.O.A. from hardcore secular Israelis to those who will be lighting Shabbat candles at the festival. Plus, how other metalheads perceive their Israeli counterparts and Israelis in general.

Ben Bresky is a music journalist and recording engineer living in Jerusalem. He hosts The Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast interviewing a wide range of Jewish and Israeli musicians from Carlebach to klezmer, from hasidic to trance. For full archives visit
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