Photo: Gitit Shoval, Ron Druyan and Tutti Druyan.
What happens when an award-winning vocalist enlists her family to join her in the studio? The answer is “Connected,” a new release once again bringing Gitit Shoval into your hearts and minds, but this time including husband, Ron Druyan and their daughter, Tutti Druyan.
From the opening and other-worldly atmospheric swirl of “R’Tzei” (A Prayer for Acceptance) featuring bassist John Patitucci, the music rises and dances, bringing you along for a spiritual journey like no other.
“Connected” includes many traditional Jewish prayers and psalms. A dark, minor “Sim Shalom” (Give Peace) is achingly, pleadingly beautiful and “Avinu Malkeinu”’s (Our Fathers) violins and vocals shimmer with each transcendent line of this High Holy Day prayer. Listen for the harmonies on “Ani Ma’amin” (I Believe) and a contemporary, upbeat take on “Oseh Shalom” (Grant us Peace).
Although many artists have offered interpretations of these prayers and melodies, “Connected” stands out as much for the musicianship as for the musicians themselves. Vocalist Gitit Shoval can easily be included as one of Israel’s treasures. She was first discovered at a pre-Eurovision contest at 13 years old. From that magical night, Shoval became an overnight success and spent the remainder of her teen years singing all over the country.
At 16, Gitit released her first solo album, “Taklit Rishon” (First Record). At the age of 18, Shoval began her service for the Israeli Defense Force as a solo artist. As part of her service, Gitit performed across Israel lifting the spirits of every soldier. At around the same time that Gitit completed her army service, she met the person who later became her husband, musical producer and a (summa cum laude!) Berklee College of Music graduate, Ron Druyan. The pair began working together on Gitit’s second album, but one could say their best co-production had nothing to do with music. Daughter Tutti Druyan was born in the mid-1990s, and after her own successes as a singer and musician, is featured on “Connected.”
“Connected” is a recording that delivers a pure vision through exceptional musicianship and ethereal vocals. This music brings you to a higher place – something we all need today.