Singer and songwriter Yonatan Razel, the 2011 winner of AKUM’s prize for composition and musical arrangement, is about to release “Katonti”, the first single from his new album. Five years after the release of his debut album “Sach Hakol”, which went gold, selling over 30,000 copies, and after the phenomenal success of “Vehee Sheamdah”, which he composed, arranged and performed in 2008 together with singer Yaakov Shwekey, Razel is currently putting the finishing touches to his second album which will hit the stores shortly. Including 10 songs, several of them were penned by Razel and others are based on traditional tunes and texts.
Yonatan told us:
“The song “Katonti” is based on Yaakov Avinu’s Tefillah on arriving at the very place he had stood 21 years before with nothing whatsoever to his name – and now, having experienced the immense kindness Hashem has bestowed upon him, he prays for the future – to be saved from his brother who plans to kill him.
My grandfather – who jumped off a train destined for the camps, survived and made his way to Israel – told me how connected he feels to this Tefillah, and just how small he feels – dwarfed by the endless kindness the Creator of the world showed him. At first, he was a penniless survivor, and now – a grandfather surrounded by his Jewish family in thelandofIsrael.
With this song, and through these words, I also want to publicize the miracle that happened (and continues to happen) to us – the recovery of our daughter Rivka, שתחיה.
I also want to express my thanks to the Jewish People who showed their true greatness through their boundless concern and their Tefillot during the most difficult times. And I’m sure that in the zechut of their Tefillot, amongst other things, Rivka is running around together with her siblings.
I feel miniscule faced with the kindness Hashem has shown us and in the face of the kindness of Am Yisrael.
This journey is still not over – we still need Tefillot … but it’s a good opportunity to publicize the miracle and to give thanks for it.”
Razel, father of four, devotes his mornings to Torah study and spends the afternoon writing and arranging music. He was born in New York and made aliyah at a young age. He studied classical music from childhood, learning to play the piano and the cello as well as composition and conducting. He put out a recording together with his brother while still in his youth, and was drafted to the Israeli army as an outstanding musician. After finishing his service he continued his musical studies, and worked as conductor of the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Raanana Symphony Orchestra before appearing with various orchestras outside Israel.
Over the years Razel has performed all over the world, both as a solo artist and in bands, and had continued conducting and arranging.