Israel-born artist Tal Kravitz wowed at a concert that was organised by the Israel Embassy in order to appreciate the good relationship that they have with Botswana. The Minister of Justice, Defence and Security Shaw Kgathi attended the show. Kravitz is a well-travelled musician and singer who researches for music in various remote areas of the world. That is one thing that makes him unique because he is able to play so many traditional instruments from different countries, and also makes sure that he knows how to sing and play one of the popular native songs from the place he visits. He is a graduate of the National School of Choir Conduction in Tel Aviv and also studied composition, classical singing and ethnic music at Bar Ilan University.
Locally, he met other musicians like Thabang Molefe, Arona Galeipone and members of Botswana Folklore Association to learn segaba, setinkane, a four-string guitar and percussions indigenous to Botswana. In a true cultural exchange, the bubbly and ever so energetic Kravitz proved to be a versatile fast learner. He sang in Spanish, Chinese, and Hindi and made so many impersonations that were breath taking, demonstrating his immense skill. He performed alongside local musicians who supported him with drums. In one of his thrilling acts, Kravitz played a musical sound with a saw when singing Amazing Grace. With people looking in disbelief he had to call someone from the audience to experience it for himself. He also used the nose to play one of the instruments called pong-pong from Philippines.
“My show is based on a blend of cultures and this includes music made with ethnic instruments where I play a variety of bagpipes, musical saw, piano, guitar and African percussion instruments just to name but a few,” he said. From every point in his journeys he makes sure that he brings back songs, sounds and rare instruments that he will use and share in all other countries that he would to. In Botswana he managed to learn the popular song ‘Mmagwane mpulele ke nelwa ke pula’ that he performed with such eloquence alongside traditional Botswana instruments.
Minister Kgathi called on the artists to appreciate the value of being versatile. He recognised Israel for the friendship that they have with Botswana. “I think we can learn from each other a thing or two about what a small nation can do despite the challenges that it might face,” he said. SOS brought their musical children to the show to appreciate music even more. One of them Keemenao Ramatlotla was amazed by Kravitz’s artistic prudence. He said that is proof that music is a universal language that got no barriers, because even with Kravitz singing in different languages they still had fun and appreciated his talent. “This is just amazing, he got so much ability and at first I doubted that he was playing those entire instruments by himself,” he said.