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Jo Amar, z"l, June 26, 2009

Jo Amar passed away on June 26. The news was first announced to the world in the Jerusalem Post on June 28. Haaretz captured more of the essence of the singer and his significance, with some wonderful quotes from scholar Edwin Seroussi.

The New York Times obituary also captured much of who he was: Jo Amar, Genre-Blending Jewish Singer, Dies at 79, by Bruce Webber, published Jul 9, 2009.

"Mr. Amar’s music was a hybrid, fusing Sephardic and North African-Arab songs, Jewish liturgical vocal styles and even Western-style harmonies into a kind of Middle Eastern pop. He sang in a bright, engaging tenor, recording about 20 albums, and with his crowd-pleasing manner, he performed not only in large performance halls with full orchestras but also in cabarets and at weddings and other private functions. He was often asked to be the guest cantor on Jewish High Holy Days, invitations he accepted selectively, in cities including Paris and Casablanca." [more]

Lori Lippitz, from Maxwell Street Klezmer, wrote: "I loved his singing and learned many tunes from his recordings. Very special to me is his Hamavdil with an Arabic-style chorus (French Morrocan)."

Eva Broman located several tributes to Jo Amar:

Eyal Golan & Avihu Medina in a great medley

Aviva Avidan with selections from "Taverna":

A news retrospective about Jo Amar, with clips, and with interviews of people about Amar, in Hebrew: