Zehorah was an iconic artist in her time, and was always clear about what she stood for. A member of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, Zehorah resided in Dimona, Israel, in “The Village of Peace.” Known for its achievements in communal living and self sufficiency, they are arguably considered the world’s most progressive and health conscious community. After daring to chart a course contrary to contemporary trends more than forty years ago, as well as being forged in the furnace of adversity, they have been called “the miracle in the desert” and “an island of sanity”.
As adherents to the visionary teachings and example of spiritual leader Ben Ammi, they are sought after globally as advisors in health and nutrition, agriculture, education and community development. Since music is an inherent reflection and expression of the artist’s mind, environment and experience, it is such that uniquely shapes and colors Zehorah’s music. She sang only of that which she knew: “Cross-genre, multi-cultural world music combining unique vocals and danceable rhythms with the spoken word”.
While an obvious metaphor for Zehorah’s budding artistry at the time, “Blossom in the Desert” also referred to the prophetic regeneration of the Northeast African landscape of the Judean Desert, where she and other community members had forged a lifestyle that is now in full bloom. Indeed, this blossom has many faceted petals. The CD is graced with the full range of talent from the RKP label, with appearances from numerous community artists, including members of the famed “Soul Messengers”. As Jerusalem’s location in the center of the Fertile Crescent meant that it had always been a cultural crossroads since ancient days, an eclectic range of ethnic influences and nuances are featured. Multi-talented herself, Zehorah played keyboards, percussion and even cello, contributing her personal special touch to the CD. As a classically-trained virtuoso, she was also a featured vocal soloist in Spanish opera, performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
There’s no mistaking her familiar “soul sistah” roots! Zehorah opens the album with a spoken prologue on rhythm; her authoritative vocal projection, yet soothing diction effectively combine to convey the message of how African-Edenic people lost the “Holy” – “as in righteous, not religious” said Zehorah – element of rhythm leading to a degenerative state in society today. From there, the listener joins her on a melodious and rhythmic journey of self-discovery and realized purpose. Weaving a seamless thread like a theatrical work, the album’s seven scenes convey its message of promise, praise, relationship and ultimate reconciliation.
Zehorah is remembered fondly for this creation, as well as the other works she created and the causes she stood for. You can sense her passion posthumously by simply putting on any of her albums, and the impact they have left on the musical world, especially for Israel, goes without saying.
Zehorah is a Blue Pie Records artist and is publishing by Blue Pie Publishing USA (ASCAP).