Debka is an Arab folk dance from the Levant region. A community stomping ritual to compact the dirt roofs on stone homes, it evolved to include music sung and played by Bedouin tribes in Israel.
Debka also describes a musical style in Israel started in the 1920s. This was a time when European Jewish pioneers reconnected to their ancient “promised land” - and met their new Bedouin neighbors.
Fascinated by traditional Debka music and its fiery, desert-inspired Bedouin rhythms and Arabian scales, these open-minded pioneers soaked up what they heard to build an entirely new genre of music - the first of its kind in World Music - and a first for modern Israel. Israeli poets and Debka musicians back then were able to boldly, yet naturally fuse the sound of Arabia to musical harmonies and structures from the west.
This new project Debka Fantasia is driven by a supergroup of jazz, ethnic and classical musicians who go one step further: for them the colourful, fiery Bedouin influence is undeniable.
Produced and arranged by Yisrael Borochov, the father of Israeli World Music from the East West Ensemble, and Omer Avital an American-Israeli jazz legend from New York, this new fusion of Israeli debka music takes the best of contemporary and traditional World Music from Israel. Critics say Dekba Fantasia has a life of its own, and creates a place - real or imaginary - where its roots of fire from the east meet branches of harmony from the west. The result is combustible.