Arts and Culture | Local

‘Heartbeat of Israel’ presents Uri Banai concert

Uri Banai

As Israeli actor and singer/songwriter Uri Banai takes the concert stage at the Tucson Jewish Community Center on Sunday, Oct. 30, he will take the audience on a journey through the history of his family — one of Israel’s leading entertainment dynasties.

Told through songs, video clips, rare photos and personal anecdotes, the story begins during the early years of the 20th century, when the Banai family made aliyah from Iran. It continues in Jerusalem prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, where Uri’s father and uncles grew up behind the vendors’ benches at the Mahane Yehuda outdoor market before making their mark on stage and screen, winning some of the most prestigious awards in Israel, and passing the entertainment tradition to the next generation. Banai will perform many of Israel’s most notable contemporary folk songs, as well as his original compositions.

The concert is part of the Weintraub Israel Center’s Heartbeat of Israel Cultural Series, which will continue Nov. 9 with a symposium on the U.S.-Israel relationship, “On the Verge of a Paradigmatic Shift?” Presented by the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies, the symposium will feature six internationally renowned speakers, including Peter Beinart of the City University of New York, David Makovsky of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Itamar Rabinovich of Tel Aviv University.

Other upcoming Heartbeat events include a concert with the Tucson Jazz Society by Israeli jazz pianist Tamir Hendelman and Detroit jazz singer Kathy Kosins, an early Chanukah party on Dec. 18, and the 21st Annual International Jewish Film Festival’s Israeli Film Series from Jan. 15 through Jan. 22.

The Heartbeat series will continue throughout the winter and spring with more than half a dozen events, including UApresents’ Noa & Mira Awad in concert on Sunday, March 25, featuring one of Israel’s foremost concert and recording artists together with a Palestinian actress and singer/songwriter who is a Goodwill Ambassador of Peace.

Several Heartbeat of Israel season pass options are available, including an individual pass for $120, a family pass for $180 (2 adults plus up to three children) and a patron pass for $360 (2 adults, premium seating, meet and greet with artists). All passes include bonus guest tickets to several events.

Individual tickets to the Uri Banai concert are $18 for adults and $12 for ages $12 and under. The concert is sponsored in memory of Dina Spector.

For more information on tickets, season passes and a complete Heartbeat of Israel schedule, contact the Weintraub Israel Center at 577-9393 or