Mughaniyyat are the female Jewish poets of Yemen—women whose poems were passed from generation to generation before reaching Israel. Vocalist Omer Kalaf, who initiated this performance, tells that he always knew that his singing voice is in fact a feminine one. Indeed, Kalaf was not mistaken—both of his grandmothers were noted female poets in the Hogriah district of Yemen. Their voices are deep inside him. Kalaf traces the sounds that accompanied his grandmothers together with paytan and researcher Tom Fogel, whose family also came from the Hogriah region. Fogel studied the diwan specific to that area and documented women’s song among elderly women of the community. In this performance Kalaf and Fogel present rare Hogriah piyyutim never before performed on stage, along with original melodies influenced by the feminine roots of the Mughaniyyat.
Ofer Kalaf, vocals, keyboard, percussion; Eran Hurvitz, bass, David Digmi, drums, percussion; Tom Fogel, Yemenite vocals; Hila Tam, Yemenite vocals