Music: Israeli Folk Singer

Patrons of Manhattan's Village Vanguard have long been bombarded by the roughest, readiest folk music in the U.S. Last week they were finding the red-blooded singing of a dark-eyed Israeli woman as stirring in its way as the best of Leadbelly, the Weavers and Chippie Hill. Her name: Shoshana Damari, 28.

Songstress Shoshana (Hebrew for Rose) has a deceptive way with her. She announces her songs demurely in broken English. Then, above a tinkling piano accompaniment, her voice rises plaintively while her hands trace delicate arabesques. As she sings an ancient Sephardic spiritual or...

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