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Piyyut Ensemble

Piyyut Ensemble

The Piyyut Ensemble of the Ben Zvi Institute is made up of twelve members of diverse backgrounds. They come together in search of a new choral sound that combines the traditional with the interpretive, and the original source with fresh originality. The ensemble performs material from the world of piyyut (Jewish liturgical poetry), mainly in the variety of the North African piyyut.

Recently, the Piyyut Ensemble has been diving deep down into the very source of the liturgical poetry of the Abehsira dynasty of rabbis, learning the mystical poems of the Tafilalet region of southern Morocco, with their special musical tradition. Gradually, the members of the Piyyut Ensemble have created their own original, fresh interpretation, based on a vibrant circle of multiple voices and a rhythmical, festive and intense clapping.

The Piyyut Ensemble has performed at the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival (2014) and several other piyyut festivals; with the New Jerusalem Orchestra and with Berry Sakharof in the Ahavat Olamim and Maqam Jerusalem programs. The Ensemble is currently completing recordings for their debut album, Four Letters/Arba’ Otiot.


  • Niro Abekasis: Oud +vocal
  • Yosef Abehsira: vocal + palmas
  • Shlomi Ben-Lulu: vocal + palmas
  • Raphaël Bensoussan: vocal + palmas
  • Avraham Cohen: vocal + palmas
  • Simon Cohen: vocal + palmas
  • Eliyahou Edrei: vocal + palmas
  • Yehuda Edrei: vocal + palmas
  • Yehonatan Erez: vocal + palmas
  • Yair Harel: vocal + palmas
  • Yogev Levi: Ney+vocal
  • Neria Moyal: vocal + palmas
  • Lev Elman: Percussion
  • David Degmi: Percussion
  • Artistic consultant: Niro Abekasis
  • Artistic director: Yair Harel
  • General director: Avraham Cohen