Meet Yonatan Razel. (Click for Music Video Katonti)
Yonatan Razel is an American-Israeli singer, writer, composer, musical arranger and conductor.
As a child he learned to play on piano and cello, and studied conducting with Mendi Rodan. With his siblings Aharon, Yehuda and Ricka, the Razels formed a band and performed on Rivka Michaeli’s program. Razel’s army service was as a musician and arranger for the IDF military band. After his release, he studied conducting and was the conductor for the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Ra’anana Symphonette.
For a number of years Razel abandoned his music, moved to Susya, where he worked as a shepherd and studied psychology. An offer to arrange music came from Yoni Rechter and drew him back into the musical world. This performance won warm reactions, and was later included in a “Best of..” collection by Yoni Rechter. This was also when Razel met and befriended Evyatar Banai.
In 2007, after 12 years of work, Razel released his first album “All in all”, produced by Eviatar Banai. Three radio singles from the album were “All in all”, “Zion”, and “I am my prayer”. The album was followed by a solo tour.
Razel won “Singer of the Year” and “Song of the Year” from Ynet in the fall of 2007.
In 2009, Razel gained fame in the Orthodox Jewish community after a song he wrote and arranged for Yaakov Shwekey, “V’hi Sheamda”, was successful and won an award as “Song of the Decade” from the religious Israeli radio station “Kol Chai”.
Razel was born in New York and moved to Israel at a young age with his family. He currently lives in Nachlaot, Jerusalem, is married to Yael and has three daughters and one son.
He learns in the Jerusalem Kollel under the direction of Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits.
Razel is the brother of musicians Aaron Razel and Ricka Van Leeuwen, and the cousin of the violinist Nitzan Chen Razel.