September 18, 2023 – The biggest Croatian singing star of the early nineties, Tatjana Matejaš Cameron “Tajči” and the award-winning Israeli musician, stage artist and actor Moti Giladi, will perform at the festive concert “Croatia and Israel for the Future”, which will be held on October 11, 2023 in Zagreb’s Vatroslav Concert Hall Lisinski, beginning at 20:00.
The big concert marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel and 26 years of diplomatic relations between Croatia and Israel, and it was conceived as a unique musical event that celebrates the spirit of togetherness, hope, optimism and love.
Tajči and Moti will hold an all-night concert accompanied by the HRT Symphony Orchestra, conducted by maestro Alan Bjelinski, and the musicians of the Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the Israeli pianist Joe Kaplowitz. The arrangements are signed by the great Ante Gelo and Jim Gray.
Moti Giladi, an Israeli singer and actor, released his first album in 1969 and then moved to the United States. In the eighties of the last century, he returned to Israel and in 1986, in a duet with Sarai Tzuriel, he represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest. From the early nineties, Giladi continued his career as an actor, and his most famous roles were in the films Lupo, Me’ever Layam and Lemon Popsicle 9: The Party Goes On.
Croatia has many energetic friends around the world, and there can be few more enthusiastic supporters in Israel than Moti Giladi. Ahead of the concert (links to the concert and tickets at the end of this article), we caught up with Moti to learn more of the concert, his love for Croatia, relations between the two countries, and the activities of the Croatian-Israeli Business Club.
How did you develop your love for Croatia?
In 2004, at a certain political occasion at Benjamin Netanyahu’s’ office (at that time Minister of Finance), I became acquainted with Prof. Dragan Primorac when he visited Israel as Minister of Science, Education and
He expressed to me his admiration and love for Israel and encouraged me to visit his beautiful country, Croatia, which, two months after, I did! And yes, I was impressed by the warmth of the people and by the beauty of Hrvatska! I fell in love with the landscapes, with the Adriatic shores and its captive islands, and since then, I have become a goodwill ambassador, encouraging people to go and visit and describing to them the Adriatic as a unique, outstanding “Big Painting,” all the way to Dubrovnik!
The Croatian-Israeli Business Club (CIBC) was established in 2010 by
Professor Dragan Primorac with the support of his friend and mentor, the Nobel Prize laureate and former Israeli President Shimon Peres.
There are many prominent Israelis involved in the work of CIBC. How
do you see the main role of CIBC?
The main role is to collaborate more and more in many fields as our two countries have so much to offer each other! From medical research and innovations, such as collaboration between St. Catherine Hospital and
the Israeli Bonus biogroup , in Science, Energy, Tourism, Agriculture, iTech and more! As an artist, I deeply believe that through Sports and Culture, people get closer and that is the main reason for producing
this upcoming concert which emphasises in Hebrew, Croatian and English the need for togetherness, friendship, hope, and unity!
Please tell us a few words about your unique and great friendship with Professor Primorac.
We are like brothers! From the first moment we met there was a spark!
A spark of promising great friendship to be developed. We share the same values, We are open to new ideas out of mutual respect and admiration! We both are truthful and loyal, and we both love our countries, and for twenty years, we have been acting in various directions for the benefit of Croatia and Israel. Among others, we have
created the collaboration between the University of Split and the Israeli-Sapir Academy!
As mentioned above, I made Prof. Primorac acquainted with our PM Netanyahu, who is my friend, also served as a member of his strategic committee and am involved in stylizing his speeches including the ones in the UN.
You are a world-recognized artist and actor with an extremely busy schedule. But you are also the Chairman of the Croatian-Israeli
Business Club (CIBC) Advisory Board in Israel and Chief Communication Officer. How do you manage to handle the important issues related to CIBC?
You always find the time when you face a sacred issue! People around me are aware that I don’t have a limited summit! I am sure that Prof. Primorac will prove that whenever I am drafted to an important mission, I am at service and fulfillment 100%!
In 2018. you touched many hearts singing in excellent Croatian,
“Croatio is duše te ljubim”. In a short time, almost 35,000 saw that
video. How did you feel after the incredibly positive reactions from all around the world?
Yes, It was a great satisfactory feeling and some kind of “achieving victory” hearing that people thought I was Croatian. Well, since I am an impressionist, I am able to adapt the right dialect and pronunciation, and so I do in 22 languages! Also, I must know precisely the meaning of every word so I can be accurate and reliable!
Before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, you stated, “Good luck, Croatia, my
heart and heart of all Israelis I know will be with you.” The message
went viral. Have you ever met any of the Croatian players?
Yes,’ I became a good friend of the legendary Davor Šuker! I am still waiting to meet the one, and only Luka Modric, who watched the latest video of “Croatio is duše te ljubim” which I’ve specially edited after the World Cup, indicating the great achievements of the Croatian national team and was screened in the CIBC event last December in Zagreb. Modric told Prof. Primorac that it was a “Phenomenal Video”! Hoping to meet the great football Croatian stars in the event on Oct.11th. Since, among others, I was also a goalkeeper – a candidate for the Israeli young national team. I’ll bring a ball with me to the concert, and if Luka Modric is in the audience, I’ll be happy if he KICKS!! LOL!!
What is the main message of the concert in Vatroslav Lisinski when
you perform together with Tajči?
The main message is that the world can be wonderful if we only try! (like my impression of the legendary Louis Armstrong with the song “What a Wonderful World” or “window in the wall” that Tajci composed and delivers emotionally! All the songs and the wordings that Tajci and I had selected and put together are tided, carrying and reflecting sacred values as love, friendship, hope and unity!
Titles like: “You’ve Got a Friend” “Day Will Come” (my Eurovision song) and “Holding out my Hand”- The new song that was especially written for the upcoming event and been recorded will be one of the highlights of
this great and unique show presenting a big joyful hug to humanity!
How did the idea of performing with the extraordinary Croatian singer Tatiana “Tajči” Cameron arise?
Prof. Dragan Primorac is to be “blamed” for it! He is the matchmaker! For many years I’ve been asking the Israeli ambassadors to initiate more cultural collaboration in order to bring the two peoples closer. I also Encouraged Prof. Primorac to implement my ideas and thank God it’s happening! DRAGAN took the mission on himself not before that he told me how much he and all of Croatia love and adore the wonderful TAJCI and said:
“Moti my brother, Tajči is a perfect match for you!” And he was right! From first sight we both felt and knew we can do great things together and we both thank Dragan for connecting us! We both “are growing beautiful fruits” in the garden of musical notes!!
The CIBC President, Prof. Saša Missoni, underlines your continued
support of CIBC. What is the next on your agenda related to CIBC?
In honor of the 75th Anniversary of Israel and the 26 years of great relationship between our two countries, it would be fantastic if the next yearly CIBC event would take place in Israel! Also, Prof. Primorac and I are considering bringing the Croatian National Football Team to play against The Israeli National Team as it happened in 2004. Hopefully it will happen!!
You are the friend of many prominent Israeli politicians, including Prime
Minister Netanyahu, the speaker of the Knesset Amir Ohana, etc.. The
political relationship between Israel and Croatia was never better. In your opinion, what else should be done to strengthen the relationship even more?
Advancing more and more collaborations ! Establishing daily direct flights to Croatia! Israelis are in love with Hrvatska, so why not increase the joy and the Tourism.. even in winter times? More and more conventions in various fields from medicine to other scientific subjects, iTech, agriculture, culture and sports activities and learning more and more about the needs of each other!
The Israeli Embassy is extremely active in promoting cultural activities here – can you tell us a little about that.
I am in touch with ambassador Gary Koren and together with Prof. Primorac we are exchanging ideas for further future activities!! Certain festivals and appearances of artists, bands, and more!
It is well-known that you love Croatia. If you had to sum up Croatia in a sentence to encourage people to visit, what would that sentence be?
Come and see the most beautiful Painting on the Map of the Globe!!!
Your favorite place in Croatia, and why?
DUBROVNIK! As much as you describe, there is always More to Tell!