Israeli Music: Introducing Kutiman

Kutiman, aka Ophir Kutiel, is a Jerusalem native who has grown into one of the world’s most acclaimed YouTube musicians. One of a small number of people who can create a YouTube remix which makes even the most vicious critics sit back and appreciate the platform which the internet has given independent composers, Kutiman provides one of Israel’s most unique and impressive sounds, and regularly performs across the country with his live band, the Kutiman Orchestra who are a funk, afrobeats, reggae fusion.

Kutiman first rose to acclaim in 2009, with the release of his project, “ThruYOU”, a YouTube video project which featured mixed samples of YouTube videos, and Kutiman continues to grow to this day. Receiving over 10 million views on YouTube within two weeks, Kutiman rose to online fame, and Time Magazine named ‘YouTube Funk’ as one of the top 50 inventions of 2009. The project is proudly non-commercial, and amazingly, none of the artists who Kutiman samples in his works are aware that they are being featured until after the videos are released.

Before his critical acclaim, Kutiman’s musical career saw him signed to a German label, in 2006, and named as one of the acts to watch in 2008 alongside later-successes MGMT and Glasvegas. He released a number of successful tracks including “Music is Ruling My World”, a collaboration with another experimental Israeli musician, Karolina. His live music fuses traditions but it is easy to hear the funk, afrobeats, and reggae influences in performances of the Kutiman Orchestra.

In 2014, Kutiman’s second YouTube project was released, “THRU You TOO” with two tracks (‘Give it Up’ and ‘My Vendetta’) going viral and receiving radio play in Israel and beyond.

Kutiman Orchestra Concerts in Israel

The Kutiman Orchestra, Kutiman’s live band, creates a sound which is far removed from the YouTube videos which mark the artists’ most recognizable works, however is equally distinctive, refreshing and accessible. Members of the orchestra are from a range of backgrounds and musical traditions, but include some big names in Israeli music, including Karolina, and Ester Rada.

The Orchestra performs around Israel, at festivals and in their own concerts at bars and clubs in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and across the country.

  • March 4, 2015 at the Block Club, Tel Aviv.

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