Shoshana Damari was born in Yemen in 1923 and brought to Palestine by her parents as a toddler. As a young child she joined her mother as she entertained at family gatherings and community events. By the age of 14 Shoshana was already performing regularly on the radio.
Her exotic beauty, along with her distinctive husky voice and Yemenite accent brought a uniquely Middle Eastern flavor to mainstream Israeli music which had previously been totally dominated by Eastern European influences.
During the fight for Israeli independence she frequently performed for the troops. Her inspiring renditions of fighting songs made her a favorite of Israeli soldiers. She became especially well-known for her association with Israeli composer, Moshe Wilensky.
During her first American concert tour in 1949 she recorded Voice of Israel, an album of her favorite concert numbers. This album, along with several live performances recorded from Vistas of Israel radio broadcasts, comprise the JSA’s Shoshana Damari online collection of recordings.
When Shoshana Damari died in Tel Aviv on February 14, 2006 the Knesset honored her memory by proclaiming, “Her voice unified the whole nation, spreading optimism and hope.”