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Tzruya (or Tsruya) "Suki" Lahav (Hebrew: צרויה להב‎, born 1951) is an Israeli violinist and vocalist, who was known for being a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band from September 1974 to March 1975, and an actress, lyricist, screenwriter, and novelist, who in years since has achieved success in Hebrew language works in Israel.

She was born and raised in Kibbutz Ayelet HaShahar in Upper Galilee in Israel, where she played kibbutz harvest music as well as classical music growing up.

Following her compulsory stint in the Israeli military, she arrived in the United States in 1971 with her husband Louis Lahav, a recording engineer who in 1973 began working with Springsteen, who in turn was looking for a violinist. On record with Springsteen, most of Suki Lahav's parts did not make it to released form, but she sang the choir-like vocals on "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" from the album The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle and played violin on the epic "Jungleland" from the Born to Run album. In concert, Lahav's violin and vocals — as well as her willowy pale presence in flowing white dresses — were a focal point of slow songs during Springsteen's shows of this time, such as in perhaps the definitive rendition of "Incident on 57th Street", performed February 5, 1975, at the Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She and her husband returned to Israel later in spring 1975, coinciding with the shift from Mike Appel to Jon Landau as Springsteen's manager and producer, ending her role in the E Street Band.

She later divorced Louis Lahav and raised a family with domestic partner Moshe Albalek in Jerusalem, where by 1985 she had two children and little involvement in the music industry. But then, and now known as Tzruya (or Tsruya as it is sometimes transliterated) Lahav, she worked as a violinist and violist, appearing with the Israeli Kibbutz Orchestra, and then as an actress. She became a successful lyricist, writing for prominent musicians and singers in Israel; "Shara Barkhovot" ("Singing in the Streets"), the Israeli entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1990 performed by Rita, featured her words, and some of her songs are considered anthems of Israeli music.[1] She also recast existing song lyrics into Hebrew, such as for the Leonard Cohen song "Famous Blue Raincoat" in 1993. In 1999, she wrote the lyrics for the multi-ethnic collaborative Glykeria recording "Tfilat Ha'Imahot" ("Mother's Prayer"), which also featured Amal Murkus and Yehudit Tamir. In 2003, the album No Longer the Sea: A Collection Of Tzruya Lahav's Songs was released, featuring performances by Rita, Yehudit Ravitz, Meir Banai, Yehuda Poliker, and others. Her songs have also been performed by Israeli artists Gidi Gov, Rami Kleinstein, and Ricky Gal. In 2004, a show of her songs was produced in Tel Aviv.

Lahav became too the author of screenplays, including the 1996 Israeli crime film Kesher Dam, and two novels: Andre’s Wooden Clogs (Kinneret, 2002), the fact-based story of a boy's survival of The Holocaust in Holland (in Hebrew, also translated to Dutch, Italian and English), and The Swamp Queen Does The Tango (Am Oved, 2004), an adult fairy tale (in Hebrew). Both books have won numerous awards and prizes for literature, including the Yad Vashem Prize and the Culture Minister of Israel prize for first work. She also teaches creative writing in Jerusalem, where she lives in the German Colony.

References

  1. ^ Tamar Sukenik, "They're playing my song", Haaretz, May 10, 2007.

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