Former US President Barack Obama's most recent annual list of favorite books, movies, and songs, published as the year comes to a close, features Israeli musician Tali Rubinstein.
Rubinstein, a graduate of Thelma Yellin High School and Rimon School of Music, holds degrees in music from Tel Aviv University and Berklee College of Music in Boston. Rubinstein made the Obama list due to her collaboration with American singer Tonina Saputo on a classic Latin song entitled "Historia De Un Amor."
Rubinstein, who is currently living in New York, partnered with classmates Saputo and Javier Limón to create an acoustic version of the song.
The 23 artists on Obama's list also included prominent artists such as Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Kurt Weill, Prince, Janelle Monae and Leon Bridges.
"It took me a few hours to digest it," Rubinstein told Ynet after she received news about Obama's recommendation. "I left the house, turned on my cell phone, and saw that friends sent me lots of screen shots and greetings ... but when a good friend of mine told me that Obama probably sat down to relax with a cup of tea while listening to my music—only then did it hit me. One of the people I admire most, who inspired me and had given me hope in difficult times, listened to my music, probably more than once with his undivided attention. There is no better gift for the New Year," Rubinstein said.
What would you say if you entered Trump's favorite artists list?
"It's a question I've been wondering about, I usually try to suppress it, but if I'm really trying, I think I'll be proud to be included in his most-hated artists list."
"Historia De Un Amor" by the Panamanian songwriter Carlos Eleta Almarán is considered a Spanish-speaking classic song. Over the years, since Perez Prado performed the song in 1956, it has been covered many times by various artists, including Israeli singer Miri Mesika.
Rubinstein's album, produced by Limón, is coming out soon.
"I met Javier when I studied at Berklee College in Boston. Javier was my teacher and right away, he offered to work with me on some pretty amazing projects. We recorded this song together. My solo was recorded in a few minutes. Some of my best work with Javier was done very quickly," she said.
On January 17, a documentary series about Rubinstein's life in New York will be uploaded to YouTube. In the show, entitled "Tali Jams New York," Rubinstein tries to conquer New York's jam session scene with her flute.
"As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers —some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before," Obama wrote on Facebook on Friday.
It's not the first time the former US president has recommended Israeli artists. In 2016, Obama, who started sharing his reading lists and playlists during his presidency, recommended Prof. Yuval Noah Harari's book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, which became a global sensation soon thereafter.
Harari penned a recent opinion piece for Ynet, in which he warned against the dangers of "fake news."