ALLA REED: “During the pandemic, memories of touring in Israel warmed our souls”


Her wide vocal repertoire – from jazz to rock – and luxurious contralto cannot leave anyone indifferent, she conquered with her sound and creative artistic approach to vocals even the famous composer and musician Alexander Gradsky.

And now the popular soloist of the “Gradsky Hall” theater, the finalist of the show “Voice”, the laureate of the jazz festival in Montreux, the participant of international competitions and festivals of jazz and Jewish music in Israel, America, Canada – singer Alla Reed will perform with an anniversary tour program in Israel from May 18 to May 23.

Musical gourmets will enjoy deep virtuoso vocals, subtle theatrical acting, genuine emotions and unexpected roles of Alla Reed in her anniversary program “I miss you, Israel” accompanied by LIVE BAND.

About the new tour program, about the pandemic and life after it, about Gradsky's departure, about the surprise for the Primadonna and online concerts, and much more – read in this interview with Alla Reed.

Interviewed by: Elena Goldman

 ALLA REED: «During the pandemic, memories of touring in Israel warmed us soul

– Alla, we are looking forward to your new program. Your first tour in Israel took place almost on the eve of the start of the pandemic, in January 2020. Has your life changed during this period, what adjustments has the pandemic made to your career?

Time flies so fast – almost three years have passed! It was an amazing trip to Israel – an incredible success, a warm welcome and, of course, I was enveloped in the love of the Israeli audience – all these difficult years, it was the memories of the tour in Israel that warmed our souls with the guys.

Life has changed a lot since the beginning of the pandemic: at first, like many, I was shocked by what was happening. In March 2020, we were supposed to fly away on a big tour of Canada, and I just could not understand and accept that everything was canceled everywhere… It was not easy and I had to figure out how to stay in shape, how to keep my listeners and how not to fall into a serious depression, because when you give up, you absolutely don’t want to do anything. But since I am more of an optimist than a pessimist, my depressive state did not last long: I am a dramatic singer and everything related to suffering, feelings is close to me, and I try to express all the feelings I experience through music, vocals and songs. Therefore, my musicians and I decided to give concerts online. It's not as easy as it seems: you see the screen of a phone or computer, but you absolutely cannot feel the energy of people, physically you get much more tired than when you communicate with the public live. Therefore, the first online concerts were very difficult for us, and since this was the only way to somehow make music and get in touch with our fans, we introduced this practice into our lives and gradually got used to it. I gave a lot of online concerts, tried to perform various programs, participate in broadcasts for the holidays, record video greetings. And as soon as it became possible to perform in the previous format, we began to return, performed in clubs, at small parties.


I tried my best not to interrupt the concert activity as much as possible. It was important for me to keep in touch with my audience, and for me, as an artist, it is doubly insulting that this whole pandemic happened precisely when I was on a creative wave, on a big rise. On the one hand, I was sorry that after participating in big TV projects, we had to slow down sharply. On the other hand, it became possible to devote time to creativity – writing new songs, recording what has already been conceived, active creative introspection, because when you live in the bustle of the tour, you often do not have the opportunity to record something that was once conceived. Therefore, the period of the pandemic turned out to be beneficial for me in the end.

– So, for you, the pandemic, self-isolation and quarantines helped you pause and gave you the opportunity to think about life, look at your home, family, career with different eyes?< br />
– We all stopped and we had the opportunity to be at home with the family, to do things that were out of our hands… I always spent a lot of time on tour and my son didn’t see me that often, but in 2020 we cooked together, and drew, and did our homework, and walked.

Of course, it was a great opportunity to re-evaluate many things, especially those that previously seemed ordinary to us, for granted, which were not paid due attention – this period gave us the opportunity to re-evaluate everything and made us understand how important loved ones and family are in life. I am sure that a large number of people have experienced a similar reassessment of values. After all, when it comes to life and health, it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, young or old… It just becomes scary, and you realize how important it is and what happiness it is when your loved ones are there, alive and well.


– Tell us what awaits the audience, bored during the pandemic, at your concerts of the new program “I miss you, Israel”?

Program “I miss you, Israel” takes place as part of the anniversary tour – this is my anniversary year. I created a big solo concert dedicated to this event at the Gradsky Hall Theater, where I serve. The program, one can confidently say, is the best in years. I have put together my favorite compositions related to my childhood – this is a block of Soviet pop hits – the music on which I grew up, these are the songs of my idols, my teachers, and a large block of Jewish music, songs about Israel, and a block with hits and memories of my participation in popular TV projects, world hits, as well as some of my works that brought me success in the author's field.

Such a big combined concert of the best compositions that I have performed over the years of my work. The concert will be held in the form of a creative meeting – I always try to communicate with the public, share my personal emotions, feelings, impressions. Therefore, I expect that we will have a great time together, and I hope that it will not be boring. In any case, I will try with all my heart, as I always do – with a great desire to give the viewer a piece of my soul.

I am not coming alone, but with my brilliant musicians – the LIVE BAND group, with whom I have already been to Israel. In this group, each member is the star of his genre, these are amazing musicians and amazing people who give me the opportunity to realize my most creative ideas on stage, so I'm sure the audience will enjoy it. Our concerts do not provide any phonogram – only live sound!

– In some interviews, you admitted that the project “Voice” can be considered a turning point in your career, when Alexander Borisovich Gradsky pressed the cherished button and after that your life changed a lot. Has Alexander Borisovich become a “good angel” for you?

I was the last of the soloists of our theater who talked to him on the phone before he left. He did not get in touch, we all understood that he did not feel well. But I called and called – I wanted to talk about my anniversary concert, to discuss some creative issues. At first he did not answer, then he asked if it was too early to talk about this topic, and then he simply said that everything would be fine and hung up, forever: the next day he was gone.

This year was difficult not only for me and for all the students of Gradsky, but in general for all people who knew and revered the great master. It was difficult for us to perceive his departure, we still feel as if we had lost our father – he was so close to us for all. Moreover, in 2021 we held a big concert in honor of Jerusalem Day, with the support of the Embassy of the State of Israel, and I, of course, took part in it along with other pop stars. Alexander Borisovich did not want to sing, although we persuaded him, and at the last moment he changed his mind. It so happened that the final, swan song that he performed in his life turned out to be “Yerushalayim shel zaav”; on the stage of the theater “Gradsky Hall” that night, at the Jerusalem Day concert.

 ALLA REED: «During the pandemic, memories of touring in Israel warmed our soul»

– During your last visit to Israel, you shot a video for the song “4 Seas and Jerusalem”, as far as I remember, your tour took place in winter, it was raining heavily, but the video turned out to be bright and sunny. Are these the wonders of the Promised Land?

The song has a really happy and interesting story. On my last visit, we were shooting a video for the song, it was raining and the sun came out on the day of shooting – and this song was first performed in Israel. It was written by the director of the department of the Ministry of Tourism of Israel Vladimir Shklyar, she received an independent happy fate. This clip is very popular and people still send it on various Jewish holidays and in general songs about Israel occupy a separate place in my work.

I have been singing this country for 30 years! Recently we celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations and 30 years of my singing about Israel. I think it's all some kind of divine providence that it was in Israel that they managed to do such work, which was a great success all over the world.

– Alla, I can't help but ask about your recent project dedicated to Alla's work. Pugacheva – “Surprise for the Diva”.

A very interesting acquaintance took place a year ago with the producer of the brilliant symphony orchestra of the Russian Philharmonic, Gayane Shiladzhyan. I just went to meet her. She creates a lot of interesting tribute projects for the songs of Abba, Queen, Muslim Magomayev and others. We talked with her for about 15 minutes and she, after listening to my songs, asked if I sang Alla Pugacheva's songs.

And of course, I sing – this is my idol, my teacher, but I never did any serious work on the songs of the Primadonna, I only tried to take some individual songs into the repertoire. And how glad I was to hear that Gayane has been dreaming of doing such a project for a long time, and it seems to her that this project is for me. Exactly one year later, in the concert hall of the House of Music, we presented absolutely grandiose author's arrangements – with the participation of an orchestra of 80 musicians – songs of our parents' youth, songs that I grew up on – this music that brings back to childhood, to youth. The then amazing composers and poets wrote – I sang 22 songs. Absolutely unique work, which I am very proud of! And yet I want to say that there can be no comparisons here, I just dedicated this work to the great actress, singer, my teacher, the legendary personality – Alla Borisovna Pugacheva. I want these songs to continue their life, for people to listen to them, for the younger generation to know that incredibly cool pop music was once written.

– A smile costs nothing, but is highly valued. You are always smiling, you can even say that a smile is your calling card along with the vocalization to “Hava Nagila”. When cats scratch your heart, do you still smile?

Yes, I seem to be quite a positive person. In any case, I consider it my mission to share my energy with people through my voice, through a smile. I try to always smile and inwardly set myself up for all the good things, and I also set my listeners up for it. Because in our life, especially lately, there is so much hard, negative and even to some extent hopeless that only an inner attitude towards positive and faith helps to remain human.

It is clear that I am different and do not always smile, but since my mission is to give smiles that give positive and help to cope with all the difficulties that we now have in life, I cannot go against it. So, friends, come to my concerts and I will give you my smiles so that you can cope with everything!

– If you imagine the singer Alla Reed as a dish, it is obvious that it will contain such ingredients success like…

My ingredients for success are very simple. The first is diligence: I work hard, I am a fan of my work. I know how to organize my time — this is the second very important quality. The third ingredient is love: for music, without which there would be nothing, and, of course, love for people, for the audience, because I sincerely love to give myself to people. My ingredients are like this. It is also important to say that success comes when you really believe in it. You need to believe in the best, the power of thought helps to cope with difficulties.

– Finally, ask your readers and viewers why they should attend your concert?

Through my songs, through my voice, I convey those feelings, those emotions that are happening to me at the moment. And I do not accept any phonogram, because I think that when I go on stage, I, as an artist, live a completely new, unpredictable life that happens to me here and now. I sometimes even change the order of songs in a concert depending on my mood – I have this opportunity, because my musicians and I work as a single energy mechanism and only live. Therefore, at my concerts, I charge people, charge them with the energy that the Almighty gave me through my voice, through the emotions and feelings that I experience. I will be glad if I manage to leave a piece of my soul to the wonderful Israeli public.

Friends, I am waiting for you, come to our concerts, I am sure that we will spend six wonderful evenings in Israel together!< br />
The anniversary tour will take place in the cities of Israel from May 18 to May 23:

May 18, 2022, Wednesday – Netanya;
May 19, 2022, Thursday – Karimel;
May 20, 2022, Friday – Be'er Sheva;
May 21, 2022, Saturday – Rishon LeZion;
May 22, 2022, Sunday – Haifa;
May 23, Monday – Ashdod.


Book tickets online and by phone 03-6960990.

Organizers Alla Reed's concerts in Israel are Marat Lis and Cruise International.

Photos provided by the organizer of the tour.

Photo: Evgeniya Atlas

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