Meet Radiohead's opening act, Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis
The Israeli band is set to break out as they play for sold-out U.S. summer tour.
Radiohead are well known for their willingness to take risks, so it should come as no surprise that the opening act for their much anticipated spring U.S. tour isn't a household name here. At least not yet.
Instead, the band has enlisted Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis, a "cross-cultural" Israeli project, to open when their American tour starts in Miami at the end of this month, as well as when they play the coastal Israeli city of Tel Aviv in July.
The band is led by frontman Dudu Tassa, whose inspiration can be found in the musical legacy of Daoud and Saleh al-Kuwaiti, two brothers who penned popular regional songs in the 1930s and ’40s — and who also happen to be Tassa's grandfather and great-uncle.
Tassa, who has performed in small venues across the U.S., does have a history with the seminal British rock band. “In 2010, I gave Jonny Greenwood [the guitarist for Radiohead] a record by Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis and was surprised to discover that a song from the album had been posted on Radiohead’s website,” he said. “But I couldn’t imagine a situation in which Radiohead would invite me to open their performances in the U.S."
The exposure to be gained from opening in front of Radiohead's massive crowds is sure to propel Dudu Tassa & the Kuwaitis into the ears and hearts of many American rock fans. This is something of a recent trend among Israeli rockers looking to crossover into the American market. Ninet Tayeb is a star back in her home country, and recently appeared on NPR's much acclaimed "Tiny Desk" concert series. Asaf Avidan has also experienced success stateside. And less recently, but no less notably, is Gene Simmons, whose band, KISS, you may have heard of.
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