Gitit Shoval stepped into the spotlight at the age of 13 and has been one of Israel’s singing treasures ever since. And while this talented mother didn’t want her own daughter, Tutti Druyan, to enter this exciting but difficult world, the current star of “Bittersweet Cabaret” is proof that there’s no stopping natural-born talent and drive.
Before moving to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, Tutti began her singing career even younger than her mother when, at the age of 9, she announced that she wanted to audition for “Festigal,” a popular annual Israeli Hanukkah song and dance show for children. Despite Gitit’s pleas not to enter, little Tutti said, “I’m going whether or not you come with me!” She not only made it into “Festigal” that year, but after a few years of performing in the show, she began to host the whole event. “If you can’t beat them, join them!” Gitit told me proudly.
Given Gitit’s stardom and love of singing, as well as her musician-husband Ron’s knack for composition, it was no surprise to Gitit that Tutti started talking early, and that by the time she was 2 she was already “standing on the table, singing all the hit music,” Gitit says. “I was scared for her because I started so young, and I was afraid she would start too young. As a mother you want to protect your child, and this profession is really hard.”
And while one of the biggest challenges most professional musicians face is finding time for family, this crew seems to have that component figured out. Tutti and Gitit, along with Ron and drummer son Shaqed, bring an awareness and excitement to music by Jewish-American pop icons in their show, “From Gershwin to Dylan.” When they’re not performing, Gitit and Tutti also run a local singing group called “Pa’amonim.” And the family is working on a new project that will bring an Israeli sensibility to world music (more on that coming soon!).
I could tell you more, but if you really want to understand Tutti’s talent, come hear her perform in this Sunday’s “Bittersweet Cabaret” at Temple Ohabei Shalom. She’ll be performing excerpts from Matti Kovler’s “Ami and Tami,” a modern version of the story of Hansel and Gretl (in its English translation for the first time!), in which she stars as Tami, a singing louse, and more. Tutti met composer Matti Kovler through a friend just over a year ago and has been working with him ever since.
“Matti is one of the greatest musicians I’ve ever met,” she says. “When I met him and heard his work with ‘Ami and Tami,’ I knew I wanted to work with him—he’s a genius.”
And there’s no question that I agree! Come join me at the cabaret and experience this for yourself.
*First photo: Tutti rehearses as Tami with Matthew Shifrin
*Second photo: Tutti (in purple) with her parents, at left, and band members