Rami Kleinstein performs.

Although Rami Kleinstein has performed in venues across America and abroad, the Israel pop artist has yet to step foot in Ohio.

That will change on Jan. 22 when the native New Yorker who moved with his family to Israel when he was 8 years old performs at the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center in Cleveland.

Listing off “the centers” – New York City, Los Angeles and Miami – Kleinstein noted he’s also performed in Memphis, Tenn.; Denver; and Seattle and Winnipeg and Vancouver in Canada

“Palo Alto, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington,” Kleinstein said. “I’ve been around, but Cleveland, not yet.”

Kleinstein, who spent the majority of his childhood in Israel, has been playing piano for as long as he can remember.

“When I was around 16, 17, it was already in my stars that that’s what I want to do,” Kleinstein said. “You know, just write my songs and perform and record them, and thank God, that’s what I’ve been doing since I was 20.”

Noting he sometimes travels with a band, Kleinstein said his performance in Cleveland will be a solo act.

“A piano solo,” Kleinstein said. “It has its energy and it’s also intimate and also energetic and it’s really cool.”

Comparing his performance style to Billy Joel and Elton John, Kleinstein said one key difference is his songs are written in Hebrew.

“A lot of times people would ask me when I do these extensive tours abroad if I’m actually going in and performing my songs in Hebrew,” Kleinstein said. “Because I was born in the States, I have no problem to relate and to tell them stories, everything and that’s all in English.”

But at showtime, Kleinstein said, regardless of the audience, he performs his songs in Hebrew.

He is a triple platinum and gold album award winner and many of his songs have become part of the foundation of Israeli culture.

His performance is presented by the Laura & Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Cleveland Israel Arts Connection and the Maltz Perofrming Arts Center.

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