Regarding his plans for 2016, he said, “I am a big fan of collaborations. A primary focus in 2016 is getting back to writing and producing with artists and other musicians. I took a break from this a few years back, and I’d like to get back into the studio again. Also finding more philanthropic opportunities where I can help with my knowledge of the music business. Kind of like what I’m doing with ‘SoBar Jerusalem‘ back in Israel where I’m from. ‘The Project Matters‘ in New Jersey is also important to me.”
One of his proudest moments was getting to go back home to Israel last December with Enrique Iglesias and performing in two sold-out shows. “Another memorable moment was in February 2011 when I got to tour Iraq and Kuwait for the U.S. troops with Smash Mouth. One of the activities we got to do was walk around Sadam Husseins’ palaces. Interestingly 20 years prior to that moment, as sirens wailed in Israel, I recall putting on my gas mask and helping my pregnant mother with my two brothers as our father was serving in the military during the First Gulf War. I thought, ‘Wow, here I am, 20 years later, walking around in the exact location where Sadam had given the orders from.’ Also, how many Israeli citizens can say they’ve been in Sadams’ palaces? It was a very surreal moment for me!” he exclaimed.
Hurwitz left Israel for Los Angeles to pursue his musical dream. “As of 2000, the only life I knew in Israel was getting very difficult and scary. Attacks on our lives were happening weekly, sometimes daily for five years straight. I have personal stories, like when my father was shot at while he was on a bus (well, him and everyone else); thankfully, he walked away from that uninjured. Another time I was 15-20 feet away from a car bomb that didn’t go off. All I remember is seeing a guy get out of the car and start running with his legs on fire. Needless to say, I got out of there as soon as I could. So like I said, many stories there. But the specific event that got me to leave Israel was when a popular music venue called ‘Mike’s Place’ in Tel Aviv was attacked by a suicide bomber. I wasn’t there, but my friends were. Even before I knew they were there, just driving around in my car listening to the updates on the radio, I knew I needed to leave. I knew if I didn’t leave now, I may never get the chance to try to make it in the U.S. Just under two months later, I landed in L.A. and began a new life. My family and many of my friends are still in Israel, but it was the right decision and everyone supported me.”
On touring with Anna Nalick, he said, “Working with Anna was a blast! I only did the acoustic promo run with her and her awesome musical director and bass player, Tim Hogan. But that’s what made it even cooler. It was very personal and private. It was really great seeing her influence on fans, she really connected to them. Watching them share stories about what her songs meant to them was truly inspiring. She’s a true artist.”
For Hurwitz, touring with Enrique Iglesias was a dream come true. “Touring the world, performing in front of thousands and thousands of people every night. wow. And honestly, he’s got one of the hardest working teams that I’ve met. Everyone is a professional in his camp. I’m truly honored to share the stage with all of them. Enrique himself has always been nothing but nice to me. He even took the time to give me a personal shout out in Israel, mentioning my family in the crowd. It’s just all around a wonderful experience in every way.”
When asked what motivates him each day, he said, “Progress! I am always looking to get better, musically, physically, mentally. These days, as I mentioned earlier, I really think I can offer a positive yet realistic perspective on what it is like to be a working musician in today’s business. I recently became even closer to a gentleman by the name of Michael ‘NOMAD’ Ripoll (Musical Director /Guitarist for Babyface) who kind of gets into all that in #TheCareerGuitarist series. I’m very much on the same page and would love to get more philanthropic and give back to the communities in any way I can. Also being newly married to my beautiful wife, Tricia Hurwitz, is definitely a daily motivation to work on taking our lives to the next level. She inspires me every day.”
For his fans, he concluded, “One of my favorite things about touring is meeting all kinds of people all over the world.
I’m always down to chat with fans when I can about anything. I love learning about people’s lives. I”m also always down for pictures and giving away guitar picks. I chat on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, my own site, even email. My message to them is, connect, hit me up, don’t be shy…I’m not that scary, come say hi after a show!”