The jazz lineup of this year’s Israel Festival is somewhat meager, with just two
slots, both of which incorporate other areas of musical exploration with the
nominal main art form.
The principal foreign jazz artist is
composer-clarinetist-saxophonist Don Byron, who will perform in Jerusalem with
his New Gospel Quintet, with vocalist La Velle, pianist Bruno Ruder and bass
player Grad Jones, with Sangoma Everett on drums.
The band’s output is
primarily based on the work of two of the giants of the gospel style – pianist
Thomas A. Dorsey, who was known as “the father of black gospel music,” and
powerhouse vocalist and guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who gained great
popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, and found great success with her mixture of
spiritual lyrics and secular musical styles.
Dorsey, who died in 1993 at
the age of 93, also fused religious music non-religious disciplines, including
jazz and blues.
During his close to three-decade career to date, Byron has
gained a reputation for incorporating a wide range of musical endeavor in his
work, including klezmer music and classical music. He last appeared in this
country with Jewish American pianist, at the Opera House in Tel Aviv in
On the Israeli side of the jazz-oriented program, stellar New
York-based Israeli bassist-composer Omer Avital teams up with mandolin player
Avi Avital and jazz pianist Omer Klein, with ethnic percussionist Itamar Douari
completing the lineup. The Israel Festival concert will be the quartet’s debut
performance, and the show repertoire takes in world music, jazz and classical
The world music sector features Brazilian folk music artist and
composer Renato Borghetti, who plays the gaita, a diatonic button accordion. In
2005 he won a Latin Grammy for his album, Gaita Ponto Com. Borghetti is coming
here with saxophonist-flutist Pedro Figueiredo, guitarist Daniel Sa and pianist
Vitor Peixoto and the foursome will offer the audience a high-energy show, with
plenty of virtuosic playing and not a little humor.
Each of the
instrumentalists comes from a different region of Brazil, and brings with them
their local musical styles, with added jazz sentiments.
concert also feeds off a diverse tapestry of ethnic disciplines, with the main
ingredient being liturgical music of the Libyan Jewish community.
name of the show comes from the title of a new CD overseen by oud player,
arranger and musical director Yaniv Raba and bass player, guitarist and tar
player Yankeleh Segal. The pair will be joined on stage by a substantial
instrumental lineup, including ney (flute) player Yitzhak Ventura and
percussionists Moshe Nuri and Roi Freedman, as well as vocalist Yitzhak Hayun.
The concert will also feature guest appearances by stellar rock singer and
guitarist Beri Sacharov, keyboardist Adi Renert and violinist Nitzan
The last world music concert in this year’s Israel Festival
program culls sounds and rhythms from an extensive international musical
hinterland with the Naya ensemble, including opera-trained vocalist Yaniv De’or,
internationally renowned oud player and violinist Yair Halal, mandolin player
Avi Avital, percussionist Erez Munk and sitar player Yotam
The concert will feature material from both the eastern and
western sides of the world, as well as classical music and Jewish liturgical