This year’s Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat is very much a tale of parts. For a start, for the first time in its 26-year history, the event has two artistic directors, each with his own artistic background. The program for the festival, which was announced at a press conference at the Shablul Jazz Club in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, is colorful mix of genres, including a generous number of artists from outside the strict confines of the jazz fold. The festival will run from July 30 to August 2.

Dubi Lenz, a veteran of the international world music scene, and current artistic director of the winter version of the festival, and co-artistic director of the forthcoming four-dayer seasoned jazz saxophonist and teacher Eli Degibri have brought in acts from around the world, including several Israeli acts which have found success in the US and elsewhere in recent years.

These include the Yes trio, with New York-based Israeli bassist Omer Avital, and Americans pianist Aaron Goldberg and drummer Ali Jackson, and acclaimed young Israeli guitarist Gilad Hekselman, who also works from the Big Apple. Hekselman will be joined by stellar saxophonist Mark Turner, bass player Matt Brewer and drummer Marcus Gilmore.

Other jazz acts to look out for in Eilat include a welcome return for groundbreaking American pianist Geri Allen, whose Time Line Trio concert will be visually enhanced by a tap dancer spot, and a deserved tribute to 80-year-old clarinetist-artist- poet Harold Rubin and his legendary Zaviot band, which appeared at the first three editions of the festival, from 1987 to 1989.

Meanwhile, the acts on the jazz peripheries, and beyond, include Cameroon-born guitarist-vocalist Richard Bona, Israeli guitarist-vocalist Dudu Tassa and his Iraqi-influenced repertoire, Cape Verde vocalist-guitarist-keyboardist Carmen Souza and gospel powerhouse Craig Adams.

For more information about the Red Sea Jazz Festival: www.redseajazzeilat.com

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