Israeli Music rocks the Roman Colosseum

 
  (photo credit: JULIE SCHEEN COSTA)
(photo credit: JULIE SCHEEN COSTA)

Roman Summer. These words are loaded with pleasant associations and pictures: ice cream, fountains brimming with water, tanned arms, white shirts, motorcycles, chilled white wine. The evening goes down slowly. At the site of the Colosseum, perhaps the most distinctive symbol of the city of Rome, the lights turn on, and the entertainment venues in the surrounding streets are filled with people – both Italians and foreigners –  who enjoy the light breeze that refreshes the hot day.

Roman Summer is also the name of a series of summer cultural events organized by the City of Rome for almost 40 years, and has turned into one of Rome's most important cultural traditions. The purpose of these events is to bring as much high culture as possible to the city's citizens in the many public spaces at its disposal. And so, during Roman Summer, the city is filled with one-time opportunities to watch quality films outdoors, participate in dance performances, music, art installations, children's theaters, the circus and more.

  (credit: JULIE SCHEEN COSTA) (credit: JULIE SCHEEN COSTA)
 

As part of these events, the historic Alexanderplatz Jazz Club holds a series of concerts featuring the biggest names in the world of jazz in a restaurant and bar located in one of the parks near the Colosseum. In July, the club devoted an entire evening to contemporary Israeli music. During the evening, two concerts were held by musicians from Israel, with the remains of the illuminated Colosseum in the background. First, the wonderful percussionist and singer Liron Meyuhas took the stage, accompanied by her Italian pianist partner Manuela Iori, together presented world music that Liron herself sang and composed for this special ensemble. This was followed by a trio featuring the young and talented pianist Guy Mintus, who dazzled the audience with a repertoire that included interpretations of Beethoven and Chopin, tributes to Gershwin and contemporary arrangements of Israeli classics. 

Both Meyuhas and Mintos, young but experienced artists, prepared a concert that greatly appealed to the Italian sensibilities. With the ruins of the monumental Colosseum representing the past at their backs, the musicians presented the Israeli present seasoned with Hebrew, Italian and English, with an abundance of talent. It was an evening that moved between continents – Africa, Asia and Europe, and it was all very Israeli and very Italian.

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