On the brick wall of Shablul, a new jazz club in Tel Aviv, you won't see pictures of Miles Davis or Ella Fitzgerald. Instead, you'll find portraits of Israeli jazz musicians Arahle Kaminski and Ednah Goren. That's because Shablul, founded half a year ago, is about the Israeli jazz community and giving Israeli musicians and fans an authentic jazz venue that highlights the local scene.
"I think both the artists and the public are really ready for this. There are many talented artists and a growing public that wants to hear them," said Eli Zak, Shablul's art director and jazz musician.
A weekly line-up features jazz ensembles playing a variety of styles - from bebop to free jazz to avant-garde jazz. Monday nights are for jazz jam sessions and are free to the public. Unfortunately, evenings featuring prominent Israeli artists can get pretty pricey, from NIS 50 to 70. Students get 10% off, particularly since music students often come to hear their teachers.
Shablul was founded by Yossi Mazur, who ran a live music venue of the same name over 20 years ago on Dizengoff Street. Now, with Dizengoff no longer the nightlife center it once was, Mazor has found jazz a home at the newly renovated Tel Aviv port, which is working to become a leading art and entertainment complex.
The club was carefully designed by Tsila Zak, an interior designer who has worked on many Tel Aviv cafes and restaurants. A jazz lover herself, Zak was inspired by clubs she visited in the US and Europe for her design for Shablul. The materials are thick, the colors are natural and dark, and the lighting is dim.
The warm and misty atmosphere, and the music pouring out of its doors, will attract passers-by whether or not they particularly like jazz. Musical offerings aside, Shablul provides a pleasant opportunity to sip some wine in a cozy environment.
Shablul isn't snobby or exclusive. "A jazz club shouldn't be faltsani [fake], but simple and down to earth," says Zak.
November highlights at Shablul:
Every Tues: Arahle Kaminski Hosts, NIS 50
Fri, Nov. 11: Makondo, NIS 70
Sat, Nov. 12: Albert Beger Trio, NIS 50
Thurs, Nov. 17: Danny Rosenfeld Quintet
Fri, Nov. 18: Tribute to Billie Holiday, NIS 70
Sat, Nov. 24: The Tel Aviv Jazz Ensemble w/Alon Oliarchik
Doors open: 9 p.m.
For information, call (03) 546-1891.