Jazz in the winter sun

What to expect ahead of the eight edition of the Red Sea Jazz Festival.

December 12, 2017 21:30
2 minute read.
Kenny Garrett performs at Red Sea Jazz Festival, E

Kenny Garrett performs at Red Sea Jazz Festival, Eilat (370 . (photo credit: Digi Deckel)


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February is a great time of year to be in Eilat. The sea is inviting and the winter sun is friendly rather than fierce. For the past seven years our southernmost resort has also hosted the winter version of the Red Sea Jazz Festival, with the eighth edition due to take place February 22-24.

As usual, perennial artistic director Dubi Lenz has put together a diverse lineup of artists, from a wide range of genres. The confluence of Colombian harpist Edmar Castaneda and Italian clarinetist Gabriele Mirabassi appears intriguing, with both artists frequently stepping out of the confines of straight-ahead jazz.

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The Renaud Garcia-Fons trio slot will also, no doubt, appeal to jazz fans and devotees of world music and rock alike.

The 55-year-old French double bass player will team up with compatriots accordionist David Venitucci and vibraphonist and percussionist Stephan Caracci. There will be more inter-genre offerings from Swiss vocalist Andreas Schaerer and his Austrian cohorts, guitarist Peter Rom and trumpeter Martin Eberle. The threesome will present a program that goes by the somewhat misleading title of Beatbox Meets Jazz when, in fact, the group ventures into far wider areas of stylistic and sonic endeavor.

Elsewhere in the motley three-dayer you can find some high-energy delivery from the likes of Cuban-born vocalist and violinist Yilian Canizares, thought-provoking offerings from the Swiss VEIN trio who will filter the sensibilities of early 20th century classical composer Maurice Ravel through the jazz idiom, along with Israeli saxophonist Amit Friedman, while Paris-based Israeli pianist Yaron Herman will join, no doubt, unbridled forces with dynamic compatriot drummer Ziv Ravitz and French bassist Bastien Burger.

On the local side of the program, there should be great interest in the supergroup threesome offerings of stellar guitarist- vocalist Berry Sakharof, pianist Omri Mor and percussionist Itamar Doari, indie folk sextet The Angelcy, the crossover jazzy-inflected Non Standard Project fronted by pianist-songwriter Shlomi Shaban and supported by bassist Yorai Oron, pianist Tomer Bar, sibling guitarist Nitzan Bar and drummer Sharon Petrover, with three backing vocalists in tow. Elsewhere drummer Yogev Shetrit and his trio will mix Middle Eastern grooves with straight-ahead jazz, while saxophonist Lihi Haruvi and Boston- based educator Lil Haruvi will front a wide-ranging quintet concert.

The customary jam sessions will follow the onstage fare, deep into the night, and there will be a competition for young up-and-comers.

For tickets and more information: http://redseajazz.co.il.

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