Lawrence’s legacy

December 24, 2017 21:10
1 minute read.
The Jaffa Jazz Festival

Jazz band (illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

On December 27 (10 p.m.), the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem will host the Jerusalem Dynasty Quintet, in a tribute concert to late jazz saxophonist and educator Arnie Lawrence.

The fivesome fittingly comprises a bunch of jazz players who were helped along their nascent artistic way by Lawrence, including now Paris-based saxophonist Shauli Einav, guitarist Hezi Jait, longtime New York resident bass player Tal Ronen, drummer Haim Peskoff and saxist Daniel Zondiner.

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US-born Lawrence, who passed away in 2005 at the age of only 66, made aliya in 1997 and quickly set about transforming the local scene in the pursuit of excellence in jazz, and beyond. He set up a school in the Ein Kerem neighborhood of Jerusalem, where a diverse spread of budding musicians, including Jews and Arabs, received invaluable tuition. He also played weekly gigs at a jazz club in Ramallah, before the Second Intifada put a stop to that.

During his career, Lawrence played and recorded with a whole slew of jazz pantheon figures, including the likes of Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie. He brought that priceless experience, his musicianship and rare gift for nurturing young talent to this country and, almost singlehandedly, gave the entire Israeli jazz scene a shot in the arm from the art form’s homeland. Entry is free.

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