‘Kind of Blue’ drummer in town

The 84-year-old drummer is coming here as part of this year’s Israel Conservatory of Music jazz series.

Jimmy Cobb, the drummer from Miles Davis’s milestone Kind of Blue album, will be in Israel at the end of the month to give four shows, and a number of master classes.
The 84-year-old drummer is coming here as part of this year’s Israel Conservatory of Music jazz series, which is being run in conjunction with the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York.
Cobb joined Davis’s band in 1957 and stayed with him until 1963. The Kind of Blue album, which also featured pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, saxophonists John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley and bassist Paul Chambers, is the biggest selling jazz record of all time, with sales of over 4 million copies and counting.
As Kind of Blue came out at the end of 1959, for the past year or so Cobb has been touring with his So What band – named after the opening track of the album – to mark the 50th anniversary of the release. Cobb’s So What entourage is not coming to Israel, and the drummer will be backed by three local artists – guitarist Ofer Ganor, pianist Omri Mor and bassist Gilad Abro.
Cobb will perform at the Shablul Jazz Club in Tel Aviv on May 25 at 8:30 p.m.; Milestone Club, Kibbutz Gan Shmuel on May 27 (10 p.m.), and the Enav Center in Tel Aviv on May 29 at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.         • Barry Davis
Poets festival makes its bar mitzvah
The annual Poets Festival, which is run by Jerusalem’s Confederation House, will celebrate its 13th year, in Metullah, from May 18 to May 20.
This year’s program features 20 poets, as well as several top musical acts and poetry readings, with special tribute slots devoted to the life and work of Yehudah Amihai, Natan Alterman and Leah Goldberg.
The theme this year is the relationship between contemporary Israeli poetry and Hebrew poetry written in Spain in the Middle Ages. Jewish music from medieval Spain has also gained in popularity in recent years and the program for the opening evening of the festival includes the Nikmat Hatractor rock group offering its highly individual take on poems penned by 11th Century philosopher and poet Rabbi Moshe Ibn Ezra. Other musical entertainment will be provided by Shlomo Gronich; a documentary on the life and work of Yehudah Amihai will be screened on May 19.
The poets on call at the festival include veteran writers Haim Guri, Tuvia Ribner and Nurit Zarhi. There is also room in the three-day agenda for the works of non-Hebrew poets, including 31-year-old Arab-Israeli writer Marwan Makhoul, and several poems in English.
The festival will mark milestone anniversaries of several important events, including a decade since the passing of Amihai, the centenary of the birth of Alterman and the 40th anniversary of the death of Goldberg.
The annual new poets’ Teva Award, with a cash prize of NIS 20,000, will also be made during the festival.
For more information: www.meshorerim.org.il or 04-6950778     • Barry Davis
Dan David and TAU prizes galore
Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood and Indian-Bengali writer Amitav Ghosh share the 2010 Dan David Prize this year awarded for rendition of the 20th century in Literature, the category chosen for the Present field. The awards ceremony is May 9.
Atwood, the author of more than 40 works ranging from novels and poetry to cultural criticism, is cited for her uncompromising and multi-hued approach to issues such as colonization, the structures of political power and oppression – especially against women – and the abuse of our planet. Her important books include The Handmaid's Tale (1985), The Blind Assassin (2000), and The Year of the Flood (’09).
The work of Amitav Ghosh “offers a panoramic treatment of twentieth-century history from a postcolonial perspective.” His work is characterized by a fine sense of history and by the fullness of his characterization. His novels include The Calcutta Chromosome (1995), The Glass Palace (2000) and Sea of Poppies (’08).
The annual Dan David Prize awards $1 million each in the fields of Past, Present and Future contributions. The categories are each year chosen by an international panel. 
May is also the annual Board of Governors' meeting at TAU, marked amongthe rest by honorary doctorates. This year’s roster includesRussian-born actress Yevgenia Dodina, cited for her “enormouscontribution to Israeli theater. During the 19 years she has beenhere…Dodina has established herself as one of Israel's most prominentand sought-after actresses while contending with the difficulties oflanguage and absorption.”
Today a company member at the Habima National Theater, Dodina was afounding member of the Gesher Theater, established when Yevgeny Aryebrought his company with him when he immigrated from Moscow in 1991.
She appears not only on stage but also in film and TV. Currently she isthe lead in Railway to Damascus at Habima. The ceremony is May 8.
Both prize-givings are at the Smolarz Auditorium on the TAU campus.     – Helen Kaye