With the Caeserea swing jazz festival and the first international Jerusalem Jazz Festival just over, and with the second annual Mitspe Jazz Festival upon us, one could be forgiven for thinking the country's gone jazz mad. The Mitspe jazz shebang, beginning this Thursday and ending July 15, offers a chance to see and hear the cream of the Israeli jazz fraternity do their thing in what must be one of the most impressive settings in the world. The festival compound is located close to the edge of Makhtesh Ramon, the world's largest crater, with a breathtaking view of the brown, purple, red, black and golden sands and rocks hundreds of meters below. Over the three days, jazz lovers will be able to relax to a diverse range of sounds and beats, including leading local acts such as the Hagiga quintet, Black Hebrew singer Shivkhia Bat-Yisrael's Deliverance soul music band, Yair Dalal's ethno-jazz group and New York-resident guitarist Yottam Silberstein's quartet. The concerts will take place in various spots, both in the afternoons and later under the star-studded desert night skies, including one venue next to a swimming pool where the crowd can lazily ply its way through cool waters while the musicians do their thing. Guided hikes, master classes and jam sessions are scheduled as well. For more information about tickets and shows, call (08) 569-5577 or send email to email@example.com.