Jerusalem International Oud Festival turns 16

There are plenty of mainstays of the local ethnic music scene in the festival lineup.

(photo credit: RIVKA ELIYAHU)
The annual Jerusalem International Oud Festival will take place, for the 16th time, November 12-21. The program includes its usual broad of array artists, styles and genres, both from the core disciplinary field and from art forms with varying degrees of connection with Arabic music.
The 10-day Confederation House bash kicks off with one of the most celebrated ethnic music artists in the country, Dagestan-born tar player Piris Eliyahu. The opener will take place at the Jerusalem Theater, with Eliyahu joined by his son, veteran kamanche player Mark, as well as seasoned vocalist Haya Samir and stellar singer Shai Tzabari. The concert marks the world premiere of Eliyahu Sr.’s new work Yishakeni Minishkot Pihu Ki Tovim Dodecha Miyayin. The name comes from an erotic verse in Song of Songs, and translates as “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is more delightful than wine.”
Internationally renowned percussionist Zohar Fresco will also unveil a new work, his debut album Toff Miriam (Tambourine), during the festival when he plays at the Jerusalem Theater on November 14.
There are plenty of other mainstays of the local ethnic music scene in the festival lineup, including violinist and oud player Taiseer Elias and fellow multi-instrumentalist Yair Dalal, who will mark the 20th anniversary of his Alol album and will host iconic percussionist and singer Shlomo Bar.
Singer Hadas Pal-Yarden, who has a doctorate in Ladino music, will front one of the eclectic slots in the festival. She will release her new album, Semi Tones, at her November 16 concert at the Yellow Submarine, when she will team up with Berlin-based Algerian singer Momo Djender, the Max Doehlemann Trio jazz band from Germany and violinist Elad Levy of the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra.
Other festival highlights include an intriguing confluence between oud player Samir Makhoul and percussionist Itamar Douari (Confederation House, November 15), the Song of the Oud show with east Jerusalem singer Helen Sabella and oud player Liron Meyuhas, and a tribute, called The Genius from Baghdad, to Iraqi-born composer Salim al-Nur, who died last year at the age of 94.
For tickets and more information: (02) 624-5206, *6226, and