Let the oud times roll

The Jerusalem International Oud Festival celebrates its 17th anniversary this November.

(photo credit: EFRAT KUPER)
The 17th edition of the annual Jerusalem International Oud Festival will take place November 17-26. As usual, Confederation House director Effi Benaya has lined up a star-studded musical cast for the 10-day event, with big guns from abroad performing betwixt, and alongside, many of our own seasoned and talented artists.
The opening slot figures an interdisciplinary repertoire to be delivered by internationally renowned jazz saxophonist Daniel Zamir, veteran musical sparring partners flutist-keyboardist- vocalist Shem Tov Levy and keyboardist-vocalist Shlomo Gronich and stellar singer-songwriter Shlomi Shaban. The frontmen will be ably supported by a motley crew including oud player Amos Hoffman, drummer Noam David, ubiquitous jazz bassist Gilad Abro and sibling jazz musicians guitarist Nitzan and pianist Tomer Bar, with Ronny Ivrin providing percussion support.
The cultural and sonic hinterland widens appreciably with the confluence of French Jewish multi-instrumentalist Jean-Pierre Smadja and Israeli percussionist Noa Vax, who will offer an innovative performance that combines oud, electronic music and a variety of percussion instruments.
The show offers fresh interpretations of works by the great masters of Arabic music.
The stars from foreign climes include returning Turkish-born multi-instrumentalist and singer Omer Faruk Tekbilek and Indian sitar master Ustad Shujaat Husain Khan, while 77-year-old Greek composer and conductor Stavros Xarchakos will preside over the closing slot of the festival, when he conducts a seven- piece ensemble of players, and two vocalists, performing a selection of the popular numbers taken from Xarchakos’s soundtrack for 1983 film Rembetiko, in addition to other works from across his long career.
Other highlights from the domestic side of the lineup include oud player- vocalist Sameer Makhoul, vocalist and musical director Neta Elkayam, Persian music performer vocalist Maureen Nehedar, ever-popular percussionist Zohar Fresco and fellow Bustan Avraham ensemble founder members oud player and violinist Nassim Dakwar.
For tickets and more information: (02) 623-7000, *6226 and http://tickets.bimot.co.il.