Jerusalem is set to close out the summer by taking a two-way look at culture in this part of the world. The Jerusalem East and West Festival takes place at Sultan’s Pool in the capital August 27-28 under the creative aegis of Tom Cohen, founder, chief conductor, and artistic director of the eponymous orchestra. The institutional umbrella for the event is provided by the Municipality of Jerusalem and its sports, culture, and leisure events management arm, the Ariel company.
Cohen has put together an expansive program for the occasion which should draw audiences from different strands of the culture consumer spectrum. Naturally, he and his orchestra have a starring role in the performance proceedings, providing the instrumental foundation for both concerts.
The August 27 (8:30 p.m.) show focuses on this end of the Mediterranean melting pot with a cast of stellar vocalists from across a broad spread of genres and cultural baggage. Greek diva Eleni Vitaly makes a welcome return to these shores following several highly successful appearances at the Oud Festival. Her costars for the evening include Ishtar, French-Israeli vocalist of world music band Alabina; Israeli-Turkish vocalist Linet Mor Menashe – aka Linet; Arab-Israeli pop singer Valerie Hamaty; and internationally renowned Ethiopian-Israeli singer Ester Rada.
The second concert
The second concert takes the mood into decidedly more pop and rock music channels, as mercurial singer-songwriter Asaf Avidan contributes his upper register tones alongside fellow local singer-songwriter Noga Erez and The Next Star reality show winner rocker Tamir Grinberg.
Cohen says he is looking forward to “an exciting opportunity for me to take the orchestra and the public on a one-time unforgettable experience.” He adds that he plans on “flexing the boundaries and expanding the orchestra’s and my musical language into new areas.”
He notes that the program is tailored to fuse East and West which, he says “has been motivating me, for some years, to create and renew.” Cohen is hopeful that the public, from all walks of life and musical tastes, will get that.
“I am very excited to invite everyone to this experience, which is the distilled essence of the intent behind our work – connection, encounter, discovery, and celebration of the best we have in common.”
For tickets and more information: *2207 and https://2207.kupat.co.il/show/thejerusalemeastandwestfestival