Avital heads east Over the last decade or so, bassist Omer Avital has increasingly shifted the focus of his artistic direction back toward this part of the world.The Israeli jazz musician and composer has long been a mainstay of the New York jazz scene, particularly through his long berth at Smalls club in Greenwich Village. However, these days he devotes much of his time to being a leader, composer, arranger and collaborator with a variety of ensembles – such as the Debka Fantasy project with Yisrael Borochov, which featured in the Israel Festival; the highly popular Third World Love band; and more recently the New Jerusalem Orchestra. Later this month (November 20-22), he will front his Band of the East quintet in three concerts – at the Zappa Herzliya club and Jerusalem’s Yellow Submarine, and at the HaEzor venue in Tel Aviv, where the band will officially release its new album, Suite of the East.The American-Israeli lineup includes saxophonist Greg Tardy, guitarist Nadav Remez, pianist-keyboardist Jason Lindner and Third World Love drummer Daniel Freedman. The concerts will feature material from the new CD, which blends New York grit with Middle Eastern melodies and colors.For more information: *9080 or www.zappa-club.co.il; (02) 679-4040 or www.yellowsubmarine.org; (054) 446-7240 (HaEzor); www.omeravital.com.Staying put The “Venotar Hamakom” (Place Remains) exhibition, running at the Contemporary by Golconda gallery on Tel Aviv’s Herzl Street, offers the public a whiff of the Far East channeled through more local energies.The show features nature and landscape works by veteran artist and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Prof. Avi Eisenstein. The monochrome paintings and sketches reference the traditions of Zen art and the zeitgeist of Japanese painting, which addresses the impact of time and the imperfections of nature. “Venotar Hamakom” is Eisenstein’s first one-man show in Israel since 1994, and he has frequently exhibited in Europe and the United States in the interim. A book of the artist’s paintings and sketches will also be on offer at the gallery during the show.For more information: (03) 682-2777 or www.contemporary.co.il.Gypsy groove galore Gypsy groove artist Shantel is due to set the Barbi club crowd alight tomorrow evening at 9:30 p.m.The German-born Shantel, who is of Bukovina-Romanian descent, is one of the founding fathers of the global high-energy Balkan music genre. For close to two decades, he has traveled the world working with gypsy brass orchestras and as a DJ, also remixing traditional Balkan music with electronic beats.He last performed at Barbi a year and a half ago, to a sellout crowd.For tickets and more information: *9080 or www.zappaclub.co.il.Making ends meet The forthcoming “From End to End” concerts will, as the name suggests, bring disparate cultural and musical worlds together. The shows – featuring veteran mandolin player, composer and arranger Shmuel Elbaz, classical and flamenco guitarist Yaron Hasson, oud player Elias Wakila and darbukka player Hamouda Kial – will take place at Kibbutz Tzora’s Hechal Hatarbut Mateh Yehuda on November 14, and at the Tel Aviv Museum on November 17.Each of the string instrument players brings different cultural baggage to the musical synergy, and they will benefit from substantial underpinning courtesy of the Israeli Stage Orchestra. The program includes Gustav Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite, 20th-century Venezuelan composer Antonio Lauro’s Venezuelan Waltzes for Guitar and Orchestra No. 2 and No. 3, Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings in E Major, El Colibri by Argentinean guitarist composer Julio Sagreras and Concierto de Aranjuez by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo.For tickets: (02) 990-8105 (Tzora) and (03) 607-7020 (Tel Aviv).