Israel Museum (photo credit: ELIE POSNER / ISRAEL MUSEUM)
Israel Museum

Jerusalem Jazz Festival returns to Israel Museum


The ninth edition of the Jerusalem Jazz Festival takes place at its regular berth at the Israel Museum, on June 27-29, with a sparkling roster of acts from around the globe. Perennial artistic director and internationally renowned trumpeter, Avishai Cohen has compiled an intriguing program of artists that span the world, from the United States to Thailand, and Bulgaria to Mali, with much in between.

The three-dayer features the likes of stellar American trumpeter Dave Douglas, who teams up with veteran Israeli band Hagiga, led by saxophonist Alon Farber, and versatile American vocalist Michael Mayo, as well as a cultured foursome led by German pianist Julia Hulsmann.

Cohen is also bringing over quite a few bands and artists the average Israeli jazz fan may not know too well, with, as usual, sounds that originate from expansive and diverse areas of music making. The Oliphantre trio from Italy is an intriguing case in point, comfortably straddling hip-hop, rock and punk stirred into jazz improvisation. Folks that dig the sensuous vibes of flamenco music should enjoy the slot with Spanish guitarist Rafael Riqueni, while West African music gets a generous showing with a couple of gigs by Barcelona-based Senegal-rooted kora player and vocalist Momi Maiga.

Who else is performing at the Jerusalem Jazz Festival?

Groove and the blues, with more than a whiff of the great open spaces of the desert, will find their way to the Israel Museum with the Tarwa N-Tiniri sextet from Morocco, with the 80-year-old Malian singer, songwriter and guitarist Boubacar Traoré bringing his considerable credentials, spanning American blues, Arabic music and pentatonic structures from West Africa’s Mande region, to the festival fray.

Elsewhere across the program, vocals get their due across a broad range of cultures and styles. A few years back, the world-famous female folk choir Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares put on a string of sellout concerts here. The jazz festival offers a quality taster of the ensemble’s sumptuous textures with four soloists from the choir performing as The Eva Quartet.


And there is plenty of quality on the Israeli side of the agenda, featuring internationally celebrated jazz pianist Shai Maestro and drummer Ofri Nehemia, while Cohen fronts his Big Vicious band with globally acclaimed vocalist Esther Rada guesting.

Other slots of interest include a salute to the Beat poet scene of the 1950s, a Brazilian samba show and a free-flowing Yemenite hafla (party).

For tickets and more information, call 02-563-1544 or visit

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