Levontin 7 will mark its 17th birthday with a flurry of gigs, both at its home base and at the Tel Aviv Museum, July 1-22.
Since its founding, by internationally renowned jazz saxophonist Assif Tsahar, pianist Daniel Sarid and conductor Ilan Volkov – Tsahar now runs the place solo – the club has hosted thousands of acts across an expansive spectrum of genres and styles, taking in Tsahar’s own field as well as rock, pop, reggae, indie, world music and experimental ventures. All of the above, and then some, feature in the Levontin Festival, with a handful of foreign artists thrown into the mix too.
Club faithfuls with a penchant for jazz, will surely have caught returning American percussionist Hamid Drake in full irrepressible flow at some stage or other. The larger than life Chicago-born multi-instrumentalist appears in a two-set evening, on July 10, alongside Israeli pianist Milton Michaeli and bassist Asaf Shchori, followed by a quartet slot with veteran saxophonist and longtime sparring partner saxophonist Albert Beger, fellow reedman Ziv Taubenfeld and bassist Shay Hazan.
Compatriot seasoned jazz drummer Lewis Nash is also in the festival lineup (July 14), powering a big band led by trombonist Jonathan Volchok, as is envelope-pushing German trumpeter Axel Dörner, while American saxophonist-video artist Chris Jonas’s hook up with the Lost Time Orchestra – with Tsahar, Michaeli and Shchori in the bulky cast too – should please lovers of left-field sonic escapades.
There is a slew of other local jazz musicians, of various stylistic leanings, on the roster, and also plenty for fans of more commercial sounds to shout out about.
Who is playing at Levontin 7's 17th birthday?
There are some intriguing synergies in the program, with the likes of veteran vocalist Efrat Ben-Zur teaming up with singer-songwriter guitarist Amir Lev, and rock band Girafot doing business with singer-songwriter Dikla.
Stellar pianist-vocalist Shlomi Shaban contributes to the Levontin festivities, as do pop singer Hila Ruach and singer-songwriters Atar Mayner and Daniel Sun Krief, while rock singer-guitarist Ram Orion will go a performative step further by recording his trio show on July 12 for a forthcoming release.
The ethnic music crowd also has lots to wrap its ears around with evergreen octogenarian percussionist-singer Shlomo Bar once more heading the Habreira Hativit (Natural Selection) cross-cultural group he founded back in 1977.
And the Alternative Oud Festival, on July 5, features a varied crop of purveyors of Middle Eastern music from several generations, including Gad Tidhar, Yarden Erez, Nizar Awad and 67-year-old Iraq-rooted doyen of Israeli ethnic music scene Yair Dalal.
For tickets and more information: https://levontin7.com/festival/