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Jerusalem Jazz Festival returns to the Israel Museum

CM 25/05/2021

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 The Jerusalem Jazz Festival, an adjunct to the Israel Festival, will take place this year June 22-24 at its regular berth of the Israel Museum. All the shows will be held outside, in and around the Sculpture Garden.

Perennial artistic director and internationally acclaimed trumpeter Avishai Cohen has devised a particularly diverse program for the seventh edition of the festival, which follows some of the thematic guidelines of the main Israel Festival.
The Inspirational Connections category is carried over into the three-day jazz agenda, with a bunch of alluring interdisciplinary confluences lined up.
The crossover slots include the likes of cellist-vocalist Maya Belsitzman and drummer, real-life partner Matan Ephrat inspired by Miriam Roth’s 1974 children’s Hebrew classic Tale of Five Balloons. World-renowned jazz pianist Shai Maestro will weigh in with his trio, working off famed author Meir Shalev’s Two She-Bears, while vocalist Gilad Kahana will stretch the stylistic palette even further with a beat-based freestyle electronic outing together with producer Guy Mozes and drummer Nadav Luzia that feeds off Amos Oz’s autobiographical tome A Tale of Love and Darkness.
There is plenty more interdisciplinary fare on offer over the three days, with a high-energy collaboration featuring director Billy Levy-Nobleman working alongside the dynamic Shaat’nez duo of Tamir Muskat and Ori Kaplan – both members of the popular eclectic Balkan Beat Box act – bassist Itamar Ziegler and multi-instrumentalist Uri Brauner Kinrot. The foursome will take their creative cue from the museum’s striking exhibits of Anish Kapoor’s works, as well as items displayed in the Africa and Oceania Art Gallery.
Cohen clearly had at least one ear and eye on the younger crowd when he crafted the lineup, conceiving an intriguing interface between animation director Eden Calif and electronic and indie music duo Red Axes. The artistic backdrop for their show comes from the Yaacov Kaufman exhibition “1001 Characters,” on display in the Ruth Youth Wing.
Jazz fans looking for the real creative McCoy, in the festival’s stated genre, should enjoy the trio gig fronted by envelope-pushing pianist Maya Dunietz, who will be supported by bassist Barak Mori and versatile drummer Amir Bressler. Experimental electronica artist Rejoicer and Cohen will also contribute to the wide-ranging proceedings.

Things take a sharp turn homeward, to this part of the cultural and geographic world, when double bass player Hagai Belitzki fronts the Tarabass ensemble. The septet also includes acclaimed violinist Elad Levi and percussionist Hillel Amsallem. Belitzki originally trained as a jazz musician and will bring some pertinent improvisatory sentiments into the Arabic-leaning fray.
Other staged gigs include the traditional Jewish music-based jazzy Nigun Quartet, a stellar quintet led by saxophonist Asaf Yuria and trumpeter Hillel Salem, and also featuring Katya Tubul on piano, bassist Yonatan Levy and celebrated drummer Ofri Nehemia. Fans of straight-ahead jazz may also dig trombonist Yonatan Volchok’s Elevation foursome, with bassist-vocalist Rosa and her Salmons sextet putting out an entertaining mix of R & B, soul and jazz originals.
And there should be no shortage of wattage output when singer-songwriter Gal De Paz hosts the Las Piratas marching band, while stellar bass guitarist Yossi Fine’s synergy with poetry slam artist Orit Tashuma should keep the patrons duly engaged.
Cohen has also included cross-genre musician Ofer Mizrachi and his trio, who will span an expansive ethnic hinterland, taking in sounds, rhythms and textures from India, Turkey and Caucasia, with some jazzy seasoning thrown in for good measure.
Throw in the aMaze choreographed musical performance by the ImPort ensemble, a potpourri of budding jazz and other artists in the Speak Thru slot, some post-jazz works courtesy of the Apifera outfit, and saxophonist Matan Chapnizky and some of his fellow improvisers, in the Jazz Talk corner, and it looks like the Jerusalem Jazz Festival has most musical bases covered.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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