World Music Features    Diaspora Jazz    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music


World Music Features    Diaspora Jazz    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
nancymitchell

Search

WORLD MUSIC NEWS
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC Profiles
  Artist Features
  World Music Legends
  Reggae Legends
  African Legends
Live Music Events
  World Music Concerts
  World Music Festivals
  World Music Clubs
Global Lifestile
  Travel
  Food
  Film
reviews
  Books
  DVD
  Live Music
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC CD ReVIEW
  Africa
  Asia & Far East
  Australia & Oceania
  Celtic & Irish
  Electronica
  Europe
  Greater Latin America
  Jazz
  Middle East & North Africa
  New Age & Avant Garde
  North American
  Reggae & Caribbean
  South Asia
  World Fusion
WORLD MUSIC links
back issues
 

Deutsch
Franais
Espa ol
Italiano
Portuguese
Japanese
Chinese





World Music Features

Print Page
E-mail to Friend E-mail to Editor
Diaspora Jazz
By David R. Adler

Published June 5, 2008

Is there such a thing as “Israeli jazz”? Talk to the growing number of jazz musicians who also happen to be Israeli and you’ll get ambivalent replies. On one hand, these artists are shaped by the sounds of their native country, and they bring that influence to bear on their work. On the other, they’re not neatly unified, nor do they live in a bubble apart from the swirl of innovation around them, particularly as many opt for the bright lights—and big changes—of cities like New York. Sometimes they play Israeli jazz, and sometimes they’re Israelis playing jazz.

It’s a split personality that has its advantages. Israel’s position at the crossroads of Mediterranean, Arabic and Jewish cultures has allowed these players to cultivate an uncommon versatility. “What we share is a certain openness to world music influences,” says saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen, proprietor of Anzic Records and co-leader of the 3 Cohens with her brothers Avishai (trumpet) and Yuval (sax). “I have this joke with [bassist] Omer Avital about ‘Israeli jazz,’ because when I look for a musician who can play straight-ahead jazz but also some Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Middle Eastern, and who can go for the party vibe and the serious vibe, I’ll say, ‘I need someone to play Israeli jazz.’” Indeed, Israeli musicians have gravitated to a host of jazz subgenres, with impressive results. Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur has apprenticed with bebop pianist Barry Harris, while the younger axe-slinger Gilad Hekselman is tearing up bandstands alongside post-boppers Ari Hoenig and Joel Frahm. Trombonist Reut Regev has earned his stripes with avant-garde icono Anthony Braxton, while Rafi Malkiel, another trombone specialist, has delved deeply into Latin jazz on his recent debut My Island. Expanding into other disciplines, vocalist Ayelet Rose Gottlieb has developed a live multimedia project based on her 2006 Tzadik disc Mayim Rabim (and later this year, she’ll release Up To Here|From Here). On the business side, reed player Assif Tsahar stays busy as a player but also fosters vibrant experimental music on his Hopscotch label and runs the Levontine 7 performance space in Tel Aviv.

Of course, adaptability and change are always part of the journey. “I didn’t necessarily think I was playing ‘jazz,’” says pianist Anat Fort, recalling her transition from reluctant classical student to passionate jazz composer and improviser. “It<

RSS Feeds

ADVERTISING LINKS

Arc128
Fes Festival
Lawson Sideblock
Globe Trekker 120 150
emusicsideblock

GoNomad
sonicbids

Contact us | Press Room | Contests | About Global Rhythm magazine | Advertise / Media Kit
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
| Global Rhythm Contributors | Link to Us | Back Issues

Copyright © 2008 Zenbu Media. All rights reserved.

Powered by Ecomsolutions.net