“16 years ago when I decided to move to the US, it was a dream to think that someone from a very tiny country could be an international jazz musician,” saxophonist and composer Eli Degibri opened the International Exposure for Jazz and World Music 2011 at the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem with recollections of his own jazz journeys. In his words, music and actions, Degibri expresses the spirit of jazz – living in a musical space without boundaries or borders – whether geographic, generational, or creative. Always wandering, always knowing the way home, and keeping the flame alive with respect for musical mentors and an open mind and heart to teach the next generation of musicians, making music that resonates in the soul of the listener.
When he first arrived in New York at the age of 19, Degibri was selected by Herbie Hancock and Al Foster to participate in a program for youth, “to make music together.” Five years ago, he initiated a similar project in Israel. Two of these young musicians were invited to perform with him at the International Exposure, Gadi Lehavi on piano and Ofri Nehemia on drums, who along with Simon Star on bass opened the music festival on an inspiring note, performing pieces from Degibri’s latest album: Israel Song. As Degibri said, “I’m gonna loosen my tie and we’re gonna make some music.”
And make music they did – for three days and nights at the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem, followed by a day at Levontin 7 in Tel Aviv. Director Barak Weiss with the members of the artistic committee – Lea Lior, Dubi Lenz and Daniel Sarid, put together a diverse program that presented an enticing look at the Israeli jazz and world music scene. The six concerts included between three to six mini-sessions, moving with ease from Klezmer to free jazz, intimate flute solos to bold brass sounds, drawing on influences from hip hop to Andalusia. It was an exhilarating musical journey. Q & A sessions between performances allowed time for lightening-speed set up onstage for the next performers, and offered a chance for everyone – international guests and fans alike, to ask any question from “How do you bring Middle Eastern influences into a Western jazz trio?” to “was it hard to move alone to New York?”
One might compose an Israeli portrait from these materials – the warm, informal mingling of people of all ages, with different roots and ethnic traditions, speaking different languages, creating and listening to music – a sound that is eclectic, wild, tender, rhythmic, lyric, liturgic, anthemic, revolutionary, ancient and new. The adrenaline-charged Yiddish acrobatics of Ramzailech ensure that Eastern European Jewish musical traditions will “live on as music not as a monument.” Family and music traditions come alive onstage with the Alaev family, three generations rocking the soul with Jewish Bukharan songs and Tajiki poems: “From here joy rises/blessing will come/warmth will come/until the end of day/stay with me in this rhythm”.
Nino Bitton holds mystery in his fingers as endless tales spiral from the oud, a heritage that reverberates through the music of his many students. Tradition was heard in jazz translation from Omri Mor, who performed new jazz arrangements of Andalusian music learned from Nino. Connecting with roots through new compositions, Uri Gurvich described his process as, “a re-discovery of the music you didn’t realize you grew up with.” Gadi Seri’s Sapari project lifted their voices with ancient Hebrew devotional song, Shabate brings an Ethiopian rhythm to the songs of King David, while Zohar Fresco breathes a lively spirit into Miriam’s timbrel with “melodies that come from the pulse of the drum.”
Music that “emphasizes the melody” with a classical jazz-blues sound came from the youthful Tomer Bar Trio in songs like “The Late Hours” of which Bar said, “Ever since I was three years old I thought the blues lived there and I wanted to live there too.” Eyal Talmudi and Malox “bring folk into a punk aggressive club attitude” and Albert Beger invites the listener to join him on a journey to the unknown, saying “everything can work together no matter what dissonance or consonance.” Andra La Moussia blurs the borders between street and studio in a celebration of sound: “we call it music from the streets of Jerusalem…everything we live, breath and hear comes out in our music.”
International Exposure for Jazz and World Music 2011 is an initiative of the Yellow Submarine and Barak Weiss, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Levontin 7 music club, with generous support from the Ministry of Culture and Sports and The Jerusalem Foundation.
Director: Barak Weiss
Artistic Committee: Lea Lior, Dubi Lenz, Daniel Sarid, Barak Weiss
Producers: The Yellow Submarine Staff – Atcha Bar, Director; Yaron Mohar, Chief Engineer; Hadas Vanunu, Executive Producer; Ori Vaknin, Operation Manager.
Tel Aviv Producers: Levontin 7 Staff – Daniel Sarid, Director; Ruslan Gross, Soundman.
International Exposure for Jazz and World Music – the Musicians:
Eli Degibri www.degibri.com
Hadar Noiberg Trio www.hadarnoiberg.com
Ramzailech: Hardcore Klezmer www.ramzailech.com
Omri Mor & The Andalou Jazz Project www.myspace.com/omrimor
Tomer Yariv and Gilad Dobrecky www.percadu.com; www.myspace.com/gilad
Nino Bitton & the Maghreb Orchestra on.fb.me/rgTmxq
Uri Gurvich Quartet www.urigurvich.com
Amos Hoffman Quartet www.amoshoffman.com
The Alaev Family www.thealaevfamily.bandcamp.com
Gadi Seri: Sapari Project www.reverbnation.com/sapari
Itamar Borochov Quartet www.itamarborochov.com
Shabate featuring Abate Berihun www.shabatemusic.com
Zohar Fresco Trio featuring Daniel Zamir & Nitay Hershkovits www.zoharfresco.com
Ayelet Rose Gottlieb www.ayeletrose.com
Itamar Erez & the Adama Ensemble www.itamarerez.com
Michel Sajrawy & Yathrib www.michelsajrawy.com
Albert Beger Trio www.albertbeger.com
AndraLaMoussia www[.]andralamoussia[.]com [may be compromised, visit carefully!]
Avi Lebovich & The Orchestra www.theorchestra.co.il
Istiklal Trio www.istiklaltrio.com
The Tomer Bar Trio www.tomerbar.com
Omer Klein www.omerklein.com
Nadav Remez Sextet www.nadavremez.com
JISH: Ehud Banai, George Siman, Salem Darwish, Gil Smetana www.ehudbanai.co.il
Ensemble Yaman www.myspace.com/yamangroup
Yair Dalal www.yairdalal.com
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