Each year, the festival Amersfoort Jazz pays particular attention to World Jazz from a selected country abroad. In recent years the festival’s focus has been on World Jazz from Thailand, South-Africa, Spain and Belgium. In 2019 Amersfoort Jazz will present the Focus on World Jazz from Israel.

Israeli jazz burst onto the international scene in the 90s, with pioneers such as Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital and Yaron Herman moving to New York and returning to Jerusalem and thereby sharing their knowledge and experience with the upcoming generation of talented musicians. This next generation of Israeli musicians, inspired by their pioneering masters, combine influences from the Levant and Middle East, and also elements from Morocco and Eastern Europe into a sophisticated ‘Israeli Sound’.

The highlight of the particular focus element at Amersfoort Jazz 2019 is the special Focus Night in the theatre De Lieve Vrouw on Saturday, May 25th, with concerts by some of the most current and outstanding World Jazz artists from Israel: the young pianist Gadi Lehavi is considered a genius by Chick Corea. Despite his young age, he tours around the globe with Avishai Cohen, Ravi Coltrane, Bobby McFerrin, Pat Metheny and Eddy Gomez. He plays solo at de Sint Aegtenkapel on Friday, May 24th, and with the boundless duo SUBTEXT (Yoav Eshed) on Saturday, May 25th, at De Lieve Vrouw. During this concert evening (Focus Night), two more acts will concur: firstly, the quintet of the mind-blowing saxophonist Amit Friedman and secondly, the extravagant trio SHALOSH ft. Tula Ben Ari. The latter is a wonderful singer, currently touring worldwide as a member of the international project ‘Playing for Change’.


In addition to their performances at the Focus Night, all the artists named above play at several other venues during the Amersfoort Jazz Festival 2019. De Mannenzaal is hosting a peformances by SHALOSH ft. Tula Ben Ari on Friday, May 24th, and a concert by SUBTEXT (Gadi Lehavi & Yoav Eshed) on Sunday, May 26th. The Focus element at the Amersfoort Jazz Festival is traditionally crowned by a Grande Finale Concert at the ‘open air theatre square’ Lieve Vrouwekerkhof, with various artists mentioned above, combined in a dynamic, inspiring and adventurous setting.

Moreover, the gifted pianist Nuphar Fey will perform with her sister Telalit (cello/vocals) at the venue Sint Aegtenkapel on Saturday, May 25th, and at de Mannenzaal on Sunday, May 26th. Amsterdam based Israeli guitarist Eran Har Even plays with jazzy singer-songwriter Claire Parsons (LUX/GBR) at de Sint Rochuskapel on Saturday, May 25th (during the Amersfoort Jazz Heritage Walks), as well as on Sunday, May 26, at the theatre De Lieve Vrouw (during the Sena Performers International Laureate Festival).