Focus on World Jazz from Israel

Each year, the festival Amersfoort Jazz pays particular attention to World Jazzfrom a country abroad. In the last years the festival’s focus was on World Jazz from Thailand, South-Africa, Spain and Belgium; in 2019 Amersfoort Jazz presents the Focus on World Jazz from Israel.

Israeli Jazz burst into the international jazz world in the 90s onward, with pioneers like Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital and Yaron Herman, moving to New York and returning to Israel, sharing their knowledge and experience with the upcoming generation of talented musicians. This next generation of Israeli musicians, inspired by their pioneering masters, combines jazz with influences from the Levant and Middle East, Israeli folksongs, also elements from North Africa and Eastern Europe, into a sophisticated ‘Israeli Sound’.

Highlight in this program of Amersfoort Jazz 2019 is the special Focus Night in theatre De Lieve Vrouw on Saturday, May 25, with concerts by some of the currently new 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 gigs de Sint Aegtenkapel on Friday, May 24, and with the boundless duo SUBTEXT (Yoav Eshed) on Saturday, May 25, at De Lieve Vrouw. During this concert evening (Focus Night), two more acts will concur: firstly, the quintet of mindblowing 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’. Besides during the Focus Night, all the artists named above perform at Amersfoort Jazz 2019 at other venues. De Mannenzaal is hosting a peformance by SHALOSH ft. Tula Ben Ari on Friday, May 24, and by SUBTEXT on Sunday, May 26. Also, the gifted pianist Nuphar Fey will perform at the venue Sint Aegtenkapel on Sunday, May 26, with her sister Telalit (cello/vocals).

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.

Amsterdam based Israeli guitarist Eran Har Even plays with jazzy singer-songwriter Claire Parsons (LUX/GBR) at de Sint Rochuskapel on Saturday, May 25 (during the Amersfoort Jazz Heritage Walks), as well as on Sunday, May 26, at theatre De Lieve Vrouw (during the Sena Performers International Laureate Festival)