Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Sounds of Tel Aviv


I've had the pleasure of playing with several different musicians here in Israel and Palestine. I've also had a handful of my own shows. It's been a trip to play my American based music for ears that are not used to the style. My favorite venue to play has been my friend Ami's rooftop concert series in Yafo (a la pic above). I'm also really looking forward to a pair of farewell shows in Jerusalem next week. The final show takes place in the open-air Shuk (marketplace) as seen in my previous post. I put together an eclectic band for the show. I'll be joined by my Palestinian friend, Tamer on bass and Israeli drummer, Matan. I just taught Tamer some honky tonk harmonies to Jambalaya– so incredible to hear the Southern twang come from him!

About a month ago I got together with Israeli/Yemenite singing phenomenon, Ravid Kahalani. He graciously invited me to his flat in Tel Aviv and we hung out, talked music and jammed. He is an amazing singer, with a heart full of mojo. He's most commonly known for his work with Idan Raichel, but it is his solo project, Yemen Blues is what speaks to my soul. The nine person ensemble marry Yemenite, Arab, and Israeli roots music with the inspiration of West African and early American blues. It's a beautiful and power sound. Check it:



Yemen blues just returned to Israel from a big tour through North America. Check out Ravid's interview on PRI's The World.
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Tel Aviv really does have a myriad of musical worlds spiraling throughout the city. During my first night in the city in the beginning of February I stumbled across this hipster-posh venue on Sderot Rothschild. To my surprise the band was performing an acoustic tribute to OK Computer by Radio Head. The group was lead by the captivating female singer, Mika Sade and they killed it! Check out Karma Police:

video 

I moved to Tel Aviv–Yafo on St. Patrick's Day which fell right on the weekend of PURIM! I couldn't have picked a better time to move to the big city. Purim is a less religious Jewish holiday and in Israel is celebrated by dressing in costume and letting it all hang out. Even the Orthodox Rabbis get drunk and dance the hora! I dressed as a Native American which seemed like a fitting parallel to my work here. I hit the streets and enjoyed the revelry and wild dance parties through out the city.


The Rebi w/ Chief Casimir

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