Over the last 15 years, Israel has produced and exported so many serious young musicians that the jazz landscape is hard to picture without their influence, particularly in New York and especially now.
Last week the Anzic label released a pair of albums that illustrate the point: “Suite of the East,” by the bassist Omer Avital, and “Songs and Portraits,” by the collective known as Third World Love, which consists of Mr. Avital, the trumpeter Avishai Cohen, the pianist Yonatan Avishai and the drummer Daniel Freedman. (The label also released “Bamako by Bus,” by Mr. Freedman, the only member of the collective who wasn’t born in Israel.) And over the next week and a half, a different contingent of musicians will take part in Jazzrael, a festival of jazz and world music presented by the Israeli Consulate in New York.
The festival begins on Sunday night at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, with a trio led by Omri Mor, an articulate young pianist from Jerusalem. Its closing event, at Joe’s Pub on May 16, will feature the multireedist Amir Gwirtzman and the singer Nurit Galron, both traveling from Israel for the occasion.
Elsewhere on the schedule are Israeli musicians now residing in New York, like the pianist Alon Yavnai, who leads a big band at Joe’s Pub on Tuesday. A concert next Saturday at Temple Israel of the City of New York, on East 75th Street, will feature Mr. Mor, the flutist Hadar Noiberg and the accordionist Uri Sharlin, among others.
The recent outpouring of musical talent from Israel represents a different strain of Jewish jazz, one less concerned about connecting with a distant heritage. Even with a population under eight million, Israel has both the polyglot cultural mix and the educational infrastructure that are conducive to training in jazz.
Yes, the BDSers are really calling it "jazzwashing."
This also happens to be the 82nd anniversary of this:
Constantinople, May. 6 (JTA) –But I thought Jews weren't discriminated against in Muslim countries! I thought they were only angry at "Zionists"! Hmmm...Al Jolson must have been a Zionist. Yeah, that must be it.
Following a two week's run at a local theatre the American moving picture, "The Jazz Singer," starring Al Jolson, has been banned because it contains "Jewish religious propaganda."
Is the analogy between those who boycott Israeli jazz today and those who boycotted a Jewish jazz story eight decades ago too obvious?
(The Turkish ban was lifted two months later. The Nazis were not enamored with the movie either.)