Jazz, born out of the diversity and rhythm of American life, is jumping to the beat of Israel's mix of cool Mediterranean nights, the hustle and bustle of busy Tel Aviv cafes, and the multicultural rhythms of a nation where West and East meet -- in Philadelphia.
From Nov. 16-19, Chris's Jazz Cafe, in partnership with the consulate general of Israel in Philadelphia, will present the Philadelphia Israeli Jazz Festival 2009, featuring four eminent Israeli jazz artists. It's all being staged with sponsorship from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia; each night will feature a different ensemble.
Kicking it off on Monday, Nov. 16, will be one of New York's top percussionists, Ziv Ravitz. His ensemble's performance is part of his CD release tour for "Images From Home."
Born in Beersheva to a family of musicians, Ravitz began his professional career playing jazz, rock and avant garde styles in Tel Aviv clubs. Since coming to the United States to expand as a jazz composer and study at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Ravitz has been recording and performing his own compositions.
The second night will feature guitarist Gilad Hekselman. Born in Israel and a product of the prestigious Thelma Yellin School of the Arts, Hekselman came to New York City to study in 2004 as a recipient of an American Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship. He has since shared the stage with notable jazz artists, including Anat Cohen, Ari Hoenig, Avishai Cohen, John Scofiel and Eric McPhearson.
The night of Wednesday, Nov. 18, will feature trombonist Rafi Malkiel, active in both the jazz and Latin music scenes of New York City. He has recorded some 40 albums.
Closing the festival, on Thursday, Nov. 19, will be flutist Mattan Klein, who was born and raised in Jerusalem. This one-time classically-trained child protégé now works with his own ensemble, Mass U'Mattan, which has gained prominence in Israel with performances on national TV and radio networks, and at events including the Israel Festival and the Israel Museum Jazz Series.
For reservations and more information, call Chris's Jazz Cafe at 215-56803131; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .