The new season of the Hot Jazz series at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art started started this year earlier than usual. A new and better Web site, a Facebook group and video presentations by the series organizer Ziv Ben distributed to the subscribing fans improve the media exposure of the leading series of the Israeli jazz scene.




The first concert in the series had as guests two artists already known to the Israeli audiences. Cuba-born pianist Ramon Valle and Suriname-born singer Denise Jannah have already been here separately. They both live in the Netherlands, are quite active on the international jazz scene, and seem also to be active politically. They came here at a time when many artists boycott openly or just avoid coming to Israel, but they also were present last year at the ‘Music for Gaza’ event in Rotterdam.


(video source bobjazz11)


Ramon Valle is one of the finest pianists that I have heard lately. His musical phrasing is generous and expressive, his presence is exuberant and engaging. In some of his pieces he seemed to play successively the roles of a whole orchestra, sometimes sounding as the clarinet or saxophone, to switch then to the rhythmic improvisation, and then back to the piano finale. The clip above was filmed at the Montreux festival nine years ago, he is playing one of the pieces he also made last night together with Denise Jannah.


(video source shamaym100)


Denise Jannah was a good fit for Valle. She is a gifted singer of the class of performers who embrace the audiences and the audiences embrace them. The program last night was a balanced mix of original music composed by the two artists, Cuban classical tunes, standards by Charlie Parker and Gershwin and even an Israeli final song executed in flawless Hebrew. The audience responded enthusiastically, and the season can be considered to have started on a definite right foot.