Sat 17 Mar 2012
The Hot Jazz series at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art continue their exploration in the contemporary international jazz landscape, and the diversity of the artists and sounds brought up to the Israeli scene of jazz is one of the reasons for which it continues to draw interest, and actually I have the feeling that the interest is growing. Ziv Ben, the promoter and soul of the series presented last night the next season highlights, again eight concerts, again most if not all bring up new sounds and interesting musicians.
Arguably, the music played last night belongs less to jazz and more to the world music or Latin music genres. Labels however matter too little for me when it comes to professionalism and passion and these were present last night on the stage and in the sound played by Igor Arias Baro, the Cuban percussionist and singer who was the guest star of the evening, and the seven Israeli musicians who gradually filled the stage and played with him. Igor is not a very well known name on the scene of Cuban music (not to me in any case) and the few clips of his I found on youTube caught him playing in a restaurant and on the scene of a festival which is not one of the most famous. He does have however a good technique as a percussionist, a deep and strong voice and a vocalist and the charisma on stage mixed with a sense of humor which helped him raise up until the end of the performance most of the rather geriatric audience in the Tel Aviv hall, to dance and applaud him and the other musicians.
Supporting him on the stage last night were a band of Israeli musicians, some of them with Latin-American roots, all doing a good job (even Shay Zalman took the back row for an evening and played in a well-integrated manner together with the rest of the musicians). It was not a perfect sound, but you do not need it necessarily in Latin music, where rhythm and passion are more important. I must wrote doen however one more name, the pianist last night was Itay Abramovitch who demonstrated in a couple of songs good technique and personality at the piano connecting the music last night with the world of jazz that is the main theme of the ‘Hot Jazz’ series.