Cold Can’t Stop Eilat’s Winter Jazz Festival
Crossposted from Haaretz
When one is talking about jazz, the word “dissonance” often is heard in reference to avant-garde, cacophonic-sounding music. At the Red Sea Winter Jazz Festival, held over the weekend for the first time (as the new, younger sibling of the veteran Red Sea Jazz Festival, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in August), the music was not cacophonic, but a different sort of dissonance hovered over the festivities: climactic dissonance. Watching a jazz festival in Eilat when you are covered in three layers of clothing, and still feel chilled to the bone, is like being in an alternate universe.
Jazz in Eilat during the annual festival in August routinely stirs metaphors of hell, since it is about 38 degrees Celsius in cool years. But last weekend we sat and listened to jazz in Eilat with two pairs of socks on. Guitarist and piano player Egberto Gismonte, whose performance brought the second day of festival events to a close, exclaimed at the start of his show: “It was so cold behind the scenes, that I just had to come here and sit down to play the piano, to get warmer.”