A new generation of Israeli jazz players are making their names by reinventing the quintessential American genre, on its own home turf.
In the high-ceilinged atrium of the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, Israeli bassist Avishai Cohen gave a free concert Saturday in a forest of palm trees. The show was part of Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an international network of concerts honoring the slain American journalist. For the project’s mission of reaffirming a commitment to tolerance and humanity, there was no better choice than Cohen.
Music lovers preoccupied with the question of “whither Jewish jazz?” will want to attend the June 19 performance by the Assaf Kehati Trio at Boston’s The Beehive, in anticipation of their scheduled sets at New York’s The Blue Note on August 1.
So, what was a non-Jewish, non-Israeli Cuban doing organizing the NYC Israeli Jazz Festival, anyway?