Eilat Revives Jazz Vibes with the Red Sea Jazz Festival

Published January 15, 2024

As the premier national jazz event, the Red Sea Jazz Festival is making its triumphant return to the city of Eilat. The festival, known for its rich musical showcase, is scheduled for February 22-24, reviving the city's vibrant scene after a period of postponement. Initially set for last November, the event faced delay due to the escalating unrest along the Gaza border, causing a nationwide halt on cultural gatherings.

Opening the festival is a concert paying homage to the late Dubi Lenz, a seminal figure in the jazz domain and the originator of the festival's winter edition. The void left by Lenz, who passed away the previous July, will be commemorated by Israeli jazz icon Eli Degibri and a host of prominent local jazz and world music artists. The lineup signals a domestically focused roster due to regional security concerns and limited travel options.

A Resounding Lineup

The stage welcomes Eli Degibri, collaborating with an array of stellar musicians like the renowned Ladino vocalist Yasmin Levy, Brazilian percussion maestro Joca Perpignan, bass and oud expert Omer Avital, and the jazz pianist with an Andalusian twist, Omri Mor. Joining them are jazz luminary Tom Oren and the multi-talented Maya Belsitzman, known for her singing and cello skills. While the artist list predominantly features Israel's finest, it is embellished with international flair by the inclusion of Brazilian harmonica virtuoso Gabriel Grossi and the Cuban vocal powerhouse Aymée Nuviola, accompanying pianist Kemuel Roig, a gesture sure to have delighted the late Lenz.

Apart from the main gigs, the event highlights include performances by acclaimed artists such as Alon Farber and the Hagiga band, the Katya Toobool Trio, and a duet featuring Degibri with the globe-trotting pianist Shai Maestro. Special appearances by trumpet prodigy Avishai Cohen and Dutch-Israeli singer Keren Ann are also anticipated, while off-stage offerings are jazz-infused shows led by the legendary Yoni Rechter and a concert with pop sensation Asaf Amdursky, with Rami Kleinstein bringing a rock-pop vibe.

The Red Sea Jazz Festival stands as not only a beacon for jazz aficionados but also a testament to the resilience and enduring spirit of music through challenging times. As the festival prepares to fill the Eilat air with soulful sounds, it marks a much-awaited revival of jazz in the region.

jazz, festival, Eilat