Latin American and Middle Eastern music blend during Israeli JazzPhest

Israeli-born flutist Itai Kriss will debut his new sextet at World Cafe Live.
Israeli-born flutist Itai Kriss will debut his new sextet at World Cafe Live.

The propulsive rhythms of Latin America and the serpentine melodies of Israeli and Middle Eastern music may not seem like the most intuitive match. But fusing those sound worlds not only comes easily, says Itai Kriss, but, “For me it’s a challenge not to do it. Maybe there’s something about the Middle Eastern temperament that has a lot in common with the Caribbean. The warm spiciness and the informal, laid-back attitude make it easy to bridge those cultural gaps.”

The Israeli-born flutist will debut his new sextet during Sunday Jazz Brunch at World Cafe Live this weekend as part of Philadelphia’s sixth annual Israeli JazzPhest. The 10-day festival kicks off Friday with a tribute concert by the Mattan Klein Ensemble to the late Israeli composer Naomi Shemer, and closes Nov. 18 at International House with the North American concert debut of Ethiopian-born singer Ayala Ingedeshet. The lineup also includes performances by trumpeter Itamar Borochov, who draws on Arab and pan-African influences, and R*Time, a trio led by trombonist Reut Regev bridging avant garde jazz, funk grooves and hard rock.

That diverse roster showcases the eclectic and fruitful Israeli jazz scene, both abroad and in its ever-expanding New York contingent. Kriss says when he moved to the city 12 years ago, he found a large and welcoming support network. “A lot of people move to New York without knowing anybody, but when I came I knew dozens of people that I had known or heard of in Israel. The jazz community is very supportive in general, but within it the Israeli jazz community is quite sizable in New York – totally disproportionate to the size of Israel.”

Kriss’s new sextet is evenly split between Israeli and Cuban musicians, a balance that he says is reflected in his compositions for the ensemble. He discovered Latin music while studying jazz in Tel Aviv, but became deeply immersed upon moving to the States. “When I got to New York I started working with a lot of Afro-Cuban and Nuyorican bands because I play the flute,” he says. “There’s a really rich tradition of flute in salsa and Cuban music, but it’s a little more marginal in jazz. So naturally I had more work in the Latin world. Plus, I love the music.”

Israeli JazzPhest
Nov. 8-18
Free – $30



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

Gossip

Blake Lively's pregnancy cravings are too weird to…

Find out what Blake Lively is rumored to send husband Ryan Reynolds to the store for.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…