Israeli Jazz makes a grand entrance in St. Paul - By Erez Frankel Rubner, S

They say music is a universal language. On Thursday, May 14, on the Gregorian date of Israel's 61st anniversary, Israeli Jazz pianist Omer Klein, drummer Ziv Ravitz and Bassist Omer Avital took the stage at the St. Paul JCC.
Those who came to the show were in for a real treat. Klein played the piano like he had 8 hands, as one member of the audience commented, at times even plucking on the chords themselves. Ravitz danced on the drums as if he was in a world of his own and Avital played the bass like it was a Middle Eastern Oud.
The show itself took a very interesting turn as the fusion between classical jazz and Israeli sounds broke out. At times it seemed we were listening to a “Mizrahi” (Middle Eastern) concert, normally played on very different kinds of instruments, but somehow the group made sound magnificant on piano, bass and drums.
My own personal "Israeli" moment came after the show, I took the trio out for dinner and as the conversation flowed so did the Israeli ties. We spoke politics (a real shocker), music, food and even common friends we didn't know about. At the end of the day, Israel is knows for great contributions in the fields of science, medicine, agriculture, literature and others. We can now add yet another one, a vibrant jazz scene that Israelis are making their own, adding some spice and flavors from home.


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