The Ethiopian Israeli jazz ensemble, “Ras Deshen”, featuring
Abate (pictured above) on tenor and soprano sax and vocals, performed a concert of jazz
improvisation on traditional Ethiopian music at the Jerusalem Cultures
Center on August 6th, 2002. The group’s name is taken from “Ras Deshen",
the highest mountain in Ethiopia (4,620 meters) that is the heart of
the ancient Jewish Ethiopian community.
Abate, the leader of Ras Deshen, is a well known Ethiopian
musician that has performed throughout Europe. He is an expert on traditional
Ethiopian music and Jewish religious music that is sung in the synagogue in
Ethiopia by the Kesim (similar to "cohanim" - priests). Abate and other
Ethiopian immigrant musicians represent the return of black African Jews
with their music and culture to Israel after 2000 years in the Diaspora.
Yitzhak Yedid, the group's pianist, has performed in the US and
Europe. His "Full Moon Fantasy" CD is an original composition that
incorporates Middle Eastern motifs, jazz and classical music. A graduate
of the Rubin Academy, Yedid studied and recorded with Paul Bley at the
New England Conservatory.
Maleseh Fantahon, percussionist, will play the "Krar" that provides
the rhythm and authentic feeling of the music. The "Krar" is similar to
the ancient "nevel" harp.
The evening will open with wine tasting and cheese with music by
the Johnny Mayer Quintet. For tickets and information,
contact the Cultures Center at 02-624-9179.
The Israel Jazz Showcase is dedicated to helping develop
and promote Israeli jazz through a series of "showcase" performances. Each
program will present several jazz ensembles that will be reviewed by music
writers for publication in magazines, newspapers and websites.
Tickets are NIS 30 ($6.50). For info, contact us.