Why Are So Many Jazz Musicians From Israel These Days?

November 21, 2010

by Patrick Jarenwattananon


Israeli jazz musicians

Arne Reimer/courtesy of the artist/Orit Pnini/courtesy of the artistClockwise, from upper left: Anat Fort, Eli Degibri, Avishai Cohen, Rafi Malkiel.

For a country of some 7.5 million, Israel has a surprisingly large jazz footprint. More and more internationally acclaimed jazz musicians happen to be from the country.

Anat Cohen 

Twenty-five years ago, the Israeli jazz scene was barely on the cultural map. But enough American musicians moved there, and enough foreign-trained Israelis moved back — and they started teaching. There’s long been an infrastructure for classical music in Israel, and jazz latched onto that model. U.S. jazz schools have since established relationships with Israeli ones, owing in part to long-standing political relations.
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