Top saxophonist to play at Town Hall

One of the world’s leading jazz saxophonists, Gilad Atzmon, will play in Lerwick Town Hall on 15th February with keyboard player Frank Harrison.

The Israeli musician, acclaimed for using his artistry to bridge barriers between Jews and Palestinians, will also lead an improvisation masterclass for local musicians in the afternoon. The project is a combined venture between Shetland Jazz Club and Shetland Arts.

Bryan Peterson, Shetland Arts’ Music Development Officer, said: “We’re really happy to be working with the Jazz Club on this project. Gilad is an exceptional musician and teacher, who is sure to inspire audiences and musicians alike. The musical skills and insight that Gilad demonstrates are applicable across a range of musical styles, extending beyond the jazz idiom.”

Jazz Club secretary Alan Longmuir said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for local musicians to learn from a virtuoso. The masterclass is open to anyone who’d like to work on their improvisation skills, whatever instrument they play. Gilad is more than a jazz musician: he’s a world music enthusiast, so this is for everyone.”

As a member of the Blockheads, Gilad has performed with Ian Dury, Robbie Williams, Sinead O’Connor and Paul McCartney. He’s also recorded with Robert Wyatt, the Waterboys and many others. His latest album is the first authentic recreation of the Charlie Parker <i>Bird with Strings</i> sessions, a project no previous saxophonist had dared take on.

Gilad was born in Israel in 1963 and studied composition and jazz at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem. He plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes, clarinet, sol, zurna and flutes and is enthused by a wide range of styles.

Coming to the UK in 1994 after working on Jewish soul music in the USA, Gilad rediscovered his interest in the music of the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe, which had been in the back of his mind for years. He founded the Orient House Ensemble in London and started re-defining his own roots in the light of political reality. Since then the ensemble has toured all over the world. It includes Asaf Sirkis on drums, Yaron Stavi on bass and Frank Harrison on keys.

Also a prolific writer, Gilad Atzmon’s essays are widely published. His novels, Guide to the Perplexed and My One And Only Love, have been translated into 24 languages.

The masterclass will be held in the Lerwick Town Hall at 4pm. Advanced booking is recommended as numbers are limited. A small charge of £4 will be made and places are free to under 16s. To book a place call Shetland Arts on (01595) 743843.

Tickets for the concert, at 8pm, are priced at £10.00/£8.00 and available from the Shetland Box Office, Islesburgh Community Centre – (01595) 745555.


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