The Jerusalem International Oud Festival is just around the corner, with performers from Israel and abroad gathering to celebrate the sounds of the pear-shaped string instrument that is popular in Middle Eastern music.
This year’s festival — taking place on November 2-9 at the Confederation House overlooking the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem — features many notable musicians, including three Greek divas sharing one stage: Dmitra Galani, Eleni Tsaligopoulou and Yota Nega. There’s also Egari, an ethno-jazz ensemble from Tbilisi, Georgia.
It’s worth heading to the project of Western and Arabic classical music, presented by Nizar Elkhhater, Maria Jubran and the Bertini Choir, or the mix of klezmer and oud with clarinetist Hanan Bar-Sela and oud player Imad Dalal.
There’s no oud in the evening of Mediterranean rock ‘n roll with Avner Gedassi and Chemi Rudner, but Gedassi’s first big hit, “Nifradnu Kakh,” (“We Parted Like This”), redefined the connection between rock and American soul and Middle Eastern music.
There’s also the opportunity to hear Amjad Ali Khan, the Indian sarod player and composer-vocalist Esti Keinan Ofri, presenting a selection of her Judaeo-Spanish melodies.
Three women — vocalist and liturgical singer Rakefet Amsalem, vocalist Violet Salameh and flamenco vocalist Yael Horowitz — will sing together from a selection of sacred and secular music, from liturgical poems and Arabic classics to Andalusian music.
Guitarist Michel Sajrawy offers an encounter between Arabic
music, jazz and rock, with the songs of vocalists Fairuz, Um Kalthoum and Farid al-Atrash within the sounds of a Western progressive-jazz fusion ensemble.