By Maria Gregoriou
This month is rich with concerts from musicians from Israel. They may not be the kind of group that gets girls screaming but they are musicians who team up to get real music lovers excited about what they are about to hear.
After putting on a performance at the Presidential Palace yesterday and helping raising funds for the Association for Persons with Autism Cyprus, the Gilad Ephrat String Ensemble will give a string performance to the crowd at Prazak in Nicosia.
The ensemble’s creator, Gilad Ephrat will be on the double bass, while the fingers in charge of the violin belong to Keren Tenenbaum and the third string instrument, a cello, will be in the hands of Hilla Epstein.
The three musicians will once again stretch the boundaries of their instruments and take them out of their traditional roles to reveal new and uplifting sounds. In their hands strings are not just strings, they are lines on which bows can fascinate an audience with their potential. This will be done tonight while the trio plays some of Ephrat’s compositions, which will put forward jazz sounds and ethnic rhythms.
Ephrat has collaborated with leading Israeli artists such as Idan Raichel, Yasmin Levi and Zohar Fresco. He has recently toured around the world with the international singer Lara Fabian.
Also from Israel, wowing us with their musical talents over the weekend will be guitarist and composer Itamar Erez and Yshai Afterman, who will also be giving workshops in Nicosia and Limassol.
The two musicians will join forces to perform original music from the Middle-East. Erez and Afterman have very successful solo careers but often come together to perform. They have played Erez’s compositions, inspired by the Middle Eastern music scene, jazz and the Brazilian and Flamenco traditions, in Germany, Holland and Canada.
They have enjoyed playing with each other so much that the duo recorded the album New Dawn in 2013, which features harmonica player Antonio Serrano as a special guest.
Erez has shared the stage with artists such as Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Tomatito, Avishai Cohen, Jean-Louis Matinier and Zohar Fresco. He has also received a number of prizes for his work, including the Israeli Prime Minister prize for Composers. He is currently touring through Canada, America, Holland, Austria and India, while also working on new material for his next CD due out later this year.
Afterman was drawn to rhythm since childhood and began to pursue percussion studies at 23. After graduation he devoted himself to mastering Middle Eastern hand drums. He also studied classical Eastern music and is now working on advanced approaches to time and rhythm under master drummer Mark Moshayev.
In 2013 he played with singer-songwriter Idan Raichel at the Israeli Prime Minister’s house in Jerusalem for US President Barack Obama. Later in the same year he also performed for Israeli President Shimon Peres at The Peres Peace Centre in Jaffa.
He currently performs with various projects and gives percussion master classes at academies, festivals and private settings.
The Gilad Ephrat Trio Live
Live performance from the band. March 11. Prozak, 3A Medondos Street, Nicosia. 8pm. €5. Tel: 22-104244
Itamar Erez and Yshai Afterman
Performance of music from the middle east. March 14. Old Vinegar House, 34 Genethliou Mitella Street, Limassol. 8.30pm. €10. Tel: 22-377748
March 15. Windcraft Music Centre
27 Xanthis Xenierou
Nicosia. Tel: 99-549141