The 28th annual Red Sea International Jazz Festival has attracted more than 10,000 visitors to watch top jazz artists perform and take part in jam sessions in Israel’s most popular tourism resort in Eilat.
Despite continued political unrest in the region, this year’s festival took place from August 24th-27th 2014 and featured a performance by Kojo – the world’s youngest professional drummer at ten years old.
Kojo has already performed with some of the greatest musicians of the international jazz scene and accompanied by his father, saxophonist Antoine Roney.
Bridging generations and cultures, there was also a rare meeting of two artists, maestro Maurice El Médiouni and Israeli pianist Omri Mor in an extraordinary piano duet.
The line-up for the 2014 festival included: Diane Schuur, Dr Lonnie Smith, Leny Andrade, Fred Hersch, the Omer Avital quintet, Maurice El Médiouni and Omri Mor, Kellylee Evans, Yonathan Avishai, Iris & Ofer Portugaly with Yossi Fine and Ben Eylon, the Ofer Ganor trio, Marina Maximillian and the Hotel Khaleeji project with Amos Hoffman and Rechela.
Festival performances took place in three venues: an intimate venue accommodating up to 1,000 in club seating arrangement at the Piamenta, larger performances took place in the Kaminsky Hall to an audience of 2,000, while the largest venue, Gottfried, will held up to 3,000 jazz fans.
During the festival, organisers launched the Young Jazz Program.
Five days of jazz workshops and master classes for aspiring young musicians (ages 14-21) took place at the Eilat Field School.
Program director, Amit Friedman, oversaw artists directing workshops and classes who were several jazz musicians performing in the RSJF festival including: Joel Frahm, Omer Avital, Eric McPherson, Jonathan Kreisberg, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, Canadian vocalist Kellylee Evans and Yonathan Avishai.
The Young Jazz Program offered various activities including: ensemble practice, instrumental workshops, master classes and a daily evening jam session.
The Red Sea Jazz Festival is supported annually by the Eilat Municipality, Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Israel Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee, Israel Hotel Association, Eilat port and commercial sponsors.