Avital meets Avital

Release: 2nd of June 2017

Two superb musicians of international stature – classically trained mandolin player Avi Avital and jazz bassist Omer Avital – have combined their creative energy and set out in search of their cultural roots. Classical music meets jazz, tradition meets modernism, East meets West. Now Avital Meets Avital presents the fascinating results of what is surely one of the most unusual gatherings in classical music.

Early in their careers Avi Avital and Omer Avital already took their musical bearings on the North African traditions of their families and absorbed influences from the multi-cultural melting pot of Israeli society, indulging their fondness for western music. Today the Israeli mandolin player Avi Avital is one of the most accomplished and best-known masters of his instrument. At his concerts with leading orchestras and musicians he is celebrated by fans and media all over the world for his thrilling renditions of klezmer tunes, baroque compositions and his great love, contemporary art music. In 2010 he became the world’s first mandolinist ever to be nominated for the coveted Grammy® Award. His namesake and decades-long friend, the New York-based composer and bass player Omer Avital, stands in high repute as one of the most adventurous and visionary minds in contemporary jazz. Put them together, and two completely antithetical worlds of music overlap.

“The basic idea behind this album was the collaboration of two artists, one who focuses mainly on classical music while the other is primarily at home in jazz.” Thus Avi Avital describes Avital Meets Avital, a work full of exciting opposites and contradictions that Avi and Omer blend into a spellbinding unity. Avital Meets Avital is pure unadulterated exoticism: oriental melodies clash with North African rhythms, swinging jazz improvisations with classical mandolin playing. It’s a musical journey reaching far back to their roots, preserving the legacy of their shared culture while giving it a wholly new and modern guise.

As a result, Avital Meets Avital covers a musical spectrum as varied and exciting as the culture of Israeli itself. Lively dance-floor tunes bursting with joie de vivre alternate with slow, melancholy ballads; classically sculpted motifs merge with free improvisation, western jazz harmony, standard compositional technique, Moroccan beats, cantabile melodies and lilting rhythms.