The Red Sea Jazz Festival is proud to announce the appointment of saxophonist, composer and Anzic Records recording artist, Eli Degibri, as joint Artistic Director (with Mr. Dubi Lenz). Established in 1987 as a four-day international jazz festival, the Red Sea Jazz Festival now enters its 26th year under the direction, and in the capable hands of Degibri and Lenz.
Degibri commented on the personal significance of the appointment, I was honored and humbled to be appointed as artistic director of the Red Sea Jazz Festival. It feels like such great closure to me: when I was a kid I attended the festival countless times and listened to many of my musical idols. To think that today I have the privilege of curating the Festival's program, and maybe even influence younger generations, makes me very proud!"
Being name Artistic Director of The Red Sea Jazz Festival is another highlight in an already successful career. At 16 Degibri was working professionally with some of the major names on the Israeli scene, quickly establishing himself as one of the leading musicians. That same year (1994), Degibri was selected to receive a full scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music's Summer Performance Program. The following year Berklee wanted him back, and Degibri was again awarded a full scholarship for the summer program.
In 1997 Degibri received a full scholarship to attend Berklee full-time and relocated to the United States. After a year he was one of only six musicians from around the world to be selected to attend the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance program, where he studied and performed with jazz legends Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath and Clark Terry.
After graduating with honors Degibri joined The Herbie Hancock Sextet and toured the world for two and half years. He is prominently featured on Mr. Hancock's 2002 The Jazz Channel Presents Herbie Hancock" DVD special. Since moving to NYC in 2002, Degibri has released two acclaimed recordings on Anzic Records, Live at Louis 649 (2008), and Israeli Song, featuring Brad Mehldau, Al Foster and Ron Carter (2010). The saxophonist also joined the band of legendary drummer Al Foster, appearing on Foster's recording Love, Peace and Jazz!,a live recording at the legendary Village Vanguard, and on Foster's full length DVD entitled The Paris Concert.
With a career that spans over sixteen years, the saxophonist, composer and bandleader has established himself as one of today's leading musicians in the jazz world, gaining a large fan base worldwide. Degibri is strongly committed to leading his own bands, continuing to compose, and now, infusing his work with The Red Sea Jazz Festival with the same passion, drive and creativity that has exemplified his career.