By Nathalie Freson
Quoted as the Ambassador of jazz in Israel" by i24 news channel, Israeli jazz pianist Gilad Chatsav was selected to organise and coordinate events throughout Israel for the International Jazz Day.
In 2012, the UNESCO, in conjunction with the Thelonious Monk Institute, declared April 30 as the official day to celebrate jazz worldwide. Events are organized to draw public attention to this art form as a vector of peace and dialogue among cultures."
Although 2015 marked the fourth International Jazz Day, this was the first year Israel's participation was properly organised and reached such a scope.
Gilad Chatsav, aided by a supportive team from both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem's active jazz clubs, created a programme which included close to 50 high calibre, versatile musicians who performed a wide range of styles.
Special events were originally planned in Tel Aviv (Gilad Chatsav Trio, Yair Amster Quartet and Asaf Yuria Quartet) and Jerusalem (Steve Peskoff Trio) but soon thereafter, other enthusiastic jazz players joined in, such as veteran guitarist Raz Sekeles and singer Chen Levi, who performed an intimate duet, or Eran Zamir's Ensemble, to name just a few.
Gilad Chatsav made sure to include a webinar about jazz and was the main guest of a radio and TV programme, which was broadcasted internationally and during which he spoke about the International Jazz Day and the importance of jazz in Israel. The events took place in cafés and clubs in the country's main cities and reached a wide audience.
Inspired by the International Jazz Day and the concept of oneness it conveys, Gilad Chatsav is currently investigating opportunities to organize a series of large-scale events where old-timers and younger, less experienced musicians, purists and innovators and where Eastern and Western undertones (so intrinsic to Israeli jazz) would meet to portray the richness of jazz in Israel and its well-established presence on the jazz scene in the world.