I was thrilled to be invited to bring a band overseas for the International Super Jazz Festival in Ashdod, Israel. We played the first night on Oct 2 for a full house in Ashdod's beautiful new performing arts center. The festival is directed by superhero-like personality and flamboyant pianist Leonid Ptashka and this year the festival headliner was saxophonist Joe Lovano!
On Stage at the International Super Jazz Festival Ashdod
Nick Russo-Banjo, Adrian Cunningham- reeds, Jay Lepley-Drums and Israeli bassist Tal Kuhn
(photo by Claudia Eliaza)
Getting to know fellow festival guest artist, the wonderful Boston based vocalist Claudia Eliaza.
One of my favorite memories of the trip was a late night vocal harmony jam we had on the balcony of our hotel!
After the festival Nick had to head home but Adrian, Jay and I headed out to enjoy the natural beauty of the land and people and had two more unique performance opportunities. First in the middle of the Negev Desert.
|A lookout from Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev Desert|
onto the worlds largest Makhtesh (crater formed by erosion)
Jay adds his mug to our poster (left) and (right) we were joined by Noam Elron on bass. Photo by Gady Laybrock
The coolest graffiti ever. Tel Aviv