Jewish Blues
By Amos Oren

Not everyone knows that the Livnat brothers - Aviv, 38, guitars and song and Arik, 34, wind instruments and song - make up at present one of the busiest Israeli groups on the international scene. The boundless music these two create, a combination of instrumental jazz, Jewish music, and song is very much in demand in European summer festivals. Aviv and Arik have been active as a creative and performing group for 12 years. They have already put out four albums: 'The One You Can't See' (`90) dedicated to the memory of their pilot father Arnon Livnat, "Meditation of the Sad Soul' (`97), 'Jewish Jazz Live in Poland' (2000), and 'A Child's Dream' brought out this year. They are releasing a new album next month, Arik's first solo, produced by Aviv. How would you define your music? Arik: "It's the melting pot of everything we were brought up on. When we first began appearing in Europe - in Poland and Bulgaria - two and a half years ago the audience and fellow musicians who couldn't make head or tail of our rendering called it 'Jewish Blues.' The connection to our roots apparently gave it oomph. Now they call it 'The Jewish Blues.' Sound and direction have also affected our original materials, even those we wrote five and ten years ago, such as 'Meditation of the Sad Soul,' or 'Follow Your Fate.'" They subsist by giving live performances and from the sales of their discs under their private label 'Golden Peacock.' They produced 'A Child's Dream,' that contains original music for dance, movies and theater (amongst other things for the show 'Jacob Jacobson' that appeared in the Bloomsbury Theater in London's West End), with the aid of a monetary award from ACUM that is given to promote works of merit that have been submitted to it anonymously. As in their previous productions, the Livnat brothers' sound is sad and soulful, better suited to blues than to jazz. "It typifies our feeling, our connection to music. Blues is one of the streams of jazz; it evolved out of a mood." And don't you feel the urge to go wild? "We do go wild, and how! But we do it on the stage, not on records - they are points in time. Our shows are a riot, each one different. We just about go overboard with our music on the stage, using a wide range of colours as well as video." They remind me that I once wrote that their music should be listened to seriously, and with the same amount of respect, in dives as in concert halls. "We perform wherever there's an audience that is willing to listen - in auditoriums and in summer festivals in Camelot in Europe and in Tmuna in Israel." Like tomorrow night, Saturday, at 22.30, when 'A Child's Dream' will be launched at the Tmuna theater in Tel Aviv at a festive opening with selected excerpts from their works.

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