To capture the essence of guitarist/pianist and composer Itamar Erez’s music is to be taken on a journey where different cultures meet in harmony. It blends the delicate sounds of Middle Eastern music, the freedom found in jazz and the passion of flamenco together in a fresh, exciting and authentic voice. Now making Vancouver his home, this award-winning and internationally renowned musician offers a glimpse into his rich and inventive musical universe of original world/jazz in concert this November, accompanied by a who’s-who of Vancouver musicianship.
On November 10, Erez will perform an array of his solo compositions before introducing his new duet collaboration with percussion virtuoso Hamin Honari. Then follows a performance with his latest formation of the Adama Ensemble, featuring some of this city’s best musicians: Francois Houle, Laurence Mollerup, Liam Macdonald and guest musician Nick Apivor.
Israeli-born Erez has been absent from the Vancouver world/jazz scene for almost a decade. He formed and began working with the Adama (“earth” in Hebrew) Ensemble back in 2004, and their first CD “Desert Song” was recorded in Vancouver in 2006. He continued the work with the Ensemble while living in Israel, recording a 2nd CD, “Hommage”, in 2010 with special guest artists Omar Faruk Tekbilek and others. With the Israeli ensemble he performed and toured in Europe, and gained recognition and much praise on that continent’s World/Jazz scene.
Returning to Vancouver in summer 2016, Itamar was excited to pick up and continue his work with the brilliant musicians he collaborates with here. The 2016 Adama Ensemble includes Itamar Erez (guitars & piano), Francois Houle (clarinet), Laurence Mollerup (bass) and Liam Macdonald (drum set/percussion). Guest musicians at the November 10 concert are Hamin Honari (percussion) and Nick Apivor (vibraphone/marimba).
Itamar’s music holds a depth and sensitivity that touches listeners deeply, it’s music from the heart. Recipient of the 2014 ACUM Prize for Special Achievement in Jazz and the Israeli Prime Minister Prize for Composers, Erez travels the world, and has shared stages with such musicians as Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Tomatito, Avishai Cohen, Jean-Louis Matinier, Zohar Fresco and others. During 2014-15 alone, he performed in Canada, USA, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Cyprus, Israel, India, Tunisia and Colombia. His most recent release, New Dawn (2013), is a duet collaboration with Yshai Afterman (percussion), with special guest Antonio Serrano (harmonica). In addition to performing internationally, he gives workshops and masterclasses, teaching his unique approach to music and guitar playing. Itamar is currently working on new material for his next CD, and is on the guitar faculty at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School Of Music.