Trio Gesher Presents: Diaspora
The Jewish population in Israel arrived from the four corners of the earth, bringing with them styles, flavors and influences they absorbed while living for centuries next to local communities. The music that comes from Israel reflects a mixture of cultures, a collage of sounds brought over in waves of immigration from around the world, before and after WWII. The members of Trio Gesher, Achi Ben Shalom, Noa Levy and Asaf Ophir who grew up in Israel, will perform songs that represent influences of world Jewish diaspora on modern Israeli music.
Achi Ben Shalom has studied music in Tel Aviv, and is known in the community as an event organizer, the leader of the band Adama and the conductor of Nigunim Chorus. He is a frequent musical contributor in congregations around the Bay Area. His favorite hobby is writing arrangements for bands and choruses. His extensive knowledge of Jewish music from all parts of the world have made him a go-to entertainer and musical director in the Jewish community, from family programs to elderly homes, from Bar and Bat Mitzvahs to weddings, from JCCs to Freight and Salvage. Singing in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, and Ladino, Achi is an encyclopedia of Jewish, Israeli and American folk music.
Noa Levy, is described by JAZZIT Magazine as “a unique vocalist, at the same time classic & contemporary."
Noa excites audiences with her individual style, expressiveness and humor. Like a buttery Cruffin, Noa is a tasteful hybrid of witty firecracker’s charisma with an emotionally expressive, beautiful tone.
Before starting her military service as lead vocalist for the Israeli Navy Ensemble, Noa was crazy for Lester Young, Freddie Mercury and the Israeli classics playing on her DiscMan — and inspired by her eclectic Polish, Egyptian and Belgian roots. She delivers her blend of influences in imaginative arrangements and “expertly rendered selections” (NYC Jazz Record) in every performance.
Asaf Ophir is a son of an Israeli film composer, and was exposed to many styles of music from an early age: His father’s love for jazz, the Jewish music of his heritage, a classical upbringing, and the Middle Eastern backdrop of his childhood. From the very beginning, he was drawn to many different sources and genres, as well as to different musical instruments.
Ophir began his professional career in Israeli musicals while studying at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and later at the Jerusalem Academy. Arriving in the United States in 2014, he began to perform in musicals around the Bay Area such as the award winning Love Sick in 2017, and The People in the Picture in 2018. Finding a home away from home, Ophir can most often be seen in world music projects on Jewish, Arabic, and Balkan stages.
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