This year the festival includes tribute performances for Avihu Medina and Tzvi Avni; Tomer Yosef will celebrate a decade and host Esther Rada in a first-time collaboration; Yonatan and Aharon Razel, along with the Meitar Ensemble, will be at the center of a day dedicated to soul, classical and world music.
For sixteen years the “Desert Sounds” festival has been bringing to its stage many varieties of Israeli music, while upholding an unwavering artistic level and maintaining a connection with its audience.
The festival is known for its unique venue and content, and for providing a significant platform for all musical types and statements: Klezmer music, Israeli rock, Arabic music, classical music and rhythmic music – all these will come together at the 16th “Desert Sounds” Festival.
Within the festival’s framework, the audience is exposed to performances by the country’s best musicians, each performing in their own genre.
In the “Desert Sounds” tradition, each day is devoted to a different central theme:
The festival’s opening day is dedicated to Jewish music through the ages, including contemporary music made in Israel. The main event is a performance by Yonatan and Aharon Razel and the Meitar Ensemble – a performance that integrates between the classical and Jewish musical genres; with new renditions of well known songs, classically adapted especially for the festival.
Along with this performance, there will be performances by the band ShivatTzion, Nashot Hava and the Atar Trio with a special adaptation to Shai Agnon’s Sipur Pashut (Simple Story).
The second day is devoted to the younger generation with a wide variety or performances – starting with a musical mystery production for the whole family; a tribute concert for the mythological Israeli band “Kaveret”; and highlight performances by Tomer Yosef, Ester Rada and A-WA, followed by Boom Pam, who will be hosting the king of the electric guitar – Yehuda Caesar.
The third day is a day of tributes. This year the festival is honoring two outstanding artists with the Desert Sounds Prize for Israeli music, and is holding tribute performances in honor of their work:
Tzvi Avni – One of Israel’s most prominent and important classical composers. Avni’s works have been played for over 60 years, and Avni himself is a recipient of the Israel Prize. Today, at age 86, Avni continues to create and to have influence.
Avihu Medina – One of the most well known artists in the Israeli and Mizrachi genres. The tribute concert will include performances by Aviva Avidan, Maya Avraham, Diklon, Ofer Kalf. Avihu Medina himself will recreate original and orchestral renderings of his best known songs.
The Prize honoring these two great artists will be given in the presence of the Minister of Culture – Limor Livnat.
Additional artists that will be performing on the third day include Ariel Horowitz with a tribute to people who shaped his musical path; and Kobi Aflalo hosting an open mic.
The final day of the festival is dedicated to classical music in Israel: Western classic alongside Arabic classic – performed by the younger generation, and featuring the works of Israel’s best composers through the ages.
Among the performances will be “Zichriati” by the Al-Farabi Trio, one of the most important Arabic music ensembles in Israel, along with the singer Miriam Toukan in a first-time collaboration that will bring to the stage the best of Arabic music; and a performance of works by Tzvi Avnu ad Brahms.