ARTIST: Koby Israelite
GENRE: Rock, Contemporary Jazz, Gypsy Jazz, Jazz-Rock, Klezmer, Balkan, Tango, Metal, Avant-Garde, Fusion, Easy Listening
ABOUT: Koby Israelite is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who enjoys smashing genres together and grinding them into the dust! Citing artists such as Taraf de Haidouks, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin and Mr Bungle, and genres including Jewish, Middle Eastern, Classical and Jazz as major influences, defining Koby’s music is challenging.
The fact of the matter is that Israelite has absorbed such an astounding array of styles, fusing them together into a language all of his own, that his sound is genre-proof.
Growing up in the Middle East to a Jewish Balkan family, Koby Israelite learnt classical piano aged six, and at fifteen, began playing the drums in Rock and Metal bands. At the age of twenty-two he moved to London where he started to compose, record and produce music. His musical style then radically changed after a chance encounter with Romanian Gypsy stars Taraf de Haidouks. Israelite heard the band live and subsequently decided to return to his Romanian roots with the help of Marius Manole (Taraf’s legendary accordionist). The two shared Koby’s house for two weeks, and Manole helped him master this instrument whilst divulging the secrets of the Gypsy enigma.
Koby became a successful accordionist within the UK ethnic scene. His career turned a corner after the renowned composer, producer and label owner John Zorn commissioned Koby to write music for the cult ‘Radical Jewish’ series. He went on to release four albums for Tzadik and finally produced one of John Zorn`s own albums, a work in which he played almost every instrument. The online music magazine All Music stated that Israelite displayed a tremendous flair for composition, instrumental acumen, humour, and an ability to shift genres without batting an eye… the results are stellar… the most exhilarating set of recordings Tzadik has offered.
Koby’s music has been used in numerous TV programs and movies including Madonna’s debut directorial feature film Filth and Wisdom. His compositions have also been covered by other leading names, such as Fanfare Ciocarlia and Shantel, to name but a few.
The Koby Israelite Band is an outstanding five-piece ensemble that has earned him both a snowballing international fan base and a prestigious headline slot at Sines Festival of World Music. In a similar vein, the band also performed at London’s famous Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
LINE-UP (can perform as quartet, quintet or with singer Annique as sextet):
Koby Israelite: Band Leader, Accordion
Rob Terry: Keys, Piano
Ant Law: Guitar
Laurie Lowe: Drums
Neil Charles: Bass
Annique: special guest vocals
SELECTED PRESS REVIEWS:
“A tremendous flair for composition, instrumental acumen, humour, and an ability to shift genres without batting an eye… the results are stellar… the most exhilarating set of recordings Tzadik has offered.” (All Music)
“Israelite combines Psychedelia, out-and-out Thrash, authentic Ggypsy sounds and loads more to awesome effect.” (Time Out)
“An extraordinary mix of Klezmer, Jazz, Gypsy, Balkan and Metal music… has to be heard to be believed.” (The Guardian)
“You can kiss your expectations goodbye” (Jeff Tamarkin, Global Rhythm)
“CD of the year” (Jeff Tamarkin, Global Rhythm) (Editor’s choice)
“Koby Israelite, the genius of Tzadik” (Samuele Boschelli, RockLab)
“Such compositions run the risk of sounding overly wrought, but from the start, “Dance of the Idiots” is spacious, fun and joyously imaginative” (Tom Bojko, Japan Times)
– “Blues From Elsewhere” (Asphalt Tango, 2013)
– “King Papaya” (Circus Mayhem, 2009)
– “Is He Listening?” (Tzadik, 2009)
– “Orobas: Book Of Angels Vol. 4” (Tzadik, 2006)
– “Mood Swings” (Tzadik, 2004)
– “Dance Of The Idiots” (Tzadik, 2003)
– Gypsy Festival, Tilburg, Netherlands
– KlezMORE Festival, Wien, Austria
– Global, Copenhagen, Denmark
– Moods, Zürich, Switzerland
– Origano Festival, Dornbirn, Austria
– Rich Mix, London, UK
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