Israel Fest Hot azz, Cool Rock
jazz group the Portugalys formed
following the completion of their
music education at the Berklee
College of Music in Boston. Called
a breakthrough in the creation of
original Israeli jazz by one critic,
the Portugalys' music is heard at
clubs and festivals all over Israel.
And what would a family cele-
bration day be without a perfor-
mance even the kids will enjoy?
The folk duo Gemini, with their
more than two dozen musical in-
struments, will kick off the day's
entertainment at 2:30 p.m., per-
forming a mix of family sing-
alongs and international music.
Next, the Israel Fest spotlight
will shine on local singer/song-
writer Raquel Pomerantz Gershon
and the Akiva Hebrew Day School
Choir. Gershon recently released
her first album, Jerusalem on My
hile the smell of
falafel permeates the
air and images of Is-
rael dot the land-
scape of the Maple-Drake Jewish
Community Center, music — lots
of it — will bolster the celebration
of Israel's statehood.
A lineup of performers, includ-
ing Danny Robas, Gemini, Iris &
Ofer Portugaly Quartet and
Raquel Pomerantz Gershon, will
take the outdoor stage during
Sunday's Incredible Israel Fest.
In Israel, where the Golden Ap-
ple Award is as coveted as the
Grammy Award, rocker Danny
Robas boasts the high distinction.
Robas, who once did a Beatles in-
terpretation in a show called
"Tribute to the Beatles," was rec-
ognized in 1988
with the honor of
Iris and Ofer
Israel's singer of
Israeli jazz at
style, often com-
pared to Phil Sunday, June 2,
Collins, is filled
at Israel Fest.
with messages of
love, hope and de-
spair. The Israel Fest is his only
United States appearance at this
time; he wraps up the day's fes-
tivities with a performance at 6
Robas, 39, began his musical
career as a teen in Rehovot's
Youth Choir but had to put his
pursuit on hold for four years to
serve as an army officer. Months
of hard work paid off for Robas,
who released his first album in
1984. Today, several recordings
later, he's putting final touches on
his latest album. When Robas isn't
touring or working on his music,
he's teaching music at the Uni-
versity of Tel Aviv.
Preceding the Israeli rocker on
stage at 4:40 p.m. is the Iris &
Ofer Portugaly Quartet, an Israeli
Israeli dancing, children's rides,
hands-on activities, a kosher food
festival and, of course, the annu-
al Walk for Israel are all part of
the day's events. Activities and
performances are free. ❑
— Jennifer Finer
In a pre-Israel Fest party,
the Iris & Ofer Portugaly Quar-
tet will perform a jam session
with world-renowned jazz
trumpeter Marcus Belgrave on
Saturday, June 1. The mini-
concert will take place at 7 p.m..
at Caribou Coffee House, 112
S. Woodward, Birmingham.
The Incredible Israel Fest
„ will be held Sunday, June 2, at
the Stuart J. Sachse Field be-
hind the Maple-Drake JCC.
The festivities begin at 1 p.m.
with the 3.5-mile annual Walk
for Israel. For more informa-
tion, call (810) 642-4260, Ext.
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