The Caesarea Harbor Jazz Festival, June 2008, Israel

Three of the very best international ensembles in traditional jazz are coming to the ancient harbor to play live against marvelous background of blazing sunsets, blue seas and ancient temples. This summer - like every summer - an unforgettable jazz experience awaits us on 12-14 of June at Caesarea's ancient harbor.

This year we've put a special emphasis on large ensembles known for their electrifying, brilliant performance, carrying with them the authentic spirit of the early 1900s in New Orleans.

This year's opening show (Thursday, June 12) hosts Ken Peplowski's Swing Quintet. Peplowski is a clarinet and tenor-saxophone artist, considered to be a true follower of Benny Goodman. He will be accompanied by jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut and the wonderful guitarist Howard Alden, whose playing is familiar to many from his performances on the soundtrack to some of Woody Allen's films. Along with them plays the Australian contrabassist Nickie Parrott, a highly acclaimed star at jazz and swing festivals around the world. Drum legend Joe Ascione, who for decades has been playing with the world's best musicians, completes this magnificent ensemble.

New Orleans jazz trumpeter Duke Heitger's nine-man-band (Friday, June 13) is an excellent example of the rich variety of style in traditional jazz music. They bring along a vast repertoire - an ultimate combination of swing, Dixieland and the music of New Orleans. Each and every player gets the whole stage for some personal expression and improvisation, while the arrangements range from sticking to the original to personal interpretations.

The brilliant stride-pianist Jeff Barnhart and his septet play last on the festival's closing night (Saturday, June 14). It's an international team of extraordinary players who promise to infatuate the Israeli crowd with that authentic jazz magic, coming from those clubs where it all happened. Barnhart's musicians come from the United States, Finland, the Netherlands and Scotland.

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