Ashkenaz returns as guest curator at the Markham Jazz Festival with a genre-defying performance featuring two of Israel’s most innovative musicians. Amos Hoffman is an Israeli Jazz guitarist and oudist known worldwide as a pioneer in fusing the rhythms and melodic themes of the Middle East with Modern Jazz. Noam Lemish (known to Ashkenaz audiences as one of the co-leaders of the Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative) is a multi-faceted pianist and composer whose music, often characterized by intense lyricism and energy, defies categorization. Together, they lead a powerful and imaginative quartet (also featuring bassist Justin Gray and drummer Derek Gray) that presents exciting jazz arrangements of songs originating from Yemenite, North African, Russian and Persian Jewish communities.
Amos Hoffman is an Israeli Jazz Oudist and Guitarist known worldwide as a pioneer in fusing the rhythms and melodic themes of the Middle East with Modern Jazz. Hoffman started playing guitar at the age of 6, and oud a few years later. He studied guitar privately, and later attended the prestigious Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His search for new musical experiences led him first to Amsterdam, and then to New York City, where he played jazz with both established musicians and up and coming talents like Jason Lindner, bassist Avishai Cohen, and Claudia Acuna. To date, Hoffman has recorded 5 solo albums, The Dreamer (1999), Na’ama (2006), Evolution (2008) Carving (2010) and Back to the City (2015). He has also contributed on dozens more for artists in Israel and worldwide including Avishai Cohen, Kiko Berenguer (Spain), and Jan Mlynarski (Poland). In 2013 Amos was awarded one of Israel’s most prestigious prizes – The Landau Prize for Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievement in the field of Jazz. Now based in the U.S., Hoffman looks forward to creating new musical adventures and reaching an even larger audience.
Noam Lemish is an Israeli-American jazz pianist and composer currently based out of Toronto, Canada. He has appeared in numerous performances across the US, Canada, Europe, Israel, and in Bhutan having played and performed with such musicians as: Sheila Jordan, John Handy, Julian Lage, James Newton, Dayna Stephens, Cameron Brown, George Marsh, Frances-Marie Uitti, Babatunde Lea and many others. He has several recordings to his credit, including The Turning (2016), The Magic Clavier Book I (2015), Nightfall (2013), The People’s King (2010) and Yes And (2008). His compositions include chamber, choral, piano, numerous jazz works and “The People’s King”: a commissioned multi-cultural suite in celebration the King of Bhutan’s 30th birthday composed while teaching music in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan in 2010.