In honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), the St. Paul JCC and the United Jewish Fund and Council of St. Paul (UJFC) will host Israeli jazz pianist Omer Klein 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14 at the JCC, 1375 St. Paul Ave.
At 26, Klein is the newest force in the Israeli-New York City jazz movement. His compositions and improvisations combine his deep love for the jazz tradition, his passion to explore and master the piano, and his strong connection with the sounds of his homeland.
“When I moved to the U.S., something changed,” Klein told JazzTimes. “I realized that I have to go back to my real roots, the music that surrounded me when I was growing up. I don’t necessarily think that every musician has to explore the music of his country, but for me it works.”
- Israeli jazz pianist Omer Klein will perform May 14 at the St. Paul JCC. (Photo: Ariel Besor)
Omer grew up in Netanya, Israel, where he started to play and compose at the age of 7. After completing his studies at the prestigious Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, he was acknowledged by the Israeli ministry of culture as an “Outstanding Musician.”
Klein has also worked with jazz artists such as Omer Avital and Anat Cohen, and collaborated with Israeli music icons like Yehudit Ravitz and Alon Oleartchik.
Klein’s first solo piano CD, Heart Beats (Smalls Records), was released in March. The album is described as “an inspired collection of original solo piano compositions steeped in North African, Middle Eastern and American jazz.”
“There is great freedom and a very deep, primal feeling in the concept of one human being playing a musical instrument alone,” Klein said in a press release. “You can take the music anywhere you want.”
The cost is $10 for JCC members and $15 for nonmembers. For information, contact Jewish Cultural Arts Director Jeffrey Richman at 651-255-4752 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.Â