“When saxophonist Eli Degibri left Israel at the age of 18 to study jazz at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, he knew he’s come back home one day.
It took 15 years, which included playing with jazz greats like Herbie Hancock and Al Foster in New York, where he also led combos and recorded albums, before the time was right.
“I was only waiting for the opportunity to return, and knew that once I could without sacrificing my music — I would,” Degibri, who relocated to Israel five years ago, told AFP.
Degibri is one several Israeli musicians who are now helping to nurture a burgeoning local scene after years abroad where they trained and played with the best jazz performers.
There has long been a jazz presence in Israel, but never such a wealth of formal training centres alongside returning musicians, according to Ben Shalev, music reporter and critic for Haaretz newspaper.“