This year on Independence Day – the annual day of celebration that follows yom hazikharon, a remembrance day for those fallen in Israel’s many wars and conflicts, which we have studied in musical terms in the course of the semester – the State of Israel turns 64.


We are marking this day by taking a look at the significance of music in Israel beyond its (often contested) geographical borders, and we tune into its Jazz scene, a scene that has now been marketed for some time well beyond Israel itself. We discussed this several weeks ago with our “Skype guest,” Yoram Morad.

We are pleased to welcome to class guitarist Gilad Hekselman. Gilad is in the Bay Area for the Israeli JazzFest , which is taking place this week as part of SFJAZZ.

Gilad Hekselman is a remarkable young guitarist who has recorded and performed with a host of established jazz veterans including Chris Potter, John Scofield, Gretchen Parlato, Aaron Parks, Sam Yahel and Jeff “Tain” Watts. He won the 2005 Gibson Montreaux International Guitar Competition and has issued three outstanding recordings, including 2011’s Hearts Wide Open, which was selected by The New York Times as one of the best jazz releases of the year.

Here is Gilad at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 2006.