Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

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Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). As a multi-instrumentalist he plays saxophones, clarinet and ethnic woodwind instruments . His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. He has been described by John Lewis on the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz”. Atzmon is touring extensively around the world playing in festivals, concert halls and clubs. His albums, of which he has recorded twelve to date, often explore political themes and the music of the Middle East.

Until 1994 he was a producer-arranger for various Israeli Dance & Rock Projects, performing in Europe and the USA playing ethnic music as well as R&R and Jazz.

Coming to the UK in 1994, Atzmon recovered an interest in playing the music of the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe that had been in the back of his mind for years. In 2000 he founded the Orient House Ensemble in London and started re-defining his own roots in the light of his emerging political awareness. Since then the Orient House Ensemble has toured all over the world. The Ensemble includes Eddie Hick on Drums, Yaron Stavi on Bass and Frank Harrison on piano & electronics.

Also, being a prolific writer, Atzmon’s essays are widely published. His novels ‘Guide to the perplexed’ and ‘My One And Only Love’ have been translated into 24 languages. Gilad’s latest book, The Wandering Who? is a study of Jewish Identity political identity. It was published in English in October 2011 and since then it was translated into ten languages.

The Orient House Ensemble
Atzmon founded the Orient House Ensemble band in London in the 2000 together with Asaf Sirkis (dr), Frank Harrison (pi) and Oli Hayhurst (bs).
Since then the ensemble toured extensively around the world. It has produced six albums in nine years.
In 2003 Yaron Stavi (bs) joined the band.
In 2009 Asaf Sirkis left the band and Eddie Hick (dr) took his place.
The Orient House Ensemble is currently preparing for its 1st decade anniversary tour and album.

Yaron Stavi
A Double bass and electric bass player Born in Tel Aviv, 6 April 1975. He played in concerts and festivals across Europe and Israel with the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. he met Gilad Atzmon and joined him in the bands Spiel and Spiel Acid Jazz. Aged 21 Yaron moved to Berlin. He studied at the Berlin Academy of Arts with Rainer Zepperitz, former principal bass player of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Yaron was principal double bass player of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, playing under Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Marris Jansons, Ivan Fischer, Franz Welser-Most, Sir Neville Mariner and others. In 2002 Yaron moved to London and joined Gilad Atzmon as a member of the Orient House Ensemble. Yaron plays in other Jazz bands from the UK and has performed with artists across Europe including Peter King, Larry Coryell, Jarek Smietana, Leszek Mozdzer, Gary Husband, Gene Calderazzo, and Stephen Keogh. Since meeting him at a festival in Switzerland in 1997, he has played with violinist Nigel Kennedy, both as a member of the Nigel Kennedy Jazz Group in Berlin’s Jazz club Quasimodo and in festivals in the UK. He played also on Robert Wyatt’s 2003 album Cuckooland and 2007 album Comicopera and in 2003 recorded two albums for John Zorn’s label Tzadik with Koby Israelite.

Frank Harrison
Frank Harrison was born in Oxford on 8 July 1978. He took up the piano at 11, and began playing gigs when he was 15. In 1994 he won the soloist award in the Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Competition, and in 1996 placed second in Young Jazz Musician Of The Year.
After taking up a scholarship at Berklee School Of Music, Boston, he returned to England and joined Gilad Atzmon’s band. In 2000 they started the Orient House Ensemble, with whom Frank has recorded five albums on Enja Records, including BBC Jazz Album Of The Year 2003, “Exile”.

Eddie Hick
Born in York, UK in 1987, Eddie Hick started playing drums aged 13 at school. Aged 16 he joined Transglobal drummers and began playing djembe, taught by Jon Ward. The following year they travelled to Accra, Ghana where they studied music and dance with The Kusun Ensemble. Aged 18 he gained a Btec in performance from Leeds College of Music and the following year enrolled on the BA jazz degree. This gave him the opportunity to study with some great musicians/teachers including Ronnie Bottomley, Dave Walsh, Omar Puente, Rod Youngs and Lucky Ranku. Around this time he began performing in local clubs and bars with many inspiring musicians from around Yorkshire. Whilst in his 2nd year at college he met Gilad Atzmon and Stephen Keogh at a workshop who both encouraged him. In his 3rd year he began playing with the South Trio and Tomorrows Warriors.

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