Israeli Jazz Series: Amit Friedman, Saxophonist By Yossi Zwecker

Israeli Jazz Series: Amit Friedman, Saxophonist By Yossi Zwecker

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This photograph is part of Zwecker’s Israeli Jazz Musicians project, in which he sets out to document the great masters of Israeli jazz. While over the past several decades Israel has become one of the most innovative exporters of jazz music in the world, there has been almost no documentation of its founding musicians and younger protégés. Zwecker sees this project as his contribution to the construction of a narrative for Israeli Jazz, and to the effort to bring the vibrant national scene to the fore of public awareness.

Amit Friedman is a leading saxophonist, composer and bandleader in the Tel Aviv jazz scene, and a frequent player at contemporary European jazz festivals. He also collaborates with some of Israel’s top commercial artists as both a musician and a composer. The compositions written by Friedman fuse together sophistication and simplicity, a loyalty to jazz music and a love of world music, especially Middle Eastern music. His debut album “Sunrise" was the top selling jazz album in Israel in 2012, and received enthusiastic reviews in both Israel and the US. Alongside his musical productions, Friedman is highly active as an educator, working to advance jazz among young people.

Zwecker chose to photograph Friedman in a cluttered storage space surrounded by tools, household items and other random objects. The movement of the musician and the saxophone merge with the loops and diagonals created by the objects into a fluid, holistic composition. The density in the picture gestures towards Friedman’s musical richness and the youthful, rugged quality of his compositions, as he transforms the local, the mundane and the plain into captivating and noble works of music.

Israeli Jazz Series
The Amit Friedman, Saxophonist work is part of Zwecker’s Israeli Jazz Musicians project, in which he set out to document the great masters of Israeli jazz, an older generation that is beginning to disappear. While over the past several decades Israel has become one of the most innovative exporters of jazz music in the world, there has been almost no documentation of its founding musicians. Zwecker sees this project as his contribution to the construction of a narrative for Israeli jazz, and to the effort to bring the vibrant national scene to the fore of public awareness.
The Jazz Series allows Zwecker to fuse together his twin passions for photography and music. He chooses to photograph his subjects in black and white as an homage to the great jazz photographers of the 1940s, creating a dramatic effect while simultaneously plunging the observer into the unique vibe of a packed jazz club. While many other musical genres are often presented in large arenas or concert halls, integral to jazz are the intimate spaces in which it is usually performed and the direct, unmediated relationship between the musician and the audience; a relationship that is a crucial component in the photographer’s subject material.

Yossi Zwecker

Born in Israel in 1965, Yossi Zwecker began his career as a news photographer before specializing in photography of the performing arts.
He collaborates extensively with leading Israeli theater companies, dance troupes, and music venues, and currently serves as the house photographer for the Israel Opera House, Tel Aviv Center for Performing Arts, and the Israeli Ballet.

Read more about Yossi here