Jazz With a Side of Hummus

Jazz With a Side of Hummus

David R. Cohen

David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.

Hadar Noiberg Trio to kick off AJMF7

The March 26 Purim-themed main event might be the seventh Atlanta Jewish Music Festival’s largest concert, but don’t overlook what could be the most unusual act of AJMF7.

The Hadar Noiberg Trio, a New York-based world music/jazz group led by Israeli-born flutist Hadar Noiberg, is opening the festival at Steve’s Live Music on Thursday, March 10.

Noiberg is one of the world’s premier jazz flutists, and her trio’s compositions blend exotic Middle Eastern melodies with traditional jazz to create a distinctive sound.

Hadar Noiberg’s performance at AJMF7 will be her first in Atlanta
Hadar Noiberg’s performance at AJMF7 will be her first in Atlanta

“There aren’t too many flutists in jazz that are primarily flute players and don’t play other instruments,” Noiberg said in an interview. “In Middle Eastern cultures, flute is a very spiritual leader, and I’m so influenced by that. My band, which is just flute, bass and drums, has an amazing amount of energy between the three of us.”

Originally from Holon, Israel, Noiberg moved to Brooklyn 11 years ago and tours worldwide with her jazz trio and other projects. Noiberg recently returned from a two-week tour of Europe with stops in Munich, Paris and Vienna.

Her performances at AJMF7 will mark her first visit to Atlanta.

“I’ve heard Atlanta is smaller than New York City for sure,” she said. “I’ve also heard there is actually a lot of great music happening there.”

Steve’s Live Music, one of Atlanta’s most intimate music venues, is hosting Noiberg as she opens AJMF7 with two sets at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

The Sandy Springs venue has hosted AJMF events each year since opening in 2012. Noiberg’s performance could be the festival finale for the Hilderbrand Drive site, however, because owner Steve Grossman announced in January that he’ll likely close or move if he can’t find a partner to handle food operations.

“If you want to see something unique, AJMF is always providing those experiences,” Grossman said. “You wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get a group like this here without the festival putting them on. Having the sponsors for AJMF be able to bring in this kind of talent is exceptional.”

Noiberg was introduced to AJMF Executive Director Russell Gottschalk by Yonit Stern, the director of cultural affairs for the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta.

The flutist and her group also are performing at a special jazz Shabbat service Friday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs.

“I feel compelled to present the flute as a very powerful leading instrument,” said Noiberg, who plays a 100-year-old black wooden flute. “We put on a very free-flowing, energetic and dynamic concert. I think people there will be surprised.”

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