Call for Papers:
Israeli Jazz and Hebrew Culture
The Center for Israel Studies at the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and
Zionism at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev invites proposals (between 250-300 words) for
presentations at a conference dedicated to Israeli jazz and Hebrew Culture that will take place at the
Sede Boqer campus of Ben-Gurion University on April 14-15, 2019.
Israeli jazz is one of the most interesting developments in contemporary Israeli culture. Israeli
musicians have taken leading roles in jazz outfits around the world, and festivals in Israel and abroad
feature Israeli jazz and Israeli jazz artists.
The rise of Israeli jazz, music that is rooted in a musical form born in the United States, raises a
number of questions about the character of Israeli culture, such as the connection between Israeli and
Western culture, the influence of American culture in Israel, and the unique connections between
east and west that are being fashioned within Israeli society itself.
Is there really an Israeli jazz, or just Israeli musicians playing jazz? As is fitting for a musical genre
that, in certain respects, aspires to break down conventional musical boundaries, the phenomenon of
jazz in Israel can teach a great deal about Israeli culture and its boundaries.
We are interested in proposals from all disciplines, and especially welcome proposals that are interdisciplinary
Possible topics include:
• Jazz as an expression of the globalization or Americanization of Israeli culture
• The rise of Israeli jazz as part of the globalization of jazz
• Jazz and piyyut
• The Israeli identity of music that is composed by Israeli artists living abroad
• The place of African-American art and artists in Israeli culture
• The success of Israeli jazz musicians
• Arnie Lawrence as educator, and his legacy among Israeli musicians in Israel and abroad
• Israeli writing about jazz
• The story of Lionel Hampton’s visit to Israel in 1953
The conference will feature a performance by the Itamar Borochov Sextet. The first part of the
Sextet’s performance will feature jazz interpretations, extensions and elaborations of piyyutim;
the second part will feature the Israeli debut of Lionel Hampton’s “King David Suite,” a work
deeply influenced by Hampton’s visit to Israel and his affinity for the country and Jewish culture.
The score of the composition was donated to the Ben-Gurion Archives in 2015, and Borochov
will arrange and orchestrate the music for the Sextet’s performance.
Proposals can be sent to: Jazzsedeboqer@gmail.com
Submission Deadline: January 15, 2019; notifications of acceptance will be sent by February 1,
Organizing Committee: Dr. Aryeh Tepper; Prof. Gideon Katz; Prof. Arieh Saposnik