Avishai Cohen and Peter Breiner to headline the MAZAL TOV! Festival

Exceptional concerts, guided tours of Jewish architecture in Košice, exhibitions and educational events – all this and more at the second MAZAL TOV! Festival in Košice from 18 until 22 July. Avishai Cohen, one of the stars of contemporary jazz, will introduce his new project at the festival that is open to everybody and some of its events are even free of charge.

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But MAZAL TOV!, which means ‘Good luck‘ in Hebrew, offers much more. The opening concert of this unique festival will feature Peter Breiner, Jozef Lupták, Stano Palúch, Boris Lenko and the Musica Cassovia orchestra.  The programme of the concert is just as unique – an interesting blend of classical music, klezmer and jazz, prepared for this occasion by Peter Breiner, a composer currently living in New York and a graduate of the Košice Conservatoire.

“Avishai Cohen, a phenomenal bassist, singer and composer, is definitely one of the contemporary jazz superstars. He is a musician of remarkable creativity and emotion, whose performances never fail to captivate a very broad audience, jazz enthusiasts and those not particularly interested in this type of music alike. An interesting blend of jazz, oriental and Latino motives, his music captured the attention of Chick Corea and resulted in seven years of collaboration. Avishai Cohen also performed with Bobby McFerrin, Alicia Keys and Herbie Hancock,” says Jana Šargová, the art director of the festival. Cohen’s new project, Avishai Cohen Quartet, will premier in Izrael early in July and soon after that, on 22 July, will close the MAZAL TOV! Festival in Košice, as a part of their major European tour. Most of their concerts have already been sold out. Cohen’s new project features musicians such as the saxophonist Eli Degibri and the young and talented pianist Nitai Hershkovits and drummer Ofri Nehemya. “We are delighted that the Quartet have added a concert in Košice to the already very busy programme of their European tour,” adds Mirka Vargová, the executive director of the festival.

The programme of the festival includes many well-known musical ensembles, including Budapešť Klezmer Band and Kaschauer Klezmer Band (20 July), Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (18 July), Shmuela Barzilai, the chief cantor of Vienna’s Jewish Community (21 July) and Tzomet, a Hungarian ensemble performing Sephardic songs (20 July). Please find attached the complete programme of the festival. 

Even before the festival begins, you can learn more about Jewish culture during the popular guided tours of Kosice and, this time, also of Prešov and Bardejov. The history of all these three cities is closely connected to Jewish communities and their architecture. The festival will also be accompanied by several exhibitions and educational events.

The MAZAL TOV! Festival is organised by the MoreMusic association, who chose the motto ‘Opening the windows wide‘. “Last year, we were able to embark on this project thanks to the funding from the Kosice – European Capital of Culture 2013,” says Mirka Vargová. “We would like to continue in bringing Jewish culture closer to the public, hoping to remove the barriers and shift the paradigms. Ignorance gives rise to prejudice and intolerance. We, on the other hand, want to open peoples’ minds though our cultural and educational activities.”

Following the success of the first festival last year, MAZAL TOV! already has fans abroad, not only in Slovakia. Tickets are available at Ticketportal, MiC Košice and Košice Visitor Centre. The admission to some of the events is free.

This festival is organised with the support of The Ministry of culture of the Slovak Republic, Košice – European Capital of Culture 2013, MAYSIKE and Austrian Cultural Forum and under the patronage of the Embassy of Israel in Slovakia.

For more information, visit www.mazaltov.sk 

Contact for the media:

Jana Šargová | jsargova@gmail.com | +421904 222 905, http://mazaltov.sk/press/

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