The summer park hoots began as an extension of the Tel Aviv Folk Club that is open to the public and takes on a Free outdoor format in the summer. The hoots are located in a park in Ramat Aviv Gimel opposite 5 Kashani Street in a quaint (over sized chess) amphi surrounded by candle light. Some of Israel's best folk, blues, country and world music musicians enjoy performing at this venue. In it's 13th year, Harold's Free Hoots premiered with a guest performance by UK's stunningly superb Pete Morton.
SINGING @ SARONA was initiated by our beloved late Larry Gamliel and Carol Fuchs who intended it to be a small weekend retreat for their friends (the Israeli folk community's best musicians). Well, it turns out that these wonderful musicians also draw a wonderful audience of folk aficionados who enjoy the whole scene and being that the musicians love sharing their music "hands-on", as well as in performance, some truly unique magic happens. Just read the enthusiastic testimonials, and then mark the date in your calendar. By the way, it's now called SINGING @ ZICHRONA.
SINGING @ SARONA4
"I really can't tell you how much I enjoyed the weekend." Carol Fuchs, Jerusalem
"We had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the music and folks...thanks for making us feel welcome."Ed & Nirit Zagofsky, Poriah
Thank you for inviting me to Sarona. I enjoyed myself and found the participants enjoyable." Ronny Polak, Ramat Hasharon
"I'm soooo impressed..." Joanna Scudero, Karkur
"...a wonderful weekend of oblivion...good music and good companionship! I think that every year at the end of the weekend I say to myself - this has been the best Sarona! And it's true 'cause all the Sarona weekends were indeed the best!"
Ariela Orion, Tel Aviv Yafo
How it all happened [scratch head] These are some of the comments received after the 4th annual Sarona (Moshav near Kfar Tavor) weekend that was held in memory of its originator, our beloved Larry Gamliel. I tried to recreate what Larry had done in the past years and it was a formidable challenge. The success of the weekend was the direct result of all the participants being actively involved in the music, workshops, and even prayers. I thank you all personally because together we created an unforgettable experience in which we could almost feel Larry with us smiling that super wide smile of his that we will never forget. The weekend started Thursday night with the vanguard contingent convoying out of Sarona to the Karmiel Folk Klub where an amazing musical evening emerged under the leadership of Larry Rosenfeld. Those lucky long weekenders had a jump on us working stiffs who could only get to Sarona on Friday but when we did, it started with a undeniably exotic lecture and tour of the neighboring Circassian village (see accompanying article). The tour wound up in the Sheherezada "Original" Circassian restaurant whose claim to fame was traditional lumpy rice (something like my Mom's) and superb fruit salad and a baklava type pastry dessert whose crust was soft rather than crunchy as we get locally. This was a good culinary start that just got better with every meal. When we got back to the Sarona Moadon, the Music Emporium was in full swing and all kinds of cool things were on sale. There were performers' CDs, musical instruments of all types, guitar accessories and strings, original jewelry, and free used books. Larry Brandt's Brass and Banjo workshop then proceeded and had about 20 people learning how to "make music" on instruments they never dreamed of playing. After a few minutes of watching the band rehearsals it was time for some fresh country air and the accompanying pungent smell of the livestock was a welcome respite from the amateur cacophony. Hey it's all part of the funk. The next workshop really put things on track as Larry Fogel ran down a timeline of James Taylor hits that he performed to an adoring sing-along audience. He does JT so well that we just didn't want it to end. When we sang along on You've Got A Friend, Fire and Rain and the Secret of Life, we all just floated into la la love land. Then as organizer & ringleader, I had to creatively deal with some infrastructure issues since the local authority (from whom the Moadon was rented) is in chapter eleven, the result was romantic candle lit toilets. Organizing an event successfully means getting into the fine details and I had previously held long discussions about the menu and how to cook Friday night's meal with Ofer who previously ran a trendy Tel Aviv restaurant in the Bazel area. The results were almost gourmet and bountifully abundant. Even the leftovers were copious. After Shabat candle lighting by Nirit and some appropriate singing led by Rich Levine it was show time.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
It all started because of love.
Love between people and love for music
and the special love that is created
when people interact
with music that they love.
The traditional opening Brass & Banjo Band: Leah Shalek, Trish Baron, Larry Rosenfeld, Daniella Yaakov, the Zagofsky family: Nirit, Ed & Ayelet, Hanna H., Sari, Charlie Lerner, Barry Nester, Nurit Orion, and 2 others that I forgot (woops - sorry) under the baton of Larry Brandt was in it's usual unique form and I don't know what was louder, the horn section or the laughing audience. The wildly enthusiastic audience insisted on an encore while band members grimaced in disbelief. Then Larry Ministry of Jazz Brandt did some wonderful 50s banjo tunes, and things really started rolling along. Our surprise guest was Joanna Scudero who graced us with a number of lovely songs. The ensuing lineup included both soloists and ensembles that get well-deserved kudos. These musicians normally do not make music together. The results were amazing and special thanks go out to: Shelly Ellen, Betty Maoz, Marcie Scherier, Ronny Polak, Dianne Kaplan, Ariela Orion, Larry Fogel, Marc Miller, Eli Marcus, Mira Moreno, and Shay Tochner. The music played into the night and at around 2am, it was time to sing Goodnight Irene. The next morning was a gloriously warm Shabat and with rejuvenated vocal chords and fingertips we sat around Paulina's porch for the harmonica workshop that included blues, bluegrass and funky soul harmonica instruction. Comprehensive learning sheets and CDs were provided and about 20 new harmonica players were discharged into the Middle East. Caution: You have been warned. But I do declare that some of the resulting sounds I taught them were not at all bad, but sometimes when playing in unison they were reminiscent of the indelible Brass & Banjo Band of yore. Then for the slightly less musically ambitious, Ariela Orion conducted a repeat of last year's hit spoon workshop and lots of participants enjoyed clicking away with wild abandon. These newly discovered musical talents shall now go forth to astound (?) stray cats and their appreciative next-door neighbors. Shay Tochner's the Art of Accompaniment that focused on professional tips on how to best perform with other musicians concluded the workshop program. It was a very meaningful workshop and Shay's experience and recommendations will positively effect numerous future gigs around the country. It was then time again to eat and enjoy the terrific food from the local Arabic restaurant of "Pean Soup" (Singing @ Sarona1 - see Adobe downloads on home page) fame at Rancho Karaso's BarBQ grill. The grand finale began with a session of Belly Dancing by the voluptuous Anat, and after shaking our boodies into the late afternoon, a huge circle of merry folksters sang the weekend away. Indeed the best Sarona yet.
- Harold Jacobs