About Thelma Yellin Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Program of Thelma Yellin High School for the Arts offers a curriculum that is based on that of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. The Program is a member of the Jen-Jazz Education Network, and following an annual audition, is invited to represent Israel at an international conference attended by 300 of the world’s leading ensembles. At the same time, the program endeavors, through a student exchange program, to maintain its ties with Givatayim’s twin city – the county of Esslingen in Germany. The Jazz Program’s students are invited to perform all over the world, and represent Israel’s educational system at professional musical events.

The Program has a full big band, conducted by Mr. Eli Benacot. The band is the representative performing body of the Jazz Program. According to the big bands tradition, it includes four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, five percussionists and singers, and performs a wide repertoire of works by the best music arrangers in Israel and abroad. The band performs in Israel and overseas, takes part in master classes, and records the musical arrangements by the Program’s alumni. Over the years, the band has been invited on study trips to leading jazz universities in the world, such as the New School in New York and Berklee in Boston. The band has performed before various communities and in music schools in the USA and Canada, including joint projects with the LaGuardia High School and an appearance at the Lincoln Center in New York.

Thelma Yellin Jazz Ensemble


Givaatyim, Israel

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