Saxophonist, composer, and Thelonious Monk Competition semi-finalist Dean Tsur, had – like many musicians – felt the wear of quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing. “Jazz is a style of music that is so free, communicative, and spontaneous,” Dean says. “It’s the antithesis of lockdowns.” Weary of video conferencing and virtual recordings, and itching for a creative outlet with a live audience, Dean teamed up with Israeli Jazz Society Director Barak Weiss to create a concert that combined Dean’s jazz quartet, The Songbirds, with a chamber string ensemble in a way that utilized this unique timbre blend beyond merely performing ballads. “Having the strings enriches the musical scope of this band a lot,” Dean tells. “It also takes all of us out of our comfort zone and lets us go into making music from a more open state of mind.”
The performance was recorded in Nov ‘20 at Terminal 4 in Tel Aviv, with a full film and audio crew and featured a blended audience: in-person technicians with an online audience. Dean, an AICF scholarship recipient, describes the former as “the first real audience we’ve performed in front of in a long time” and that their encouragement was “incredibly uplifting for us.” Click here to watch a preview of Dean’s new album, Live from Lockdown.
Live from Lockdown features Dean’s quartet of Yonatan Riklis (piano), Gasper Bertoncelj (drums), and Tal Ronen (bass), with special guests Yael Shapira (cello) and Hagar Maoz (violin).