In lots of ways Israel is the center of everything. It is a hot bed of violence and political conflict; a place of monumental religious clashes; a cultural cross road for thousands of years; a place where east meets west. It also the birthplace and incubator of some phenomenal musical talents and one in particular is the Israeli mandolinist Avi Avitar (born 19 October 1978). He is expanding the boundaries of the mandolin. He is best known for his renditions of well-known Baroque and folk music, much of which was originally written for other instruments. He has been nominated for a Grammy award (Best Instrumental Soloist with Ensemble). Here are a couple YouTube performances where East meets West.They are a couple of Turkish and Bulgarian tunes that are guaranteed to clean the wax out of your ears and free up you mind for musical possibilities outside the ordinary.The music is performed by Avi Avital on mandolin and Itamar Doari on percussion.
Now I have to come clean. The mandolin playing is outstanding but my real reason for sharing the videos is the out standing hand percussion.