Music Retreats

Instructors and Lecturers

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Instructors and Lecturers

Amikam Kimelman

עמיקם קימלמן - צילום עידו באוברג

saxophonist, arranger, and producer. Graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music at the Tel Aviv University,
and Berklee College of Music. Co-leader of the legendary jazz group ‘Overdraft’ and leader of the
‘Hard Jazz Knights’ and ’The Human Factory’ jazz quintets.
Amikam performed in festivals throughout the world, such as Grahamstown (SA), 
Pretoria (SA), Almati (Kazakhstan), Baku (Azerbaijan), EU Jazz Express (Budapest), Essen (W. Germany)
and Barcelona (Spain) as well as numerous performances around Israel.
Played with Joanne Brackeen, Lew Soloff, Jeff Berlin, Franck Amsallem, Jean Loup Longnon, Sheila Jordan, Mike del Ferro, Inaki Sandoval, Billy Cobham, Ari Hoenig, Hadrien Feraud and Lou Marini.

Arranged and composed for The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, The Israel Simfonietta –Beer Sheva, for top Israeli jazz, pop and rock stars such as Rami Kleinstein, Shalom Hanoch, Nurit Galron, Marina Maximilian Blumin, Alon Olearchik, Yehoram Gaon, and Gidi Gov, for prime-time television shows and for major musical events in Israel. Amikam was the general and academic director of Israel’s largest music college; the Rimon School of Music ( between the years 1990 and 2014 and at present directs the External Studies Program of Rimon, as well as the music department for outstanding musicians of Bikurim- Ein Gedi high school at Tamar Regional County in the Dead Sea area. He has been the musical director of The Tel Aviv Jazz Orchestra since the year 2000, artistic director of the Israeli label Jazz 972 and founder and music director of the International Jaffa Jazz Festival.

Ilan Salem

אילן סאלם

Flutist, composer and arranger. Born in 1961.
Graduate of the prestigious Thelma YallinHigh School jazz department, graduate of Berklee College of Music. Played and recorded with renowned rock and pop Israeli stars as Yoni Rechter, Ahinoam Nini (NOA),
Ester Ofarim, Yeudit Ravitz as well as with leading jazz musicians such as trumpeter Avishai Cohen, saxophonist Eli Degibri, and the pianist Jonatan Avishai, pianist Kenny Warner, pianist Shay Maestro,
vocalist Timna Brauer, and Indian tabla player Bickram Ghosh.
Ilan teaches at the Rimon School of Music, the Israel Conservatory of Music and
The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where he also served as head of its jazz
Ilan Salem is the winner of the prestigious Israel Prime Minister Award for Composers for the year 2011
and released 4 albums under his name.

Gil Zohar

גיל זוהר

Multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and producer who plays equally on piano, flute, bass, guitar
as well as singing.
Gil performed and recorded with top Israeli artists in Israel and around the world, such as
Achinoam Nini (NOA), Shlomo Artzi, Gidi Gov, Matti Caspi, to name a few, and performed
in numerous jazz festivals in Israel and around the world.
He is a faculty member at the prestigious Rimon School of Music and head of its external program for
amateur jazz musicians.
As an experienced Yoga trainer Gil apples Yoga, both in his teaching and instruction,
to create a unique personal, artistic, and emotional approach to his students.

Yosi Levy

יוסי לוי

Guitarist and composer Yosi Levy is a multifaceted acoustic and electric guitarist of exceptional range
and depth.
His album, “The Yosi Levy Acoustic Project,” was recorded live with two outstanding musicians:
the Israeli flutist Ilan Salem and one of the greatest living Indian Tabla player Bickram Ghosh.
A longtime accompanist to sitar legend Ravi Shankar, Ghosh was honoured by a composition written by
Levy: FOR BICKRAM that is included in the album.
Levy’s Acoustic Project tours internationally and has performed in a wide variety of festivals and clubs such
as in U.S.A, India, China, and Israel.
Levy’s acoustic project works in three formats: as a trio (guitar & flute & percussion) duo (guitar & flute),
or solo performance.
As a solo acoustic guitarist, Levy fuses a fascinating breadth of jazz and baroque-style polyphonic improvisation.

His free movement between genres creates an exciting polyphonic texture that showcases Levy’s unlimited capabilities as an improviser.
He is also an adroit electric guitarist, as can be heard on his album “The House on Lefferts Boulevard,” featuring legendary jazz saxophonist Dave Liebman.
As a tireless performer, Levy has collaborated and performed with a spectrum of musicians, including
Dave Liebman, Phil Woods, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Frank Gambale, Jeff Berlin, Bob Gullotti, Mordy Ferber, Denis Reis and Marcelo Nami.
He has also played as guitarist and collaborated for some of Israel’s greatest stars: Yoni Rechter, Yosi Banai, Ester Ofarim, Shem Tov Levy, Yair Dallal and many more.
Yosi Levy is a well-known jazz teacher and educator at “Rimon School Music” in which he created and currently leads the prestigious” Contest for Jazz Players”.
He also teaches in the “Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance”, where he teaches guitar, improvisation and

Yaki Levi

יקי לוי

Drummer, composer, and pianist.
Studied at the Berklee College of Music and lived for over ten years in New York, where he taught at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
During that time, he played and recorded with the greatest jazz players in the world, such as:
McCoy Tyner, Kenny Werner, Jimmy Heath, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kurt Elling, Frank Foster, Philip Catherine, and Leni Stern.
Since returning to Israel, Yaki has played in countless jazz shows and played and recorded with
Achinoam Nini (NOA), Rita, Yehudit Ravitz, Danny Sanderson, Shalom Hanoch, Gidi Gov, Mazi Cohen, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the “Yaki Levi Trio” project, he plays his original music written during a worldwide tour in which he participated.
Yaki plays original compositions in his “Motian” project, which is in memory of the jazz drummer Paul Motian (considered one of the most influential drummers in the entire world).
He teaches at The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and at the Israel Conservatory
of Music in Tel Aviv.

Joca Perpignan

ז'וקה פריפריאן

Percussion artist, singer, and composer, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, immigrated to Israel in 1987.
Joca has enjoyed an illustrious international career.
he performed original music on many stages in Israel and worldwide.
As a musician, he has collaborated with great international artists such as Naná Vasconcelos,
João Donato (Brazil), Paquito D’Rivera (Cuba), Dave Liebman (USA), Edmar Castaneda (Colombia),
the Mendes Brothers (Cape Verde), and others.
In Israel, he was a permanent member of Idan Reichel’s project between 2011 and 2016, a founding member
of the Toucan Trio, and performed and recorded with, among others, Matti Caspi, Yoni Reichter, Arik Einstein, Shlomo Gronich, Miki Gavrielov, and more.
Joca worked as a rhythm teacher in the Mayumana dance company and conducted rhythm workshops at higher educational institutions in Israel and around the world, such as Berklee College (Boston), the Hamburg Conservatory (Germany), and the University of North Florida (USA).
His last album received excellent reviews from the media in Brazil and Israel.
It was chosen as one of the ten best albums released in Israel in 2014 by the Haaretz newspaper.

Fernando Knopf

פרננדו קנוף

Musician, bassist, singer, composer, producer, and musical arranger.
Fernando is the director of the Latin Music program at the prestigious Rimon School of Music in Ramat Hasharon where he leads conduct and arrange the school’s Latin Music Orchestra and directs of the Latin Music and Latin Jazz program at school.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, He began his career at the age of 14 in the Latin, jazz, and classical
music scene.
He studied and was educated by musicians in South America, Spain, and Israel and immigrated to
Israel in 1996.
Fernando graduated from the Rimon School of Music and holds a bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem.
Fernando is the director of several salsa orchestras and various ensembles.
He produced and hosted of the Jam Sessions at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat.

He has recorded, produced, and performed with international legends such as Mercedes Sosa, Tito Puente,
Jr., Gene Perry, Efrain Toro, Federico Martinez, Deborah Brown, Eli Degibri, Avi Lebovich, Nancy King,
Victor Mendoza, and others.
He has also played with Israeli artists, including David Broza, Shlomo Yadov, Yehoram Gaon, Din Din Aviv, Marina Maximilian Blumin, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Yair Dalal,
Mati Caspi, Shalom Hanoch and more.
Fernando put on a special tribute show for the Buena Vista Social Club.
Together with the Latin singer (Cuba) Italo Gonzalez, he performed in a show that combined the greatest hits
from Cuba of the Buena Vista Social Club in new and original arrangements of well-known songs.
In his third album from 2014, called “La Musica es Sentimientos” (“Music is Feelings”), he reveals the musical color, incredible talent, and unusual combination of styles that are inherent in him. He worked on the album
for about eight years, creating a fusion of Latin jazz, world music, Cuban rhythms, tango fusion,
Argentine folklore, bossa nova, salsa, and more.
The album includes instrumental pieces and songs in Hebrew, Spanish, and Portuguese, original songs written by Knopf alongside unique arrangements of familiar songs such as Aguas de Marzo, Gracias a la Vida, Obsesion, Libertango, and Escualo.
The rich musicality of the album is felt through the combination of unique percussion instruments from around the world, authentic wind instruments, ethnic flutes, bass guitars, grand piano, Argentinian bandoneon, accordion, guest singers, a choir, and more.
In the album, Knopf plays five-string bass guitars, a fretless, the keyboard, piano, and sings vocals.

Gilad Dobrecky

גלעד דוברצקי

Chosen as one of the twelve leading percussionists in the world by JAZZIZ Magazine.
Faculty at the Performance major program and the Percussion department at Rimon School of Music.
He has performed with music legends of various styles, including Al Di Meola, Brad Mehldau, Regina Carter, Mariah Carey, and Ricky Martin. In Israel, he has performed with Sarit Hadad, Arkadi Duchin, Shlomo Gronich, Shlomi Shaban, and many others.
At 23, Gilad moved to the US to study music at a prestigious Manhattan School of Music but did not finish even the first the semester. “I was drumming at a Brazilian singer’s recital from school, and her teacher saw me.” This teacher was the jazz singer Anne Marie Moss.
At the end of the recital, she approached me and said, “Listen, I want you to come on tour with me.

”When a first-year student is asked to tour the world, he doesn’t refuse. A year later, he tried his luck again at the academy until another teacher approached him with a similar request.
The third time he made his way back to the classroom, bassist Jeff Andrews discovered him in a school ensemble and whispered in his ear that he would be happy if he would join him in playing a concert.
“After that, I stopped trying.”
Gilad is a jazz ambassador who “looks for music everywhere.”
After performing and recording with Mariah Carey, Ricky Martin, and others, winning the title of one of the twelve best percussionists in the world, and being the US Jazz Ambassador to the world, Gilad’s dream is to play with musicians who live in some remote village in Serbia or Zanzibar, “those who play with their soul.”
He says, “What interests me is the local music.
I look for it everywhere- in a club, pub, or wedding. It always opens doors.”

Arie Volinez

אריה וולניץ

Bassist, arranger and producer.
Graduate of the Mannes College of Music in New York.
He also studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Served in the Army Air Force band and as arranger and bass player at the Southern Command band.
Studied with jazz pianist Ritchie.
Birach. Arie was the musical director and conductor of the Israeli Air Force Band from 1996 to 2001.
Arie is one of Israel’s most in demand recording players and as such, recorded and performed in numerous jazz festivals in Israel and abroad, recorded and performed with Israeli stars Danny Sanderson, Gidi Gov,
Nurit Galron, Shlomo Gronich, Shlomo Artzi and many others.
As a most in demand jazz player, he recorded and performed with jazz greats George Gronz, and
Dave Liebman in their world-wide tour in 2006.
Arie is currently the head of the Bass Department of the prestigious Rimon School of Music and teaches at the Music Department for Outstanding Musicians of Bikurim- Ein Gedi high school at Tamar Regional
County in the Dead Sea area.

Rony Holan

רוני הולן

Rony Holan is one of the outstanding jazz musicians in Israel, often invited to play with jazz greats
David Liebman, Sam Rivers, Benny Golson, James Moody, Eddy Daniels, Lou Solof and Frank Gambale.
Born in Jerusalem, Rony became a member of the Israeli Rock group “Duvdevan” early in his career.
In 1980, Rony moved to France for five years to complete his musical studies while working as a musician. During this period, he played with a number of top musicians such as Martial Solal, Jean-Pierre Debarbat,
and Jean-Loup Longnon. In 1984 he was the drummer of Monte Carlo Big Band.
After returning to Israel, he was the member of the legendary Jazz/Fusion band “Overdraft”, In 1986, Rony was one of the first teachers to join the faculty of Rimon School of Music, where he has taught and mentored most of today’s Israel’s professional musicians.

Rony regularly plays in theatre productions in Tel Aviv.
In 1999, he wrote music for Khalil Gibran’s masterpiece “The Prophet”.
Rony holds a master’s degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, in which he teaches as a jazz professor since 2000.
Rony has been playing in various jazz projects at the annual Red Sea Jazz Festival.
Today, performs regularly with the Yaron Gottfried Trio and plays his own music with top league musicians.
Rony wrote the music methods: “Rhythm For All” I and II, “Fifty Ways To Love Your Drumming”,
“Rony Holan Teaches Drums”, “Polyrhythms For the Drum Set”, and “Rhythm For All Dictation Exercises”.

Yuval Cohen

יובל כהן

Soprano saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Yuval Cohen, has developed his own unique sound and melodic approach to jazz composition and improvisation, creating his chamber jazz genre.
Yuval graduated from Thelma Yellin High School of Arts.
He graduated with honors from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, and has a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, where he studied on a full scholarship.
Yuval also holds a master’s degree in composition from The Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem.
Winner of the prestigious Landau Award for Jazz Players 2010 and the Prime Minister’s Award for Jazz Composers in 2017.

Lee Konitz, Lew Soloff, Arnie Lawrence, Reggie Workman, Anat Cohen – Avishai Cohen (3 Cohens), Omer Avital, Eric Harland, Aaron Goldberg, Jason Lindner, Matt Penman, Greg Hutchinson, Aaron Parks, Jonathan Blake, Garry Versace, Gilad Hekselman, Shai Maestro– All just a few of the wonderful world-renowned jazz figures with whom Yuval has played with.
Yuval has released three albums under his name.
Yuval is the older brother of the international jazz artists- saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen, and trumpeter Avishai Cohen, with whom he often performs at prestigious festivals and concerts worldwide.
Yuval is a leading figure in the Israeli jazz education and as such he serves as the head of the jazz department at The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, the director of the jazz studies program at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv and teaches at the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts in Givatayim.

Mordy Ferber

מורדי פרבר

Israeli guitarist and jazz player.
Lived in the United States for many years and works in both Israel and the United States.
In musical circles, Mordy is viewed as a meteor, a phenomenon, and one of the leading jazz players in the world.
He started playing classical guitar at the age of 12. In his youth, he played as a guitarist in several bands in the Krayot, mainly rock and blues. He was attracted to Django Reinhardt’s playing style, so he traveled to France to learn to play this unique style.
Over two years, Ferber played on recorded with Arik Einstein, Shlomo Artzi, Shlomo Gronich, Shem Tov Levi, and Nurit Galron but barely had time to enjoy the fruits of his labor, leaving immediately for the United States to study music after receiving a scholarship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Two years later,
he finished his bachelor’s degree and became a college teacher.

He plays, records, performs, writes music for series and movies, and cultivated a career that led him to become one of the greatest guitar players of all time, according to the book by jazz historian Scott Yanow.
In 1979, Miki Gavrielov added him to his show “Songs by their Composers.
”Shortly after, in January 1980, he joined the production of Arik Einstein’s show and album
“Armed with Sunglasses” where he played electric guitar in the songs, “She Sits in the Window” and
“Under Your Wing.”
Shlomo Artzi asked Ferber to play the guitar on his album “Midnight” (1981).
Shlomo Gronich brought him to play on the album “Cotton Candy” (1982), where he played guitar, sang, and had a virtuoso guitar solo in the song “Luna Park.”
Ferber also played with Nurit Galron, Shem Tov Levi, and others during those years.
In 1986, he formed the “Mordy Ferber Quartet.”
He recorded his first album on the German label Enja Records, “All the Way to Sendai.” The album was a huge success.
In 1995, he released his second album, “Mr. X.” In 1990, he moved to New York and taught at The New School between 1992 and 1996 and New York University between 1996 and 2011.
Mordy Ferber is currently residing in Israel.
He performes in Israel and around the world and is a faculty member of the prestigious Rimon School of Music and teaches at the music department for outstanding musicians of Bikurim- Ein Gedi high school.