We just returned from a concert that was part both of the Washington Jazz Festival and the Washington Jewish Music Festival. Because of our complicated lives, this is the only concert of either festival that we can attend.

The performers were the Uri Gurvich Quartet: Gurvich, an Israeli saxophonist living in New York, Leo Genovese the pianist, Peter Slavov on bass, and Francisco Mela, the percussionist.

These are four great musicians – each is highlighted in each of the Gurvich original compositions, and I could not tell you that any one of them is better than the others. The music they play is fairly cerebral – this is not toe-tapping jazz. It has an underlay of middle eastern or north African melodies and rhythms. It is very complex, and you need to be in the mood for the complexity to fully enjoy it, although whatever your mood is, you will appreciate its quality.

The saxophone last night was very different. The Star Spangled Banner, played on the sax by Jaared, at the Washington Nationals’ game. He did a great job – outclassed only by Stephen Strasburg.


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