Hometown: Los Angeles
Web site: http://www.maetar.com
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Vibrations of Change
The band Maetar is brothers Itai (bass) and Hagai (horns), in collaboration with legendary drummer James Gadson. Their music itself is a declaration of peace, calling on Hebrew and Arabic melodies, filtering it through a rigorous jazz perspective, and the exuberance of funk, soul, and rock. If Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix had a baby in the Delta of the Nile, and George Clinton was the midwife, it might sound like Maetar.
Born in war torn Israel on a kibbutz, the Maetar brothers started making music at the age of six and four. The whole family used to gather around their grandfather’s table every Saturday and jam. They grew into legitimate musicians; Hagai became an award winning soloist and performed with Israeli orchestras and Itai became a celebrated and sought after bassist, winning “Bass Player of the year.” After the army, their collaborations with international musicians led to the formation of a band From the Other Side that released a record on the prestigious Italian label,
Black Saint/ Soul Note and brought them to America.
But Itai and Hagai had a vision: to create original soulful and substantive music that reaches across cultural boundaries
as an instrument of peace. Their love of soul, jazz, classical lyricism, and sacred tribal music from around the world led
them to create MAETAR, a setting in which they could create this fusion of sound and cross cultural collaboration.
Their concerts for human rights and peace have brought Arab and Israeli, Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist musicians
and communities together alike. Maetar has played the major clubs on the West Coast, headlined festivals such as
Topanga Earth Day festival, We the People festival, and the Global sound conference, and even won the Hard Rock
festival’s Battle of the Bands.
When the brothers met James Gadson, they fell in love with their brother from another mother. Their weekly jam
sessions resulted in a momentous new album, The Gift, in which Gadson is heard like he’s never been heard before,
completely free, without any genre boundaries. James Gadson’s credits are too numerous to list, but his is the heartbeat
that has powered countless hits by Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, and Paul McCartney, to name a few. Itai’s bass playing
evokes the virtuosity of Jaco, the groove of Jamerson, and the imagination of Hendrix, as he creates layers of rhythm,
harmony, and melody simultaneously. He has had the honor of playing with Larry Coryell, Trilok Gurtu,
and Jackson Browne, among many others. Hagai’s fluid and innovative use of trumpet, flugel horn, conch shells,
shofar, and ethnic flutes is evocative of Miles Davis and Coltrane. He has played with Roger Waters, Jackson Browne,
and the L.A. Jewish Symphony.
MAETAR has released two critically acclaimed cds on Organic Music, which have been a favorite on local radio stations,
and their compositions have been used in TV and film. Their newest offering The Gift, has already earned the attention
of tastemakers and filmmakers alike. In the words of respected music critic for the LA Times, this historic collaboration is
“truly one of a kind and should not be missed.”
“One of the most original and exciting bands of true musicians to come along in years…”
- Jackson Browne
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