SOBO Blues Band Representing Israel This Winter in America

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Three musicians were chosen to perform in the land where the Blues was born.

Willpilot Productions and Jack Baxter present SOBO Blues Band LIVE in NYC

"It doesn't matter who you are or where you live. The Blues is international. We're going to prove that's the truth in the United States of America."

SOBO Blues Band was chosen to represent Israel in America this January and February of 2017. The Jerusalem blues band won the honor in competition against musicians from every corner of the Holy Land at the Israel Blues Challenge this past November.

SOBO's first gig in the States is in New York City at the Parkside Lounge on Manhattan's Lower East Side on Saturday night, January 28.

SOBO is not sticking around New York. They're performing in Memphis, Monday, January 30, at the Center For Southern Folklore with Ori Naftaly, an Israeli musician and now an established Memphis based bluesman. Over their next days and nights in Tennessee, SOBO is competing at the 2017 International Blues Challenge.

SOBO was founded in 1995 in Jerusalem by the songwriting team, Assaf Ganzman and Daniel Kriman. Ganzman is also co-owner of the legendary Mike's Place live music bars and restaurants in Israel. When they're not on tour in Europe and Russia, SOBO is the Mike's Place House Band back home.

Eden Bahar, SOBO's 24 year-old drummer, considered one of the best percussionists in Israel, deftly pounds the skins and cymbals to Ganzman's driving bass and Kriman's soaring slide guitar licks.

SOBO Blues Band is also the survivor of one of the most infamous terror attacks in Israel's history. In April of 2003, two British suicide bombers attacked Mike's Place, next door to the American Embassy, on the Tel Aviv beachfront. Over fifty were injured. Musicians Yanai Weiss and Ran Baron, and a beautiful and beloved Mike's Place waitress, Dominique Hass, were killed. Mike's Place was rebuilt in one week and opened on Israel Independence Day with Assaf and Daniel performing together on stage.

“That’s the past,” says Ganzman. “Listen, Mike’s Place isn’t going anywhere. And neither is Israel. This is what Israelis do when terrorism rears its ugly head: First, we mourn. Then we fight. We rebuild. And then, we move on.”

Blues music is universal in its appeal, Assaf says. "It doesn't matter who you are or where you live. The Blues is international. We're going to prove that's the truth in the United States of America."

America is the land where the Blues was born. Three Israeli musicians are here to play their respects.

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Jack Baxter

David P. Ohliger