J’ali Ensemble
People of Music – an African Jerusalemite Celebration!

A unique and exciting group combining African influences with local Jerusalem music.
The Ensemble plays original pieces by the composer Eran Kats, all have a strong massage of unity and of being true to one’s believes
They sing in Hebrew, English and Mandinka (West Africa).

“Jali Ensemble is one of the most promising
and fascinating groups in today music scene”
Moshe Mord, EMI MUSIC, BBC RADIO, Manager of Israel’s World and jazz radio – 88FM”.

“Eran Kats is a wonderful and unique composer”
Yair Dalal, Musician

“A fascinating blend of world music that feeds of
African and eastern roots combined”
Dubi Lents, Director of the international RED SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL

With the release of their premier album “Jali Live”, the Ensemble Has swept the
crowds in Israel, performing in festivals around the county as well as in Europe.
Five fantastic musicians together on stage in a rhythmic and moving performance
playing melodies for the soul and body. Join the celebration!



How it all began

Eran Kats (28 years old from Herzelia, Israel) was always interested in music from across the globe. He was attracted to new and unfamiliar sounds, and after completing his mandatory enlistment he was constantly searching for sounds, instruments and cultures he was not familiar with. In 2003, he traveled to India and Nepal for a period of 16 months, during which he was exposed to Indian culture and music. He began his personal transformation and his creation became rich with new musical ideas. In 2005 he traveled again to India to resume his journey to find new and exotic sounds.

On his return at the end of 2005, Eran founded his first band named “Many Waters”, for which he created and composed music combining many different styles. Especially dominant were the Indian-Arabic elements he intensely assimilated during his trips. After 3 years of activity, one album and countless live performances, the band was disbanded.

Soon after (2008), Eran traveled to Africa to study the African influences that have been gestating inside of his music recently. He was listening to many African artists for a while, including Salif Keita, Tumani Diabate and Ali Farka Toure and wanted to explore further. He traveled along with the African-Israeli group “Bangura”, that hosts the African master Sabula Bangura, to a month and a half of musical seminar in Gambia (a small country in western Africa). During the seminar, Eran fell in love with the African harp, the Kora, and began studying it intently.

Eran later moved to Senegal to continue his musical studies, where he studied the kora for 3 months under Aleu Gazamass. During his stay he became familiar with Senegal music and culture, and at that time the idea was formed to start a band playing world music with African influences. The name of the band, J’ali, originated there, meaning “The music people” in the local dialect – a common call he received while walking the streets with his Kora.

Upon returning to Israel, Eran spent 10 months recruiting the perfect collection of musicians for his band, each amazing in his own way. The members include – Ilan Kean, Dor Assaraf, Shahar Kachka, Dor Kelman and Eran himself. Today, J’ali Ensemble is an exciting and active group, presenting a unique and mesmerizing musical performance. The first Album is finishing production soon, and will be published in late 2010.


Jali Ensemble (15)Eran Kats – Composer, lyricist, lead vocal, guitar and kora player

Founder of J’ali.

Eran’s musical background was shaped during extended trips around the world, mainly in India and western Africa (Senegal and Gambia). He was educated formally at Rimon – School of Jazz and contemporary music, during the years 2005-2006. In 2005, Eran founded an ethnic band named Many Waters playing original music he composed and arranged. The band was disbanded in 2008 after many live performance and having a loyal and enthusiastic audience.

Currently, Eran plays in several musical production in Israel and Europe and leads professional sing-alongs.
Composed and produced soundtrack music for several Israeli movies including “Room For One” by Anat Ronko, “A Vanishing world” by Miri Aharon and others.

At J’ali Ensemble, Eran plays classic and electric guitar, and the African harp – the kora, which he learned to play during his stay in Africa. His playing style and compositions are influenced by Ali Farka Toure and Paul Simon.

Jali Ensemble (19)Ilan Kenan – Bass Guitar

Vocalist, composer, lyricists and arranger. Plays bass and electric guitars, as well as various string instruments.

A virtuous performer and creator who plays many string instruments, including the guitar and the bass guitar, Jumbush/ Elad Gabai, Nurit Hening, Samir Mahul and Amir Pearlman.

A known and revered musician in the Israeli – Jerusalem music circles, plays in various ensembles including “Terra Rossa”, “Bait Abba”, “Nafsha”, “Nigun Yerushalmi”, “Mejuda”, “Sifolux” and others. Founded a band named “Sehila” that played original creations he composed.

Currently producing an act named “Steps along the way” – original music Of his composition, influenced by Arabic, Turkish and Persian music.

Jali Ensemble (49)Dor Assaraf – Soprano Saxophone, Flute

Saxophone and flute player, composer and arranger.

Graduate of the Petah-Tikva Conservatorium in Israel, specializing in classical music. A student of Peter Wertheimer and Pianist John Bostock in improvisation and Jazz. Plays tenor, alto and soprano saxophone, as well as the flute.

Influenced by Jewish, Turkish, Arabic and world music. Jazz influences include Sony Stype, Michael Breaker, the fusion band “Lacu Tayfa” and David Sunburn.

Performs locally and abraod with Avraham Frid (renowned singer of Jewish traditional music), and in israel with “the Tavoris”, “Off Simhes”, irmi Kaplan, Yishai Levi and ” Ruta Kleiman’s five colors of music”

Composer and arranger at an original group called “Tabula Rassa” along with Pianist Yuri Brener. Teaches music and saxophone in Conservatoriums and music center projects across Israel.

Jali Ensemble (46)Dor Kelman – Drums

Drummer and percussionist.

Born in Israel and having lived in Nigeria at the ages of 3-5, Dor was always fascinated by the drums. He received his first drum kit at the age of 3 from his grandmother, started drum lessons at age 12, and later continued with musical theory and audio engineering studies.

At the age of 21 he left Israel to study at the Drummers Collective in New York. During his stay in New York he played in many local bands of diverse styles, including pop, rock, hip-hop, D&B productions and Jazz ensembles and gained experience in production and audio engineering.

In 2002 he left New York and traveled to India, where he studied Indian music and began his relationship with percussions by taking up the Tabla. Dor moved to London in 2003 and stayed for 5 years, during which he played live in UK festivals such as Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Glade and many more. During this time there he also went on several European tours, playing with bands such as Buseetti, Gaudi Live Dub Laboratory,Liset Alea, Gaudi Tribal Dub Dou, Kashabasha and others.

Dor can be heard playing in several 2010 releases including Guadi no prisoners (UK, US, Canada), Daniela Spector (Israel), Eran Kol (Israel), Slomi Mor (Israel).

Shahar KatchkaShahar Kachka – Percussions, Vocals

Musician And composer, Percussionist.

As a part of a family of musicians, Shahar began his musical voyage at a very young age, already at the age of 5 he followed his uncle Ilan Kachka to every show.
Shahar traveled the world for 6 years studding deferent sorts of music – Latin music in South America, the Tabla Drum in India, and finally The Djembe and The Goni in West Africa.
Today Shahar plays and records with musicians in Israel and around the world such as: Avishi Cohen, Idan Richel, Yosi Fine, Mush Ben Ari and many more.

Shahar has Recorded 2 Albums of His original compositions and arrangements – “The Journey” and “KabaKo” – in which he explores African and world music.


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