J represents trombonist Jonathan Peled and T is pianist and singer Tamir Grinberg, together they are JT, two young musicians who set up a dream project, a Big Band with a magnificent soul. The blues brought them together. It was 9 year-old Tamir’s ringtone, Do not ever trust a woman by BB King, that Jonathan recognized immediately after hearing it once, which marked the beginning of their friendship. Before that, Tamir had not met anyone who knew this song, and evidently, a common love for blues can create true friendships. Two years ago, the two friends formed an ensemble, connecting continents with a group of musicians from Israel and New York City, mainly performing when together in Israel.
Their repertoire is based on American roots music, from the twenties to the present, and their love and significant influence of Count Basie, Ray Charles, and Paul Simon. The classical standards receive original adaptations alongside some original material. With Tamir at the front, JT provides a contemporary commentary with a great deal of respect for the classics and all that is blues, jazz and soul.
In a family like atmosphere, most of this Big Band’s members have known each other from the age of six, schoolmates from first grade at the Tel Aviv Elementary School of Arts, and later at the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts. Today many of them seek higher education at various schools in the United States. “It’s something we always wanted to do,” says Tamir. “Play what we like best with our best friends, who are also great musicians.” In every performance, these young next generation musicians bring to life legendary and historic favorite masterpieces, showing great respect for the old and inviting the new. JT & the Magnificent Soul Orchestra creates magic that goes back to the source of everything.
JT & the Magnificent Soul Orchestra
Tamir Grinberg Vocals & Piano
Edo Gur, Hillel Salem, Assa Kook Trumpets
Jonathan Peled, Jonathan Voltzok, Bar Tal Trombones
Eitan Gofman, Yuval Drabkin, Alexander Levin, Asaf Even Zur Saxophones
Or Suissa Guitar
Gadi Lehavi Hammond Organ
Elam Friedlander Double Bass
Ofri Nehemya Drums
Photo: Yossi Zwecker