Bahla sonically paints a picture of the past, present and future of Jewish identity, channelled through the rich traditions of jazz.
Fronted by Venezuelan pianist Joseph Costi and English guitarist Tal Janes, Bahla started its journey in 2014. After digesting a handful of Israeli folk songs that were reminiscent of their childhood, the pair began to compose new material and decided to assemble a group to bring the compositions to life. Tal and Joseph expanded the group by adding Greg Gottlieb on bass and later, Ben Brown on drums, to round out a more typical jazz format.
The writing process is fed by tracing the history of the well-travelled, wandering Jew. Inspiration is not only drawn from recordings and music scores, but also through research and the understanding of social circumstance. Although the pieces are delicately crafted, often with a classical Hebraic approach, they embrace the tradition of jazz composition and allow space for interpretation and innovation. The band draws inspiration from giants of jazz such as John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Bill Frisell, but also explores Middle Eastern traditions of improvisation.
Still in its early stages, Bahla was selected to perform at the BBC Proms in 2015 as a promising emerging band. The band is working towards recording an album and future tours, whilst constantly searching for new material. The band embraces a modern society of different cultures and the juxtaposition of tradition and contemporary values, in the hope of presenting something exciting, meaningful and moving.
Running Time: 105 minutes