DAPHNA LEVY – Late Night Journey / Self-released, 2016 / CD, Dig / jazz / Israel
Daphna Levy was born and raised in Tel Aviv. Descending from a cantor lineage and a member of the Levy ancient tribe of spiritually elated musicians, she grew up with a deep passion for music. At the age of ten, attending a Gospel choir live concert made her realize that singing was her calling. Throughout the years, Daphna has appeared at various jazz festivals and concert halls in Europe and North America. She has been the lead singer with Hed Big Band for two decades. Daphna is also a composer, arranger and experienced vocal jazz teacher. She holds a MA degree in Far Eastern philosophy. “For me,” she says, “jazz is a kind of Tao – a route created while walking. It’s a way of feeling connected and touching people; a journey of self expression.“
Daphna began her musical pursuit as a classical music student playing upright bass and later on as the lead singer with the army big band. She studied theater as well as jazz piano and meditation, and is proud to have been a student of renowned voice teacher, Mr. Seth Riggs (Los Angeles, CA). Daphna performed at many jazz clubs in Europe and the US and gave concerts at temples and Evangelical churches in Texas, Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma.
Daphna‘s album, “Late Night Journey“, features highly acclaimed tenor sax player, Lew Tabackin. The album was recorded in Tel Aviv and NYC with an international band of musicians from the US, Israel and Europe. Daphna‘s jazz-ethnic-Jewish-classical crossover project, reveals her fascination with exploring the potential of weaving together different music genres. She plays festivals and concerts throughout Europe with her quartet Daphna & The ClassiCats, and also in a unique voice-bass duo. Her notable events were – US tour and Wichita Jazz Festival 2007 ; US tour Daphna Levy with Hed Big Band 2008 ; MA in philosophy Tel Aviv University 2010 ; Album – “Late Night Journey” (w/Lew Tabackin, 2016) ; Tel Aviv Jazz Festival Nov 2016 ; Summer concerts Romania 2018, Germany 2019 ; Performance at Ploiesti Jazz Festival Nov 2018 ; Performance at The Petrovac Jazz Fest, Sept 2019…
Musicians on this album were – Daphna Levy (vocals) ; Tony Pancella (piano) ; Assaf Hakimi (bass) ; Gasper Bertoncelj (drums) – featuring – Lew Tabackin (tenor sax, 2,4,5,7,8,10,11,12) ; Merton Cahm (tenor sax, 3 + additional sax parts)
Although jazz music originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, it found refuge in all countries of the world. He was embraced by musicians, and so by many loyal audience. Therefore, we should not be surprised by the fact that jazz also has a large community in Israel. One of his representatives is Daphna Levy. Daphna Levy delivered her CD “Late Night Journey” to me for my judgment.
In Daphna’s words: “More than anything, ‘Late Night Journey’ is an inner journey, as conveyed in the title song. Sometimes it is reflected in color, ranging from fine wine burgundy to vivid red, other times in black and white. It’s about introspection, meditation and lonesomeness, as well as humor, love and passion. I knew Lew Tabackin would be perfect for the sound and attitude I had in mind for the album. When we first met, at a jazz festival in Tel Aviv, I was thrilled when he said YES right away to participating. We later met in NYC for the recording session. Lew Tabackin totally got the deeper meaning and feel for the album. He portrays just the right message and atmosphere in his clever, energetic, touching playing.“
“Daphna Levy is a wonderful singer with a full understanding of the jazz tradition. She has great intonation and a wonderful sense of adventure and playfulness when she sings. If you’re holding this recording in your hand, you know what I’m talking about!“, said Kenny Barron, an American jazz pianist.
The album “Late Night Journey” contains 12 songs, with Daphna signing two of them – the first and the last (1,12). The rest are original tunes, jazz standards, with Daphna’s unique arrangements. From the way Dapna sings jazz, one can feel her true dedication and sincerity in every spoken word and chant. That truth gives the impression that Daphna grew up in the heart of a jazz community. Nothing about her is artificial, or even false. The instrumental accompaniment that accompanies her singing is arranged unobtrusively, but also superbly accompanies each of her vocal phrases with great precision and with a lot of emotions. Her classic jazz comes with a modern approach and sound.
It is no surprise to me that Daphna, with a many appreciations, has been seen on the jazz stages of North America, Europe, and has recently performed in Montenegro, too (at The Petrovac Jazz Fest, Sept 2019). The primary reason I dedicated my time to her was the quality of her musical work, and the fact that she performed on our Region, was not negligible. I hope that other promoters from our Region will recognize her qualities and she will be heard in many other regional jazz environments as well. Good luck, Daphna.
DAPHNA LEVY – “Late Night Journey” – 1. Jazzland ; 2. All Of Me on Lo’ Flame ; 3. Day Dream (feat. Menton Cahm) ; 4. I Hear Music ; 5. Only You ; 6. Gentle Rain ; 7. You Don’t Know What Love Is ; 8. In the Evening When the Sun Goes Down ; 9. I Got Rhythm ; 10. I Remember You ; 11. Jazz Band in Heaven ; 12. Late Night Journey
Photo by – Nathan Yakobovitch
YT – Daphna & The ClassiCats – I Hear Music
YT – Daphna Levy (feat. Lew Tabackin) – Late Night Journey
YT – Daphna Levy – Only You