The Alon Farber- Dani Benedikt “Hagiga” sextet was founded in 2001 in Tel- Aviv, Israel. Both founders are Berklee College of Music graduates. The group has recorded two CD’s for the well known Spanish label Fresh Sound. The CD’s are “Exposure” (2005) and “Optimistic View” (2008). Both CD’s received enthusiastic reviews from known websites such as Jazzreview.com, Allaboutjazz.com and Jazztimes.com.
“Hagiga” has participated in important festivals, such as the Tel Aviv international Jazz festival (2013), Paris Jazz Festival (2010), Red Sea Jazz Festival (2007), Jerusalem international Jazz Festival (2006) and more. Stylistically speaking the music of “Hagiga” is varied and crosses genres. You can hear the ensemble goes from energetic swing to Arab music to funk and to Latin Jazz.
Nevertheless, “Hagiga” has developed its own sound along the years, sound that comes from the unique personality of each member of the group. The members of the sextet use these original compositions as a launch pad from which they take off to create a new and exciting atmosphere, spiced with the savory fragrances and flavors of the Mediterranean. The music of “Hagiga” is influenced by such artists as Wayne Shorter, Dave Douglas and Ornette Coleman.
Members of the band are:
Alon Farber- soprano sax
Hagai Amir- alto sax
Oded Meir- trombone
Gadi Lehavi- piano
Assaf Hakimi- piano
Dani Benedikt- drums
Here is a review of the CD “Optimistic View” from the website Allaboutjazz.com dated from February 2009. The author is Jay Deshpande:
“No other way to put it: the Alon Farber Hagiga Sextet is a fantastic find. First formed in 2001 by saxophonist Alon Farber and drummer Dani Benedikt, Hagiga has developed a tasteful interplay while melding disparate musical traditions from around the world. As Israelis, the band-members draw on a heritage of confluence and intersection. Mirroring their nation’s geography, Hagiga’s sound is at the intersection of north African aesthetics, European jazz, and a distinctly Asian approach to improvisation. Combining this background with the core ethos of their music—”hagiga” is the Hebrew word for celebration—Farber’s group provides seven inspiring tracks on their sophomore release, Optimistic View…. It seems that part of Hagiga’s aesthetic is to create simple, intriguing foundations, and then give the improvisers their liberty to play…Such is Farber’s brilliance as a songwriter and arranger—he takes the best from each of the traditions he calls upon, uniting a wide array of colors towards the common end of an exciting, celebratory music”
Another review is of the CD “Exposure” from the website Jazzreview.com dated from November 2005. The author is Nathan Halaway:
“This is one of the finer groups that the Fresh Sound label has produced… let it be known that Farber and his musicians have incredible empathy and their own voice. They are NOT copycats, nor sound like anyone else…This record for anyone who is wanting to hear a new voice emerging in the jazz scene, and whom will be a force to be reckoned with if they continue in the direction they are currently in. If you especially dig the scene and style that Fresh Sound Records is producing, you will dig this record! Kudos to Alon Farber and his Hagiga Quintet”