Jaffa Road is a highly acclaimed Toronto-based ensemble, made up of some of Canada’s most exciting and innovative interpreters of intercultural music. Their sound takes listeners on a journey that is at once ancient and modern, acoustic and electronic, sacred and secular, blending influences and inspirations from the worlds of Jewish music, classical Arabic and Indian music, modern jazz, electronica, rock, pop, and dub. The vibe is ignited by the ethereal vocals of Tamar Ilana (on the third album UNTIL WHEN, which is coming very soon and with – Aviva Chernick on the first two albums), the evocative oud & guitar playing of the band’s founder Aaron Lightstone, the visionary grooves of Justin Gray (bass and bass veena), the exhilarating sounds of saxophonist/flautist Sundar Viswanathan and the driving beat of drummer & percussionist Rakesh Tewari. Along with a cadre of top-notch guest artists, these stellar musicians challenge accepted notions of Jewish music while creating a new form of expression that breaks cultural boundaries.
In 2013, they won the Canadian Folk Music Award for World Music Group of the Year and have been nominated for two Canadian Juno Awards for Best World Music Album, in 2010 and 2013. The band has recently finished their much-anticipated third album Until When which will be released in the fall of 2021. Jaffa Road’s trailblazing musical odyssey has taken them to festivals and theatres across North America and Brazil.
“Jaffa Road plumbs the history of diverse cultures for inspiration, reviving ancient wisdom in ways resonant with a cosmopolitan city like contemporary Toronto … there are ideas there that apply as much to the making of a community, and a world, as they do to making music.” – The Toronto Star