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MAETAR – (May-Tar) Brothers born in war dedicate their music and lives to peace. 

Maetar’s music can be described as "World Groove Eclectic Avant Funk Jazz with a Middle Eastern Twist”. Imagine if Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix had a musical baby in the Delta of the Nile, and George Clinton was the midwife, it might sound like Maetar. 

Brothers Itai (bass) and Hagai (horns) were born in war torn Israel on a kibbutz and started making music at the age of six and four. The whole family use to gather around their grandfather’s table every Saturday and jam. They grew into legitimate musicians; Hagai became a soloist with Israeli orchestras and Itai became a celebrated and sought after bassist, winning “Bass Player of the year”. Determined to use their music as an instrument of peace and joined by renowned drummer/world percussionist, Richard Fultineer, Maetar forged their sound and style. Their concerts for human rights and peace have brought Arab, Israeli, Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist musicians and communities together. Maetar’s music is a declaration of peace, calling on Hebrew and Arabic melodies, filtering it through a rigorous jazz perspective, and the exuberance of funk, soul, afrobeat, and rock. Playing native instruments from the world over, employing rhythms and melodic modes from various cultures, Maetar brothers embody the universal language of music with their original sound, inspirational melodies, seductive grooves and inventive use of modern technology.  

Maetar have released three CDs, creating a body of work that has been featured in concert halls, festivals, movies and television. Playing and recording with great musicians from around the world such as James Gadson, Jackson Browne, Roger Waters, Susanna Hoff (Bangles), Tony Allen (Fella Kuti), Trilok Gurtu, Larry Coryell, Nishat Khan, Prince Diabate of Guinea and Omar Faruk Tekbilek to name a few, helped the band shape its sound and inspired it to dig deeper.  

The new Maetar cycle of works entitled LOVE LIFTS ME celebrates the group’s forging a new musical path. Desiring to create an original musical language that will express their passion for peace and reach across borders, the band declined public appearances for 3 years and woodshed in a loft over a vintage pirate outfit factory. The mindset of deep listening as foundation for peace led to the operative mode “CPWO” - Completely Present and Wide-Open - playing live in the same room, no charts, overdubs, click track and clichés. Instead, creating an environment in which all participants interact equally, listening deeply, being in the moment without preconceived notions and patiently exploring the elements of music. 

This discipline led to many hours of experimentation with the sounds of diverse instruments, rhythms, modes, grooving, looping, layering and shaping. The band recorded the sessions, analyzed and discussed intent and impact, which led to greater communication and expression, and to the development of the Urban Crawl, Abstract One Drop, Nu World Groove, Tone Poems and Meditative Soundscapes styles. This is the evolution of Maetar’s signature sound and the cycle of works entitled LOVE LIFTS ME. The tones and sounds the band produces create a sonic wave that is encoded with peace, freedom, and creativity. 

 

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Photos by Sean Daniels 

Art by Tamar Kronenfeld

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