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Yaron Stavi: Profoundly Bassist

Sammy Stein By

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Now that we had touched on the spiritual side, I asked Stavi about his take on life—if he had a philosophy. He said, "Well, that's a serious question. I guess that 'live and let live' is quite a basic thing. I wish more people would connect to that. I try to be positive about life and about music. It is not always the easiest thing but I guess it is the better option. I believe that life without art and therefore obviously music is not really worth living. I think that music is an incredible gift that we, musicians and music lovers, can enjoy endlessly. I believe in love, peace and communication. I think that if people would communicate more with each other the world would be a better place to live in. When it comes to music, I think that more than anything, our aim as musicians is to create beauty. I believe that we should find the way to express ourselves and play what we feel and what sounds best to us, and at the same time connect to the audience, excite them, give them a good time and something to enjoy. After all, art is there for us to enjoy and celebrate."

Stavi has played all over the world and in all sorts of venues, from tiny jazz clubs in rural parts of Britain to large concert halls. I asked him where the most appreciative audiences were. Stavi says, "I really can't complain at all and must say that I have been playing to great audiences in the UK and abroad for many years. I believe that there is no bad audience, but sometimes the artist is not good enough. I think that if you give a good show the audience responds. I'm not trying to be diplomatic here. I have really experienced great audiences in the UK, Europe, Asia and America. If you really push me I would say that audiences in Germany and Japan might just come in first place.

I asked Stavi how he felt when playing with other musicians. How would he describe the connections the music makes between band members and audiences. He replied, " For me, playing music with other people is, just like any other thing you do together with other people, about communicating and creating something greater than ourselves. I believe that the most important thing is to listen. Very often it is even more important than playing. I believe that this is right for all kinds and genres of music. Therefore, when you ask about how aware I am of the other musicians I would say that I am very much aware and try to really listen to everything they play." And the audience? "The audience is part of the experience of music- making even though they don't play. It is totally different to play in the rehearsal room or on stage in front of an audience. The audience affects the performance of individual musicians or the whole band. It is a very unique and wonderful thing. There can be all sorts of connections between the musicians and the audience when there is listening and openness between them."

Stavi has several plans and things he would like to do in the future, "I want to continue play great music. To make more and more albums and to play more and more concerts anywhere in the world. I plan to continue playing with Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble as I have done so for many years now. I will continue working with Beatie Wolfe, a wonderful singer-songwriter, and Koby Israelite, a very close friend and incredible musician, and other artists and musicians. I hope to continue playing, recording and touring as much as possible.

Away from music Stavi does have other interests. He loves the cinema and says, "I love cinema and watching films. I think that if I had not become a musician I would have gone for that art. I have always loved it. I am also a huge tennis fan. I learned and trained as a child but then music took over and I quit. I returned to playing a few times over the years but had very long breaks from it. I love watching tennis live and on TV and I follow tennis news regularly."

Stavi is a great musician but he is also humble—still grateful to his parents and to others who have given him a chance to play. He readily contributes to ideas and articles and his enthusiasm for music is infectious. Several people have commented on Stavi's affable and gentle nature—that he is one of life's gentlemen.

Stavi is a musician who has his choice of project and the world is his musical oyster, yet he remains grounded. A musician to watch and hopefully we shall hear a lot more of him.
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