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Sugar interviews Shay

Sugar David is a close friend of ours. He runs the local Vinyl Shop (check it out here) and we do all sorts of stuff together around music. Last year, we discovered Shay Hazan in his shop.  After playing a few songs, we actually wrote to him and booked him for the festival. We liked him so much that we decided to bring him back!

While waiting for his concert, we thought it would actually be cool to mediate a short chat between Sugar and Shay. Please find below the whole interview, with full disclosure!

4-5 minute read

Sugar: You made this album (Reclusive Rituals) during lockdown and the elements of the orchestration were added gradually as you sent out your pieces to the musicians you collaborated with. Do you ever feel the need to re-record it with all of them in the studio, maybe yielding a different result, is this something that you thought about?

Shay: Yes! I would love that. Even though the results that can be heard on the album are definitely reflective of the time period they were made in, it can be super fun and interesting to record them live all together after playing them for 2 years in concerts. The new album is coming early 2024.

Sugar: What would be your dream line-up at a jazz festival? Let’s pretend that it’s a line-up you build for next year, so please try and name bands/artists that are still present.

Shay: It’s a tricky question, there are many beautiful musicians I listen to and didn’t get a chance to see live yet. So let’s say; Nduduzo Makhathini for sure! , then Kendrik Lamar, Bombino, Natural information society, Ben Marc, Carlos Nino, that’s day 1 of the festival and the list would go on and on…but for the rest of the days I will charge as a curator :)

Sugar: What is/was your favorite concert experience from YOUR concerts?

For me it is always about love and people, so the best part in the concert other than having a chance to play with some of my best friends and musicians is to meet people who were in the audience and talk about life, music, and their experiences. I will also write an alternative answer, I enjoy playing the tune ‘Desert Snake’ live, it’s a trippy one and the first tune I have ever written with the Guimbri.

Sugar: Did you listen to any Romanian jazz before coming to last year’s JiP? How ‘bout after being here?

Shay: I’m familiar with Mircea Tiberian and Nicolas Simion’s duo with Mal Waldron. During the last addition of the festival I remember several local bands that sounded very nice! But I always like to hear about music I’m not familiar with, waiting to visit your record shop and get some Romanian goodies.

Sugar: How was your experience at last year’s Jazz in The Park?

Shay: The experience was great! I loved it, Cluj is a beautiful city and it was heartwarming to meet so many great people and listen to some amazing concerts in the park. That is one of the best festivals in Europe in my opinion, I speak about it a lot.

Sugar: When I first heard your album, I immediately thought that you would be a good fit for JiP, however, it was only after a bit of research that I found out that you live in Tel-Aviv. The sound of your album however isn’t what I would characterize as middle-eastern. Did you ever experiment with integrating Klezmer elements in your music, how would that sound? (If there are such tracks, please share them, I didn’t find any, yet!)

Shay: I feel my music doesn’t have borders, I try to be as honest and authentic to my heart. middle-eastern music is a label given by record labels and shops. I think it diminishes the music. Klezmer is great and I’m sure some of its essence is rooted in me, but I don’t compose with a specific Genre in my mind.

Sugar: I’m sure you are aware of the awesome revival middle-eastern music is having all over the world, what are your recommendations for people who want to explore this world, are there many gems of your youth that are being re-issued or “unearthed” with this new current?

Shay: There are some great old time local artists that I like, I can recommend ‘Zohar Argov’ Israeli singer. He was a big star in the 80’s, with beautiful songs and voice. Also like ‘Bracha Cohen Ovadia’ underrated Israeli-Yeman female singer that I like a lot. Also there is a nice record label from Tel Aviv, called Fortuna Records that reissues great music and also new stuff.

Sugar: What would you say to the JiP community waiting for your show this summer?

Shay: Thanks a lot for inviting me and my band. We can’t wait to see you all, play some new stuff and hang out!


Sugar: For my last question, what are the 3 LP’s you would take with you on a deserted island?


Anything by Don Cherry (but probably Om Shanti Om)

J Dilla – Donuts

This is Marijata from 1976

Of course this list will be different every few days, and much longer if i could. But as for today, I think I can spend some years spinning these three.

Thank you, hope to see you soon at Jazz in The Park! David

Likewise see you soon ❤️

Nice chat, actually. We love both of them!

You will be able to find Sugar in the festival, selling his vinyls from the 30th of June to the 2nd of July at the Jazz in the Park Competition! Also, he will be DJ-ing on the 2nd of July!

Shay’s concert will be on the 1st of July, at 22:00 PM!

See you in the Park!

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