Music genres in Israel take diversity to the extreme. As a melting pot of countless cultures, Israel is the home of music from around the world, of every type: from classical music to jazz, Israeli rock and electronica, from Yemenite music to Hassidic music. The various musical genres and their audiences have formed a musical abundance that manifests itself in the many performances held in auditoriums, amphitheaters, unique spaces, the street and more. Alongside local musicians, dozens of international renown musicians perform in Israel, and in recent years, Israel has had the honor of hosting major international stars such as Madonna, Robbie Williams, Leonard Cohen and Lady Gaga, the Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode, who include Israel as part of their world tours.
Because Israel has great weather, this has resulted in the building of many amphitheaters that support outdoor appearances in historical locations throughout the country. Two famous sites are the Amphi Shuni in Binyamina and the Caesarea Amphitheater in Caesarea. The musical style at Shuni is very diverse, and owing to the amphitheater’s unique structure – an ancient Roman fortress made of stone and wood with convex arches, a visitor can enjoy a romantic, intimate and unique experience, particularly on summer nights. The Caesarea Amphitheater, one of the most famous and picturesque theaters in Israel, and one of the most ancient was built in Herod’s times and has survived these many years. The Caesarea Amphitheater is on the seashore and has hosted international and national singers’ performances. Owing to its size of 3,700 seats and its pedigree, the Caesarea Amphitheater is a significant milestone for any singer appearing there.
Besides outdoor spaces and sites for performances, there are also many theaters for indoor live performances. There are places that are identified with a certain musical genre, such as the Ozen Bar in Tel Aviv, which is known for its indie and Israeli rock music or Café Tel Aviv, which is associated with Mediterranean music. Alongside these one may also find Reading 3, one of the largest spaces, which hosts numerous musical performances of all genres. And if you are looking for a unique setting go to the Container, a theater and restaurant in Old Jaffa Port. If you are in Jerusalem, you should visit the Yellow Submarine – a music center, where you can find various music performances. In historical Jerusalem, many outdoor performances are held, and it is worth getting the performance schedule of places such as David’s Tower and the church in Abu Gosh, in which performances and festivals are often held.
Before taking your trip, we recommend that you check for musical events that are being held in Israel. During religious holidays and in certain periods in the year, unique musical events are held at historical sites. The dawn performances at Masada are some of the most popular in Israel, and as such are held frequently. Alongside these performances, there are also nighttime desert music shows such as the Tamar Festival, Indnegev – an indie music festival, and many others. Moreover, in certain seasons, there are street musical events; for example during May, a jazz festival is held twice a month in Ben Gurion Boulevard in Tel Aviv. Festivals of this kind are held many of the major cities in Israel and it is worth checking the latest schedules for these events. It is a great experience to sit on a shaded avenue, full of young people with a summer drink and to listen to inspiring live music.