In the little things lurk the big picture, and the details of everyday life suggest the wild regions of the heart. Jerusalem-born vocalist/composer/improviser Ayelet Rose Gottlieb sings from these spaces. In her works she accesses the tumultuous world of her homeland, drawing on Middle-Eastern and Jewish traditions; Pain and beauty intertwine as she makes music birthed from motherhood, femininity, and death. She draws inspiration from poetry – contemporary & global, as well as ancient, Biblical texts. She is drawn to cross-cultural, multi-lingual collaborations; She reflects on the rich, wild, cyclical forces of nature. She has a voice and a sound that is all her own, unique and distinct, while rooted in the Jazz and Blues traditions. Improvisation is at the root of all of her work, alongside her classical training from a young age. She has a profound interest in large-scale, detailed composition, as well as in working within intimate duo-trio-quartet settings to create fully improvised sets of music.
Ayelet collaborates with some of the world’s most prominent improvising musicians, including composer John Zorn, as a founding member of his vocal quartet Mycale (featuring fellow vocalists Sara Serpa, Sofia Rei and Malika Zarra); pianist Anat Fort (Paul Motian, ECM); guitarist Aram Bajakian (Lou Reed), percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, the string quartet known as ETHEL, clarinetist Francois Houle and many others. She performs globally at Jazz Festivals, concert series, and clubs, sharing her music with audiences big and small.
Growing up in a musical home, Ayelet was exposed to a great variety of sounds from a young age. Her father, a non-professional guitarist, instilled in her a deep love of traditional Jazz, American folk music, Spanish guitar, J. S. Bach, Turkish music and more. Her maternal grandfather (a Palestinian-jew with hands of gold who could speak to animals and had the best stories) loved Arabic music, which he would listen to on the Jordanian radio station. His son, her uncle, gifted her his LP collection when she was 13, and through him, she discovered early electronic music, Laurie Anderson, Israeli 80s punk-rock, The Beatles and more…
Ayelet, who played classical flute until the age of 18, discovered her love for avant-garde and improvised music in her teens, which led her to move to Boston to study at New England Conservatory. There she had the great honour of studying with true masters of the Third Stream movement, including pianist Ran Blake, vocalist Dominique Eade, composer George Russell and bassist Cecil McBee. But Her most significant mentor-teacher was the late, great Arnie Lawrence, with whom she performed during her high school years across Israel and Palestine. Arnie was a breaker of walls in music and in life, Ayelet, in her way, aspires to do the same. Ayelet recently began collaborating with Arnie’s son Erik Lawrence in honour of this connection. Their album “I Carry Your Heart”, also featuring pianist Anat Fort and Ayelet’s three children, is anticipated for release in early 2018.
Ayelet’s music can be found on Tzadik Records (Mayim Rabim, 2006; Mycale: Book of Angels, Vol 13, 2010; Gomory: Book of Angels, Vol 25); on the NY-Chicago based label 482music (limited edition vinyl + digital release Shiv’a); and self-published titles on her own Arogole Music (Internal-External, 2004; Upto Here | From Here, 2009; Roadsides, 2013);
She is honoured to have been interviewed for the book “Freedom of Expression: Interviews with Women In Jazz” alongside artists such as Jane Ira Bloom, Connie Corthers, Dee Dee Bridgewater and more.
A mother of three, Ayelet’s recent collaborations reflect on this great shift in her life. On November 17th, 2017, Ayelet & Anat Fort will release their first duo album of Hebrew lullabies for all ages - “Od Halomotaim / Two More Dreams”. A long awaited release from this prolific duo. The two will begin their celebrations of the release with a tour of Israel in November.