Collaboration is key in the creation of innovative and original music. The utilization of several creative minds in a musical endeavor can yield a final result that an individual could never have imagined. Toronto-based World Music band Jaffa Road is a perfect example of the importance of a group effort, as they have combined the talents of many notable musicians to create an exciting breed of World Music. The band consists of Aaron Lightstone (guitars, ud, saz, synthesizers), Aviva Chernick (vocals), Chris Gartner (bass, co-producer), Jeff Wilson (percussion), and Sundar Viswanathan (sax), with guest artists including Chris McKhool-violin (Sultans of String), Ravi Naimpally-Tabla (Tasa), Ernie Tollar-nay, bansuri (Tasa, Maza Meze, Maryem Tollar), Aaron Bensoussan-vocals, (Uri Caine’s Zohar), and Dr. George Sawa-qanun (Traditional Arabic Music Ensemble).
Jaffa Road combines sacred and secular Jewish songs, Classical Arabic and Indian music, modern jazz, rock, pop, and dub music to create a sound that is extremely unique and difficult to replicate. This amalgamation has allowed Jaffa Road to record with many influential Canadian musicians in the jazz, pop, rock, and world music genres. “Sunplace,” Jaffa Road’s debut album, climbed to the #1 spot in the CUIT World Music charts. Furthermore, the band was given runner up status in the “We are Listening Worlds of Music” contest, as well as a Lennon Award in the 2009 World category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for their song “L.Y.G.”
In addition to their new album release and JLSC title, Jaffa Road was also in attendance at the Juno Awards in April for their nomination of "World Music Album of the Year." Though they didn't take home the Juno, the group did win "Best World Music" at the Toronto Independent Music Awards. Earlier in July, they also had the honor of playing at the Rocking Walrus Arts Festival; located on the shore of the Arctic Ocean, this event is known for being the most remote arts festival in North America.
For those interested in hearing Jaffa Road's unique sound, the band will be playing at the “Indulge your Scences” Festival in Metro Square, Toronto on July 29th.