For almost eight years, Ami Yares has called Israel home. His original intention was to visit, study, learn, and leave, but Ami found much more. Throughout this journey, Ami’s love of music has accompanied him and now he engages Israeli society and beyond through music; performing, teaching and facilitating classes and workshops. In the past, Ami has taught about social action through American music for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and US Consulate General in Jerusalem in a program he began called “FocUS Music.” He has also traveled to over twenty countries to teach and perform music about pluralism in the Jewish community. In Jaffa where Ami lives, he teaches traditional Hebrew and Arabic music to Jewish and Arab elementary school students. Ami has been a seminal force in creating educational programs that bridge ethnic and religious division found in Israel, the Palestinian/Israeli, conflict, Europe and the US. Ami performs original music in a various number of different bands and has been invited to schools and universities throughout the U.S. and Israel to perform and teach about his musical message of community, social action, and pro-activity. He has released two albums of original material, HOLLER! and the Brothers Yares. Sing Out! Folk Magazine describes Ami’s music as “a multicultural sharing of sounds that pay homage to his homeland."
On any given day, you can find Ami in Haifa, Nazarth, Acre, Beersheva and some other cities off the beaten path, usually with guitar in hand. The next time you find yourself in Jaffa, Ami invites you to a song and seat by the sea.
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PHOTOGRAPHY: GIDI MEIR MORRIS