A simple piece of wood with seven holes. That’s enough for composer and performer Itzhak Ventura to transport you to another time and place entirely.
Ventura fell into the flute totally by chance. Backpacking in India, he noticed the small flute so prevalent in Hindu shrines, and tucked it away as a memory. Years later, living in Spain, he was captured by the light, airy tone of two street performers — it was a ney, a flute popular in Turkish, Persian and Middle Eastern musical traditions. He invited the musicians to live with him, and two months later he’d found his calling. Ventura dug deep into the ney’s lineage, studying with musical teachers in Turkey, Israel and the United States, slowly developing his own style.
Today, Ventura plays with the Jerusalem Orchestra East West, and has collaborated with rapper Tuna; he recently appeared on Jarak Qaribak, the collaboration between Israeli singer Dudu Tassa and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.