Yuval Drabkin is a 28 year old Israeli saxophonist and music educator, who is undoubtedly lighting up the world with his music. Originally hailing from Holon and a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Yuval Drabkin now resides in Tel Aviv, Israel, and has performed and recorded music alongside other notable ascending Israeli artists such as Eli Degibri, The Eyal Vilner Big Band, David Sirkis, Eden Giat, and many others. An experienced performer who has graced some of the most prestigious stages throughout his country, Yuval has truly mastered his own unique and captivating sound, style, and stage presence which his followers love him for.
Most recently, to the excitement of his fanbase, Yuval Drabkin has released his highly-awaited new singles “Clearer Night” and “Felice” which are available now on Bandcamp. Both of these compelling new songs showcase Drabkin’s undeniable talent and versatility as a saxophonist and exemplify his innate ability to blend with any ensemble. Some of the other musicians featured on his new singles include Ido Haimovich (Piano), Gonn Shani (Upright Bass/Engineering), and Yali Shimoni (Drums) - and together they create the perfect atmospheric accompaniment which allow Yuval’s addictively smooth tenor saxophone melodies to shine through - creating a delightful jazz-music experience that all listeners are sure to enjoy.
Listen to Yuval's music now on Bandcamp: https://yuvaldrabkin.bandcamp.com/community
October 26, 2022 - 8pm - Yuval Drabkin Quartet Live at Beit Haamudim TLV
October 11, 2022 - 8:30 pm - Yuval Drabkin Quintet Live at Shablul Jazz TLV
Hello, thank you very much for joining us today! First things first, when did you first discover your passion for jazz and playing saxophone, Yuval?
Yuval: Well, I really have to thank my parents first of all for introducing me to music at such a young age, and creating a very supportive environment for learning music. My mother is a music teacher, both in preschools, and as a private piano teacher, so she really understands the value and importance of learning music and how much it can enrich a child’s education, and life in general.
I was already learning piano from a very young age, but first started to play the saxophone in middle school, after getting really interested in a John Coltrane album that my father had bought me. Again, I really have my parents to thank for the supportive environment they gave me to explore my own connection to music. As I became more interested in studying saxophone, my parents paid for me to take private lessons, and eventually I went to study in the high school with the strongest music department in Holon, my hometown. That’s when I really started to take music seriously as a potential career path.
What three words would you say best describe your musical style as a whole?
Yuval: That’s a hard question! At this moment I’d probably choose the words “reflective,” “dynamic,” and “transitory.” Reflective, because I try to respond in the musical moment to the people around me, both the people I am playing with and the environment. I think that music shouldn’t be permanently set to a certain frequency, playing the melody the same way every time - it should be flexible and affected by what’s going on around and within you. Dynamic, because again, I try to adapt my playing to the musical situation I am in, and that means that my playing can be loud and exciting, or soft and introspective, and it can also switch between multiple volumes and intensities throughout a concert. I don’t like to stick to just one feeling. Lastly, transitory, because I hope to be able to take you on a journey through my playing, to tell a story that moves you throughout the music.
You've achieved so much as a performer and teacher already! Could you tell me, what about your work thus far are you most proud of?
Yuval: Something that was very exciting and emotionally meaningful for me was when I directed an ensemble of students for the first time. This past year I taught a jazz ensemble at Ironi Aleph Performing Arts High School in Tel Aviv, and at the end of the year the students had a concert for their family and friends to show what they had learned. I feel extremely proud of this moment, getting to see the students so happy and excited to share what they had learned over the course of the year, and I felt that I had contributed to their growth as young musicians. It reminded me of my own experience as a young musician learning this music, and the fondness I feel towards my teachers from that period. I felt that I was able to contribute to a positive feeling that these students now have about being musicians, and that is extremely meaningful to me.
Most musicians say that through their art they learn more about themselves, heal injuries… in what ways has music helped you?
Yuval: I think that music has made me more trusting of others, and more trusting in myself. Through getting to meet so many people and interacting with them through music, it opened me up to feel more compassion towards others. I think that music generally makes me a more open-minded and open-hearted person, because of the wonderful experiences I have got to share in creating music with groups of individuals.
What is the next “big thing” the world can expect from you?
Yuval: I have been working for a while now on my first debut album as a bandleader, and I am really excited to share it with the world, though I can’t say yet when it will be released. I have recently released two singles with my quartet which you can listen to on Bandcamp. But there’s more music coming, and I hope to be touring with this music as well!
Watch Yuval Drabkin's performances on YouTube:
Listen to Yuval Drabkin's music now on Bandcamp: