Oren Fried, Esti Kenan Ofri and Armand Sabah

About Kol Oud Tof Trio

Oren Fried, Esti Kenan Ofri and Armand Sabah

Three musicians,

Three instruments,

Three native lands,

Three Languages,

Gathered in Jerusalem
to play the music of Morocco which remembers Spain which in turn, yearns for Jerusalem.

It was during a Kol Tof duo concert tour in Italy & Spain; singer Esti Kenan Ofri and percussionist Oren Fried were requested to record two songs from the Jewish Spanish-Moroccan tradition. While trying to come up with an arrangement for the two songs, Esti's little daughter, who came along on that tour, helped them realize that the sound of an Oud was what they needed.

Their first choice fell on Armand Sabah, an expert on Moroccan music who was at the time musical director for singer Ilana Eliya & the Jabalio ensemble, with whom Oren had been working for a while. On that very night, on the phone, Armand joined the project.

That little project was a fruitful, joyful experience, and opened the gate to a full album, that presented a wide range of styles of Jewish Moroccan music. This is how the album “Gazelle” came to be, and with it the Kol Oud Tof trio.

All this happened quite a long time ago; Esti's daughter is no longer a little girl, and as for us, we believe that our music has matured too, as well as the magic and creativity when playing together.

Significant milestones

  • 2000: The Trio is granted by the Israeli Ministry of Culture to research and record the music traditions of Moroccan Jews, and begins to perform regularly in Israel.
  • November 2001: The Trio performs in The Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam Haag, the Netherlands, and in Munich, Germany.
  • February 2002: "Gazelle", the Trio's first CD is published by Magda Music.
  • 2002: The Trio performs at the "Bnei Avraham" Festival in Eisenach and Erfurt, Germany.
  • November 2002: The Trio performs at the International Guitar Festival in Tel Aviv.
  • The Trio's C.D. “Gazelle” is selected as one of ten best recordings of Jewish music for 2002 by John Robinson on the Klezmer-Shack magazine.
  • March 2003: The Trio performs at the Jewish Arts Festival in London, U.K.
  • March 2003: The Trio performs at the "Strictly Mundial" in Marseille, France.
  • 2003: The Trio receives the Best Chamber Music Ensemble award from the Israeli Ministry of Culture.
  • November 7th, 2004: The premiere of the Trio's second program "De Venti Cinco Escalones" is held at the International Oud festival in Jerusalem.
  • 2005: The Trio performs at the Kaufmann Hall in New York City.
  • 2009: The Trio records its second album is released by Hatav Hashmini music.