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"The Sound and the Fusion"

(From left) Hagai Izraeli, Peter Buck and Itai Disraeli.
Every Saturday night at the Disraeli household in Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek in northern Israel, the mandolins would come out and three generations of Disraelis would start to play and sing.
“My grandparents were the original chalutzim [pioneers] who came into Israel before it was even a country, and my grandfather was a poet who wrote songs,” said Itai Disraeli, who now plays bass and percussion for the band Maetar. “So on Saturday night we would get together with them and play harmonies — this music is in our blood.”
In 1991, Disraeli and his brother, Hagai Izraeli, left Israel, but not the music. Three years ago they joined with drummer Peter Buck to start Maetar, a jazz/funk/rock/hip-hop/reggae band that plays clubs all over Los Angeles.
“People ask us what kind of music do we play, and even though we try pretty hard to find a box, the reality is that our music is outside the box,” Disraeli said. “We contain musical influences from Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, klezmer music, Chinese music and Arab music, but our music is totally original. We are innovators, not imitators.”
“We try to intermingle our sounds and voices,” Izraeli said. “It’s a collective sound. At any time any one of us can be leading or following.”
“But it’s very coherent,” Disraeli interjected. “It’s not meaningless meanderings into the jungles of our mind.”
The two chose the name Maetar at the suggestion of Izraeli’s wife. In Hebrew, Maetar has a few meanings. It means string, as in instrument strings. If you break the word up, mae and tar, it means water that you take with you on a journey; another translation is vibrations of change.
These meanings, say the brothers, embody the spirit of their music.
“The beauty of jazz is that it’s a model of democracy,” Izraeli said. “Every person that plays can be the utmost of who he or she is and, at the same time, his powers of [being] individual do not separate him from the group. Music is the true democracy in action.”
Maetar will be playing at Café Z at the Skirball Cultural Center, on Oct. 30, noon-2 p.m. Free. For more information, visit
- The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

"QUOTES by Radio DJs, Writers and Musicians"

"If you think jazz is for old guys, or for young guys who act old, let MAETAR have a whack at you…. They groove with funky ease, goof with spy movie bravado and cut loose into psychedelic drift, not forgetting to bring things down to earth with slow, meditative melodies that breathe sheer beauty."

-Greg Burk, LA Weekly.

"MAETAR is one of the most original and exciting bands of true musicians to come along in years. I've listened to bands all around the world and MAETAR has the perfect mix and range of styles/influences to please and make lifelong fans of anyone who listens to their music. They are truly one of a kind and should not be missed. They are going
places and all will follow."

- Scotty Barnhart (The Count Basie Orchestra Professor Of Jazz

Trumpet/Jazz Studies/Artist-In-Residence Florida State University)

"When I hear MAETAR I am transported to a sexy hip 60's art film with women in clever outfits... Their music also makes me want to kiss someone or have a martini."

- Kat Corbett, On Air Personality, KROQ

"Awesome musicianship and unstoppable grooves. MAETAR has added so

much quality to our radio show."

- Joe Kelley (Upper Room with Joe Kelley and Gi Dussault)

"A cross between The Red Hot Chili Peppers, George Clinton and Miles Davis; MAETAR is a wonderful mixture of both Jazz and Funk. A great live act!!!"

- Delphine Simonis (KPFK's The Dark Room)
- Various Publications.

"Maetar explodes a world of funky stuff"

OCT. 29 - NOV. 4, 2004
The Battle of a Band
Maetar explodes a world of funky stuff
by Greg Burk
Who’s the studly farm boy strutting the bass, with his Carnaby hair, sculpted ’burns and satin shirt bringing on 1972 Raspberries flashbacks? That’s Itai Disraeli — he also reads ancient wisdom in the original languages, as it happens. And who’s the dome-cropped polar opposite on the other side of the stage, blowing soulful, yearning lines on trumpet, the soft-featured, sensitive one, uncomfortable in gaudy stage pajamas? That’s Itai’s brother, Hagai Izraeli, who likes to imagine the music as a movie. How about the drummer, rolling out the funk with carefree chopsmanship? He’s Berklee-schooled Peter Buck, a “left-wing born-again Christian” who dedicates every note to Jesus.
Oh. You knew something was up the minute you tuned in to “F Jam,” the hooky, spacious lead cut of the debut album by the instrumental groove trio Maetar (Hebrew for “string”). And that’s just the skeleton of a sound that opens up live into multiple dimensions: jazz, rock, blues and Middle Eastern melodic/ rhythmic launch points; spontaneous switch-offs to flutes and percussion auxiliaries; zoned-out effects splashes; and especially a capering, grinning sense of delight that visibly soaks everything these dudes do.
You had a clue, but it takes a little conversation at Hagai’s artfully severe West L.A. family bunker to appreciate the true strangeness of the ingredients that combined to create the fresh mess that is Maetar.
Picture Itai and Hagai in Israel, their birthplace and spiritual fountainhead. Raised on a kibbutz, they obsess on music, all kinds. They grit through their mandatory hitches in the army. Gaining renown for their playing skills, they cross paths with some American exile musicians locally called Black Hebrews, who’ve traveled through Africa into the Promised Land questing for roots in the 12 Tribes. They champion the initially unwelcome visitors and get them accepted. The two glean life/music lessons from Judaism, from the wanderers, from visiting jazzmen such as Dizzy Gillespie and Jaki Byard. They read about Ellington and Sun Ra, get the Amiri Baraka cultural perspective. Their minds explode.
Now picture Itai and Hagai in their Herzeliyya homes during the 1991 Gulf War. Their TV screens go blue — the universal signal that a Scud is screaming down. Bomb? Gas? They don’t know. They’ve got 60 seconds to slap gas masks on babies, pets and themselves and dive into their sealed safe rooms. Wheeeeoooo SMASH BOOM! Must’ve been a few streets away. They’re okay — this time. Repeat as necessary.
Their minds explode again, this time with the urgency that they’ve got to get the hell out of Israel, locus of danger and provider of no work. They board a plane for the USA, home of their inspiration, dropping their gas masks in a box by the boarding door. They become Americans. They raise families. They make music.

- LA Weekly


"MAETAR LIVE" The band's second release on "Organic Music". Recorded live at Harvelle's in 2005.
"Elevation", "The B Inn", "Friend lover Suite", "El Bowie", "Wake up", "Nine", "Ocean song", "River of Time", "4rth and Haze".

"MAETAR," their 2003 self made independent release. The following tracks are receiving air play. They are from the CD and live shows, including on-air appearances:

"Angel of Mercy", "F Jam", "Peace in The Middle East", "Friend Lover Suite", "334", "River of Time", "Milk and Honey"

on the following radio stations:

KPFK 90.7 Los Angeles - "The Global Village"

KXLU 88.9fm Los Angeles Noise Pollution

"Upper Room with Joe Kelley"
24/7 Internet Radio Show

"Upper Room with Joe Kelley"
LIVE Mondays 4-8 pm EST
WVOF 88.5 FM in Fairfield, CT

Earth Feeling -
Radio Nonbiri - - Japan.

Attention Span Radio in Lufkin, Texas. USA.

Kol Harega (the voice of now) Tel Aviv, ISRAEL.



MAETAR is brothers Itai Disraeli on bass, vocals, percussion, guitar and keyboards, and Hagai Izraelion horns, shells, keys, vocals and percussion, and Peter Buck on drums and percussion. An amazing live band.

Delicious organic funkrock with eclectic world-jazz undertones. Innovative bass, visionary horns, superb drums, weaving haunting melodies over powerful rhythms. MAETAR doesn't follow trends - they set them.

Itai's is a different world of bass playing. While holding down fat grooves, he creates layers of harmony and melody, coaxing sounds out of his basses that you have to hear to believe. Hagai is a visionary voice, creating haunting melodies on his trumpet and flugelhorn, while at the same time opening up new worlds of sound with his conch shells, ram's horn, flutes and keys. Peter creates multi-layers of rhythm, spanning ages and continents, while holding down a wicked back beat that will make you want to shake your body. Together, MAETAR creates amazing original sound - mixing jazz, funk, rock and hip hop with reggae, near and far eastern music, gospel and classical.

MAETAR's telepathic chemistry between the musicians propels listeners to a new world of sound, creating soulful music for the body and the mind. Experiencing them play live, you can taste the organic power and healing nectar of their music. Their show is an original sound universe packed with emotions, visuals and nuances. Weaving haunting melodies over powerful rhythms, MAETAR vibrates with honesty, authority and integrity.

The brothers grew up on a Kibbutz in Israel, born to a musical family, playing and singing together since the age of 5. They have studied with top musicians and composers. Itai won awards for his bass playing, while Hagai appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Israel and Europe. Together they appeared in the prestigious Jerusalem festival and Eilat festival to much critical acclaim. They created ensembles that worked for peace and justice through music.

In the early 90's they came to the USA, playing their music and collaborating with Jazz, Hip Hop, World and Rock artists. They studied with Jaki Byard, James Newton, Bobby Shew, Scotty Barnhard, Al McKibbon and Dr. Art Davis. In 2002 they met Peter Buck, who has played and toured with Bonnie Rait, Michelle Shocked and Keb Mo, just to name a few. Peter's versatility, drive and soulfulness resonated with the brothers. Together they formed MAETAR (May-Tar) and released their debut CD.

MAETAR recently won the "Battle for Los Angeles" at the world famous Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, attracting the attention of DJs from KROQ, KXLU, KPFK and KCRW and winning more critical acclaim. Maetar performed at the Abbot Kinnney festival, Skirball Cultural Center, House of Blues, Temple Bar, Viper Room and at universities around Los Angeles.

MAETAR actively supports the idea of a global and local community of musicians and artists. They regularly feature singers, instrumentalists and spoken word artists from all over the world as guest artists in their shows.

MAETAR can be heard on the radio and the internet all over the world. MAETAR is currently in the studio finishing their much anticipated second CD to be released early 2006.

As well as being accomplished players and performers, the brothers are very prolific composers, writing music for movies, television and the digital realm.