Telavana Album Is Out!

After a long pregnancy the TELAVANA album is finally out in the world and boy, is it a sweet feeling! You can listen to it on pretty much any streaming platform or buy an actual earthly physical Compact Disc at cdBaby by clicking on the album cover below. Tonight we’re celebrating at The Django (2 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY) with a release party featuring Ahmed Vega – piano, Dan Aran – drums, Tamir Shmerling – bass, Hillel Salem – trumpet, Marcos Lopez – percussion, vocalist Malaya and special guest belly dancer Elena Nayiri 10.30pm.

Many thanks to everyone who’s been a part of this, including musicians Mike Rodriguez, Cesar Orozco, Or Bareket, Dan Aran, Marcos Lopez, Tamer Pinarbasi & Yosvani Terry, sound engineer Michael Perez-Cisneros, visual artist Latin For Glory (aka Gloria Hernando, who hand-drew the cover art with crayons!) and all the people who joined TELAVANA’s journey along the way like filmmaker Maxwell Enrique Bahamón, vocalist Malaya De Jesus, photographer Justin W. King, Belly dancers Elena Nayiri, Susanna Nieto and Pamela Rose, Bar Lunatico in Brooklyn which has given us a home to play at every month and many more….


“When Heroes Fly” wins 1st prize at CanneSeries

“When Heroes Fly” A drama series created by writer and director Omri Givron, co-creator of the Israeli show “Hostages,” took the 1st prize for best series at CanneSeries, an offshoot of the Cannes Film Festival which aims to highlight series from all over the world and to give an international voice to this increasingly popular and fiercely creative new art form.  The show stars Tomer Kapon, with original music by Roy Nassee. Most importantly for me, the show, which is set mostly in Colombia, features music from the upcoming TELAVANA album as well as a couple of tracks by Los Hacheros. It’s the first time my music is featured in an international TV series, and it looks like it’s off to a good start with this prize.

“Shabazi” Video + Single out now!

Last summer I had the great pleasure of collaborating with two incredible artists – belly dancer Elena Nayiri and filmmaker Maxwell Enrique Bahamón. Working together we conceptualized and produced this video to “Shabazi” – one of my compositions from the upcoming TELAVANA album. Apart from being a great belly dancer, Elena is also proficient in various Cuban dance styles, which is evident in the duet scene with  our special guest singer-dancer Chino Ponz. I feel very fortunate to have found someone who, like me, is fascinated with both middle-eastern and Caribbean modes of expression and is also a really fun person to work with. I met the filmmaker, Maxwell, during the video shoot for “Timbalaye” by Los Hacheros and I really love his cinematographic style, imagination and attitude. This is my first attempt at a music video and there are so many people I need to thank for participating – Belly dancers Susana Nieto and Pamela Rose, Benny Oyama for hosting us on his rooftop, all of our lovely extras who came to dance on the rooftop for the party scene, Malaya De Jesus for the sumptuous buffet, the band members and many more…

Here are the links to the single track on spotify and itunes





and here’s the video. Enjoy!

P.S. stay tuned, there are some live music + belly dance performances coming up!

New Year, New Shows

Happy 2018!


Israel Tour Announced

It’s holiday time! And that means it’s time for me to head to the middle east to visit family and friends, and to play some fun concerts in the land of milk and hummus. There are a lot of firsts on this visit-  it will be my first time to play at the Jerusalem Jazz Festival, first time to perform duo with Eden Ladin in Israel (we already performed in the US and Mexico together) and the first time to play the music of Telavana in Tel Aviv at a brand new Jazz series at the Pasaz! Click on the images below for show details.  hope to see you there…

Itai Kriss & Eden Ladin Duo at Levontin 7


Non Standards with Keren Ann at the Jerusalem Jazz Festival


Itai Kriss & Telavana at the Pasaz

Dance video from Rockwood

Here’s a video from TELAVANA’s debut show at Rockwood Music Hall on Sunday Oct. 22nd featuring four amazing dancers – Elena Nayiri (who also choreographed the piece), Salit Cohen-Cheng, Pamela Rose and Susana Nieto. We had a great time and can’t wait to collaborate again –  stay tuned for the next performance…


Telavana At Smalls Tonight

This Is the first time we play at Smalls – my favorite jazz club in the world – so it’s reason to celebrate! The band tonight features Jonathan Powell on trumpet, Cesar Orozco on piano, Tamir Shmerling on bass, Dan Aran on drums and Manuel Alejandro Carro on percussion.



Telavana at Subrosa Tonight

Subrosa – our beloved Latin-Jazz club in the meatpacking district is closing and eventually moving to a new undisclosed location. But we’re playing the very last concert there tonight with a special edition of TELAVANA featuring Jonathan Powell, Tamir Shmerling, Dan Aran, Cesar Orozco and special guest – master conguero Samuel Torres. Come down and help Subrosa go out with a bang


Telavana at the Django + album recording

Exciting times coming up for Telavana – the band I put together representing my desire to bring the musical realms of the middle east and the caribbean a little closer – we’re getting ready to go into the studio next week and record an album! it’s going to be the first time we step into the studio together and the first time the music is documented properly. But before we do that we’re going to play all of our tunes live at the Django  in TriBeCa this Saturday night. The lineup will include Edgar Pantoja/piano, Dennis Hernandez/trumpet, Manuel Alejandro Carro/percussion, Or Bareket/bass and Dan Aran/drums. See you there!


TELAVANA photos from Exit Zero Jazz Festival

We had a great time performing for two consecutive days at Cape May, New Jersey’s Exit Zero Festival and we were lucky to have phenomenal photographer Richard Conde to document it. The band featured Or Bareket  – bass, Marcos Lopez – percussion, Kali Rodriguez – trumpet, Dan Aran – drums & Cesar Orozco – piano

Here are some of the results