From Israel to New Zealand, Arli Liberman’s background is as interesting as it is diverse. Playing in one of the Middle East’s first world fusion bands made up of both Palestinian and Israeli musicians, performing on the revered stages of Montreux Jazz Festival to the desert sands of Sinai, cross-continent Wanderlust appearances to Russia’s Creation of Peace Festival, the multi-faceted guitarist and composer’s story is both unique and intriguing.
His music is equally captivating, seamlessly bringing together sounds of his Middle Eastern heritage and Western influences such as Jimmy Page, Brian Eno, David Gilmore and Michael Brook. Moving from alternative jazz to instrumental rock and fearless, ambient music, Arli celebrates a diverse spectrum of the world’s vibrant melodies, harmonies and rhythms.
With a love of the arts and passion for the guitar, Arli’s musical journey began as a teenager. He managed to avoid mandatory conscription and took the leap to separate from his family and move to Kibbutz, an Israeli collective community, where he was encouraged to pursue his musical ambitions. He became a session musician at just 16, was mentored by platinum-selling English record producer and bassist Mark Smulian and joined the WhiteFlag Project.
Made up of both Israeli and Palestinian musicians, the WhiteFlag Project was one of the first of its kind in the Middle East and aimed to help young prodigies nurture their artistic talent. They could not tour in either of their homelands but played massive international shows including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, to a crowd of 200,000 at the Creation of Peace Festival in Russia and an appearance for Amnesty International at the 2008 Global Peace Festival. Arli also co-produced, edited and performed on their album Talk in 2005, with the band going on to create award-winning documentary Playing With The Enemy.
In 2009, Arli’s path brought him to New Zealand where he released his self-titled debut solo album in November 2013. Featuring 8 mesmerizing original songs, the record received great reviews and captured the rawness of Arli’s live performances.
“What Liberman does is bring a distinct Middle Eastern flavour to the music, making for a most-interesting brew … This is an album full of exhilarating guitar playing with plenty of dynamics. It makes one wonder how ‘prog rock’ got such a bad name.” – Marty Duda, The 13th Floor
“While Arli fuses rhythm from all points of the compass, it’s his antics up and down the fret board that have had engineers at The Lab Recording Studio in New Zealand nicknaming him ‘The Israeli Shredder.’” – Nick Atkinson, Radio New Zealand
Captivating crowds through his electrifying, multi-genre-bending performances, Arli builds expansive soundscapes across both ambient and energetic outputs. His unique style, incredible talent and ability to read and respond to audiences has lead him to become one of the most intriguing artists in the local scene.