Published in the Electronic Intifada on August 20, 2011:
Tuba Skinny, a traditional jazz and blues band from New Orleans, planned to perform at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, Israel on 21 August. The international campaign “Don’t Play Apartheid Israel,” and the Israeli group “Boycott From Within” approached Tuba Skinny with the request to honor PACBI’s call for a cultural boycott of Israel.
One week before the show, Tuba Skinny received an open letter with information about the cultural boycott of Israel:
Jazz festivals take place every summer all over the world, and New Orleans jazz bands are in high demand. Jazz music is loved the world over, so why would it be considered inhumane to play at a Jazz festival?
In the case of the Red Sea Jazz Festival, music takes on a very political role, because of the well-known global BDS movement. The PACBI, (Palestinian Call for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) has, since 2005, asked musicians to refrain from playing in Israel, and their call, representing Palestinian Civil Society, has become a global movement.
Thus, when a band, like Tuba Skinny, agrees to play in Israel, and break the picket line, it becomes very political.
Tuba Skinny announced the cancelation of their show in Eilat on their website.
The group has joined the picket line of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Elvis Costello, The Pixies, the late Gil Scott-Heron, Carlos Santana, Pete Seeger, Massive Attack, Faithless, Gorillaz Sound System, The Tindersticks and the Klaxxons.