At the age of 13, when Yaakov started to play the guitar, his older brother, Azriel, gave him a Django Reinhardt cassette.
Django’s music ignited a spark in Yaakov and he began to dream of going to Europe to learn from the Gypsies.
Yaakov graduated from the Rimon Music High School and attained his bachelor’s degree in music from the Jerusalem Music Academy.
He has performed in many bands, written songs and music for theater. It was only in 2006, following a chance meeting with Jon Larsen and Walter Clerici in Denmark, that he decided to dedicate himself completely to Gypsy swing.
He traveled to Belgium to study with the accomplished Gypsy guitarist Fapy Lafertin and had the great good fortune to also meet and jam with Gypsy guitar greats Birelli Lagrene, Moreno, Stochelo and Noumi Rosenberg in France – learning a great deal in the process.
His band, Swing De Gitanes has been in the forefront of the Gypsy Swing genre in Israel and has gleaned ample praise.
The trio has three albums under its belt, as well as hundreds of performances, participation in major international music festivals, collaborations with leading local artists, including Miki Gavrielov and Dori Ben Zeev, and collaboration with leading international Gypsy Swing and Jazz luminaries, including: Martin Taylor (G.B), Stephane Wrembel (U.S.A), Robin Nolan (G.B), Lulo Reinhardt, Daniel Weltlinger (Germany), Hot Club de Norvege (Norway), Evan Christopher (U.S.A), Dario Napoli (Italy), Maurizio di fulvio (Italy) and more.
Today Yaakov is developing a new generation of Gypsy swing guitarists. He has translated his experience into a straightforward comprehensive method and became an international leading Gypsy and Jazz instructor. Yaakov has initiated the production of Gypsy Swing guitars in Israel, in cooperation with Polak Guitars. He is working on original compositions and lyrics and more...