Sunday, December 9, 2012

Portico Quartet Respects the Boycott of Israel


(ORIGINAL POST 9 December) The London-based Jazz group Portico Quartet, have cancelled their planned concert in Israel. Members Jack Wyllie, Duncan Bellamy, Milo Fitzpatrick and Keir Vine have chosen to respect the call to boycott Israel. 

A google translation of today's article in the Israeli press "nana10."

International cultural world continues to respond to the Israeli government's decision to build in the territories. Members Portico Quartet, a quartet that was supposed to participate in the Red Sea Winter Jazz Festival next January, announced this weekend to festival producers that they suppress their arrival to Israel.
A letter sent to the director of the band said that the decision to cancel the arrival of the ensemble Israel stems directly from the Israeli government's decision to build 3,000 housing units in E1.

SOURCE in Hebrew:

19 December UPDATE:

Portico Quartet shows they are truly musicians of conscience, and post on their facebook the following (screenshots at end of this post):

(11 Dec) "Given the recent action of the government of Israel and in particular the proposed building of 3000 new homes in the E1 corridor we feel we can no longer perform at the red sea jazz festival.

Whilst we recognise that the citizens of a country are different from their government we feel that as the festival is directly funded by the state we cannot accept the offer to play. 

We urge other artists to join the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

We apologise to anyone who bought tickets or anyone who was looking forward to seeing us and we hope to see you again at some point under different circumstances. 


(13 Dec) "Well there we go, a few points…

a) We we're not pressured into doing this and did it with a decent understanding of the conflict.

b) We have turned down many gigs where the funding is from an organisation we consider unethical. We would have probably
 turned down a state funded gig from the USA during the iraq war, have turned down gigs funded by the London Olympic Committee, gigs in China during the 2008 Olympics and many very well paid private function gigs. We would also turn down a gig if it was funded by Hamas.

c) In that vein we recognise the difference between the people and their government and that a huge amount of the suffering is caused by the states actions and not necessarily the peoples. This is about the actions of the government of Israel. 

d) We are not the only band to do this, there is a huge list of artists who have cancelled their shows or refuse to play. It is part of a broader movement called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions which is made up of a coalition Palestinian NGO's and Trade Unions. If you want more information on that visit

e) If anyone wants to book us for a gig which is not state funded go for it!

Anyway thanks for the love. There only actually seems to be a small amount of people arguing… 

peace and love xxxxxx

(link to"