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Elvis Costello playing Sonoma Jazz (with “The Sugarcanes Plus”), but changed his mind about going to Israel

Elvis CostelloElvis CostelloElvis CostelloElvis Costello

The Sugarcanes played a short run of theatre dates from Boston through Washington, D.C., the United Palace, New York, Richmond, Virginia, Atlanta and Jacksoville, Florida and two headlining festival appearances, concluding at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

E.C. sang, “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” during The Waybacks complete performance of “Abbey Road” in the afternoon, while Sugarcanes gave the first full band performance of “Dr Watson, I Presume”, a reminiscence of the previous visit to the festival in 2007.

E.C. and The Sugarcanes were joined by Rebecca and Megan Lovell from their new band, Larkin Poe for finale performances of “The Scarlet Tide” and “The Crooked Line”

At the Sonoma Jazz Festival appearance on May 22nd, the band will feature, Jim Lauderdale, Dennis Crouch, Jeff Taylor, Mike Compton and Stuart Duncan. On this occasion Jerry Douglas will not be in the line-up, as he is attending a very important family event but the group will be augmented by multi-instrumentalist, Fats Kaplin and also feature Pete Thomas on drums.” [Elvis Costello]

The Sonoma Jazz Festival happens this weekend (May 21-23) in Sonoma. A message from Elvis explaining (sort of) why he’s canceling a couple of dates in Israel, and video from the April United Palace show, below…

04.23.2010 Elvis Costello Before I Grow Too Old (aka Silver And Gold)

04.23.2010 Elvis Costello Brilliant Mistake (Clip)

It Is After Considerable Contemplation….

It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.

One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament.

Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.

I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.

I am also keenly aware of the sensitivity of these themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.

Some will regard all of this an unknowable without personal experience but if these subjects are actually too grave and complex to be addressed in a concert, then it is also quite impossible to simply look the other way.

I offer my sincere apologies for any disappointment to the advance ticket holders as well as to the organizers.

My thanks also go to the members of the Israeli media with whom I had most rewarding and illuminating conversations. They may regard these exchanges as a waste of their time but they were of great value and help to me in gaining an appreciation of the cultural scene.

I hope it is possible to understand that I am not taking this decision lightly or so I may stand beneath any banner, nor is it one in which I imagine myself to possess any unique or eternal truth.

It is a matter of instinct and conscience.

It has been necessary to dial out the falsehoods of propaganda, the double game and hysterical language of politics, the vanity and self-righteousness of public communiqués from cranks in order to eventually sift through my own conflicted thoughts.

I have come to the following conclusions.

One must at least consider any rational argument that comes before the appeal of more desperate means.

Sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static and so an end to it.

I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel, which is a matter of regret but I can imagine a better time when I would not be writing this.

With the hope for peace and understanding. Elvis Costello

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