Updated: Sunday, 19th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Gilad Atzmon says 'thanks for the publicity' to Jewish lobby who opposed his RNCM gig

Gilad Atzmon says 'thanks for the publicity' to Jewish lobby who opposed his RNCM gig

| By Steph Brawn

Jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon has thanked a Jewish lobby for the publicity surrounding his cancelled gig at the Royal Northern College of Music.

The college decided to call off Mr Atzmon’s gig earlier this week due to threats to student safety by the North West Friends of Israel who were claiming the jazz musician was anti-Semitic.

However, Mr Atzmon believes their plan to convince the college he should not play at the venue has backfired as his views and his name has made its way across the globe faster than he could ever have imagined.

He told MM: “I thought to myself maybe I should start to work with these Jewish groups because they definitely help me a lot to promote my ideas.

“I was scheduled to come to Manchester to play music for two hours, not to talk about my views and I didn’t have any plans to do so.

“Instead of that, I was sitting at home, I was getting paid, and I see that the local BBC feature me and my thoughts and actually express all my views and explain to a wide audience, much wider than my audience, how violent the Jewish lobby is.

“I can tell you my music publicist would have to work very hard to even get a preview on these platforms. I may be able to start doing arenas very soon if the groups carry on as they are.”

The 51-year-old has played with some British greats over the years including Sir Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams and the RNCM have admitted that they are embarrassed by what has happened.

A statement from the college said that the decision to pull the gig in no way reflected their political views and was done on the grounds of safety; they had security guards on the entrance doors last night.

It is the second time in recent weeks that Mr Atzmon has had a show pulled, following the cancellation of his performance at Nottingham’s Bonington Theatre in January after 13 complaints were made.

Many have protested against the cancellation, claiming it constrains freedom of expression and shows the venue were 'bullied' by the group.

Image courtesy of GDMproductions, with thanks.