Southern Avenue’s Israeli guitarist will be all over the Missouri map this summer


Israeli musician Ori Naftaly (left) and his band, Southern Avenue, are performing four shows this summer in Missouri.

Eric Berger, Associate Editor

You can find an Israeli in Southern Avenue.

The soul-blues band from Memphis features an Israeli-born guitarist, Ori Naftaly.

And good news for supporters of Israel and catchy music: Southern Avenue is playing four shows in Missouri in the coming months.

The five-piece band will perform Aug. 3 at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City; Aug. 4 at St. Louis Music Park in Maryland Heights; Sept. 18 at the Shipyard Festival in Cape Girardeau; and Sept. 26 at the Roots N Blues Festival in Columbia.

Naftaly is from Netanya and studied at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Ramat Hasharon. He then formed the Ori Naftaly Band and made history as the first Israeli group to reach the finals of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

He moved to Memphis in 2013 and a couple years later formed Southern Avenue. He told the Light in 2019 that “St. Louis is like a second home” for the band. You can read the full story here.

And for more information on the band’s upcoming tour, visit