Long before working as an arranger and accompanist for famed singers like Barbra Streisand and Roberta Gambarini, pianist Tamir Hendelman got his first taste of jazz while growing up in Tel Aviv. As a kid, the initial spark was seeing a Bobby McFerrin concert during which McFerrin was spontaneously creating with the audience. Hendelman also listened to Count Basie and Chick Corea as a kid, but his love for jazz and for playing the music grew even stronger after he moved to Los Angeles at age twelve. While still a teenager, he’d go to jam sessions in South Central L.A. The accomplished pianist went on to work with jazz heavies like Jeff Hamilton, Teddy Edwards and Houston Person. Hendelman, who serves on UCLA’s jazz faculty, is in town for the tenth annual Neustadt JAAMM Festival, a celebration of Jewish arts, authors, movies and music.