2008 Washington Jewish Music Festival


Kick-Off Party | From Tel Aviv to DC
DJ Crew Soulico

Saturday, May 31, 10:00 pm
Venue: Station 9
Here to take DC by storm, DJ crew Soulico is kicking-off the Washington Jewish Music Festival with a bang. Party to a unique mix of funk-accented power pop, Middle Eastern melodies and techno-rave. more info...

"The DJ crew taking Tel Aviv by storm, rock dizzying sets that command you to dance in the languages of almost every continent." The Washington Post

Opening day | Regina Spektor, Mandy Patinkin and Mashina 

Sunday, June 1, Noon-5pm
Venue: National Mall
Celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday with the opening of the Washington Jewish Music Festival on the National Mall. Regina Spektor, internationally-acclaimed singer, songwriter and pianist, will headline the celebration, along with Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Mandy Patinkin, who will emcee the program as well as perform, Israeli rock band, Mashina, and Sesame Street Muppets Oscar the Grouch and his Israeli cousin Moishe Oofnik. The FREE event is part of the community-wide festival, Israel @ 60: A Capital Celebration, hosted by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington in partnership with the Embassy of Israel and other community organizations. more info...

Ma Yafit (How Beautiful You Are): Love Poetry Set to Jazz

Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, vocals and compositions; Anat Fort, piano; Rafi Malkiel, trombone
Sunday, June 1, 7:00 pm
Venue:Bohemian Caverns
Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Anat Fort and Rafi Malkiel, three talented Israeli jazz musicians based in New York City perform selections from Ayelet Rose Gottlieb’s acclaimed song cycle Mayim Rabim, based on the Song of Songs (Tzadik  label, 2006), and from her music to contemporary Hebrew poetry. A wonderful mixture of jazz, Sephardic, klezmer, and Middle Eastern rhythms, these songs combine the beauty and richness of Hebrew poetry with modern melodies and improvisation. more info...

“The stunning Gottlieb possesses a powerful voice, using it with authority” — JazzTimes Magazine

Beyond the Pale

Monday, June 2, 7:30 pm
Washington DCJCC

Award-winning and critically-acclaimed, Toronto's Beyond the Pale is one of the most exciting ensembles in the Canadian folk, roots, and world music scenes. Their explosive acoustic sound is inspired by a wide range of cross-cultural influences, from European folk styles (Klezmer, Balkan, Gypsy, Romanian) to contemporary and North American styles (bluegrass, jazz, reggae, funk, and more). They are known for their instrumental virtuosity, infectious energy, and unique repertoire featuring both original compositions and inventive arrangements of traditional material. more info...

“A rich musical experience which can touch your soul with its plaintive melodies..."— Canadian Musician Magazine

Like a Scarlet Thread: Jewish Motifs in Classical Music
Benjamin Hochman, piano

Tuesday, June 3, 6:15 pm
Washington DCJCC
Acclaimed pianist Benjamin Hochman explores Jewish motifs in classical music and performs works by prominent Jewish composers from Europe, Israel and the USA. Though only in his mid-twenties, he is an imaginatively mature artist with an innate ability to combine beauty of line within the overall shape of a piece. Hochman will shed light on music by Mendelssohn, Ben-Haim and others and will look at the ways in which these composers relate to Jewish traditions and symbolism in music. more info...

"...a master of his profession. Virtuosity and charged emotionality truly merged.” — Neue Ruhr Zeitung

Screening of The Golem with live music performed live by Davka

Tuesday, June 3, 8:00 pm
Washington DCJCC
A story for the ages set to an entirely new tune, this 1920s cinematic masterpiece is based on the Jewish myth of a soulless clay giant created to serve and protect the Jews of 16th century Prague. The film will be accompanied by Daniel Hoffman’s award-winning score performed live by the band Davka. more info...

“The Golem’s high-art cinematic expressionism is expertly complemented by this bassoon-violin-cello-doumbek-zarb combo...” — East Bay Express

Theater J's New Musical David in Shadow and Light
Wednesday, June 4, 7:30 pm
Washington DCJCC
An epic musical retelling of King David's astonishing trajectory from boy shepherd, to superstar ruler, to aging king, this visually stunning production incorporates thrilling dance sequences and a post-modern frame through which we can identify with the triumphs and travails of one of the most complex and charismatic figures in biblical history. Following the performance, ethnomusicologist and clarinetist Joel Rubin will lead a discussion with composer and violinist Daniel Hoffman. more info...

The Voice of A Sage: Rachael Sage and the Sequins

Opening: DC's Mara Levi
Wednesday, June 4, 7:30 pm
Venue: DC9 Nightclub
Talented East Village pianist, singer, songwriter and poet, Rachael Sage has been making gutsy pop music from early on. Sage, whose music has been described by The Village Voice as “earthiness, color and emotion,” is known for her vibrant performances that blend vaudevillian kitsch with classically tinged art-pop. more info...

“Genuine talent... Sage has a knack for writing melodies that will break your heart without making you feel manipulated in the process... Where there’s poignancy there’s also subtlety, unforced passion and knowing observation.” — Rolling Stone Magazine

The Afro-Semitic Experience

Thursday, June 5, 7:30 pm
Washington DCJCC
Imagine Charles Mingus sitting in with a Klezmer band playing Gospel music set to the polyrhythmic pace of the congas and bongos. Imagine a band that understands and can present interpretations of music from traditions as rich as gospel, klezmer, nigunim, spirituals, and swing. Imagine the Afro-Semitic Experience. more info...


Rhythm & Roots: The Afro-Semitic Experience for Kids
Friday, June 6, 10:00 am
Washington DCJCC
The Afro-Semitic Experience will lead in a morning of fun for kids and grown-ups with an interactive performance filled with energy, music and rhythm, exploring the music of Jewish and African Diasporas. Pre-K and kindergarteners with their parents, caregivers or teachers are invited to join this delightful morning of rhythm and roots. more info...

"...jazz collaborators David Chevan and Warren Byrd are so good at what they do…The Afro-Semitic Experience brings home the bacon and the gefilte fish.” — Valley Advocate

Musical Erev Shabbat with Linda Hirschhorn

Friday, June 6, 8:30 pm
Washington DCJCC
Cantor, composer, arranger, choral conductor, and director of Vocolot ensemble, Linda Hirschhorn will co-lead a musical Erev Shabbat service with Rabbi Robert Saks of Congregation Bet Mishpachah, the event's co-sponsor. more info...

Closing Night | David Buchbinder's Odessa/Havana

Saturday, June 7, 8:00 pm
Washington DCJCC

An exciting Jewish-Cuban musical fusion, Odessa/Havana is led by award-winning trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder and includes some of today’s most accomplished jazz musicians. While Odessa and Havana may seem many miles apart, their musical associations are multi-layered and rooted in their common ancestry on the Iberian Peninsula—sharing Sephardic, Arabic, Roma (Gypsy) and North African forbearers. more info...

"… [the compositions are] delicately textured and dazzlingly tuneful, but it’s the powerful, swinging and lyrical playing that ultimately sells the project.” — Globe & Mail

The Sheynville Express
Sisters of Sheynville

Sunday, June 8, 11:30 am
Washington DCJCC
Inspired by the Barry Sisters of the 1930s old-time radio era, this high-energy, all-female sextet brings Yiddish swing, klezmer and roots music to life. Since their debut in 2005, the “wildly successful” (Wholenote Magazine) Sisters of Sheynville have amassed an impressive festival and club performance resume. The band’s original music and arrangements of both traditional and jazz material combine serious musicianship, complexity and intricate musical thought with a fun approach to performance. more info...

“While these ladies are not really sisters, and there is no place called Sheynville…the music here is genuine and impassioned. It left me wanting more. So stamp my passport, I’m hopping on the Sheynville Express!” —





Festival Assistant
(202) 777-3251