SHALOM. Starting this Sunday, the Washington Jewish Music Festival kicks off its 15th glorious year with a slew of incredible performances both traditional and contemporary. Naturally we want you to get the most out of it so come along with us on a journey to the center of the fest–we’ve picked our top five favorite acts to catch, though your mileage may vary. One thing’s for certain: gentiles, shiksas and shegetz alike are all welcome here.
- An Acoustic Evening with Matisyahu
Sunday, June 1 @ Lisner Auditorium
Matisyahu, possibly the most groundbreaking and genre-bending of all contemporary Jewish musicians, opens the 15th Annual Washington Jewish Music Festival this Sunday with an acoustic performance that’s not to be missed. Come celebrate Jewish tradition and Shavuot with Matisyahu’s unique combination of rap,reggae, rock, and hip-hop set to an intimate acoustic backdrop.
- The Alexandria Kleztet, Klezmer Brunch
Sunday, June 1 @ DCJCC
Did you know you can hear traditional Eastern European/Jewish music while eating traditional kosher brunch? On Sunday you can have it all with The Alexandria Kleztet–a quartet that’s been bringing klezmer to the DMV area since 1998–alongside a spread of spreads (three types of cream cheese), lox, Goldberg’s Bagels, kippered salmon, danishes and more.
- Melodies of the Russian Jews with Kolot HaLev
Sunday, June 8 @ Ohr Kodesh Congregation
Get an auditory taste of the Old Country with Kolot HaLev’s annual choir performance that will, in fact, make your soul long for days and traditions gone by.
- The Big Broadway Sing-A-Long
Tuesday, June 10 @ DCJCC
Certainly we’ve all heard the joke that one will not survive on Broadway without Jews, but who’s to say there’s anything wrong with that? Join notable performers, vocalists and music directors in a celebration of Jewish Broadway with songs by Rodgers & Hammerstein, the Gershwins, Kander & Ebb, Schwartz, Sondheim and more.
- Yemen Blues
Thursday, June 12 @ DCJCC
What is world music without a little Jewish flare? Yemen Blues, the Yemenite and West African performance group, combines jazz, funk, chants and musicianship from New York, Tel Aviv and Uruguay for a truly unique set that’ll get you moving in no time.
The Washington Jewish Music Festivals runs Sunday, June 1 through Saturday, June 14.