Jewish Music Festival


Jewish music

The Jewish Music Festival presents music that celebrates the Jewish experience and explores what it means to be Jewish in a multicultural world.  The Festival produces creative and entertaining programs, challenges stereotypes, and fosters engagement with the broader community.  The Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2010.

The Jewish Music Festival received a grant from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program in 2007, 2008, and 2010.  In 2010, the Festival presented vocalist and scholar Aron Saltiel in a concert highlighting the traditions of the little known Jewish Ottoman heritage.  Based upon extensive research, “Cantigas de Boda” involves the Sephardic repertoire of wedding songs originating in the Spanish or Latino-speaking Jewish communities of Northern Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Turkey.  In 2008, the Festival presented Arkady Gendler, the principal remaining Yiddish songwriter and performer from the pre-Holocaust era still active in the Ukraine, who taught and performed rare and original Yiddish songs in workshops and concerts around the San Francisco Bay Area.  Mr. Gendler’s participation was documented through a printed songbook and professional recording.  With grant funds in 2007, the Festival presented an outreach program to youth featuring Dror Sinai, an Israeli citizen of Yemenite- Jewish and Syrian-Turkish background, with Faisal Ghazi Zedan, a Syrian born Muslim musician.

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