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JEWISH MUSIC FESTIVALa fiscally-sponsored project of JCC East Bay


30th Anniversary Jewish Music Festival Schedule

30th JEWISH MUSIC FESTIVAL Schedule by Date


JCC East Bay, Berkeley
Thursday, February 26; Saturday, February 28;
Sunday, March 1; Monday, March 2 (matinee); Tuesday, March 3
Showtimes at 8:00 p.m., March 2 Matinee starts at 1:30pm
Tickets: Evening shows: $25 seniors, students and JCCEB members / $30 general
Matinee: $12 / $15
More Info
The Bay Area’s own New Yiddish Theater company reprises last year’s sellout run of the hit Yiddish musical (fully supertitled in English) based on poetry by star Yiddish writer Itzik Manger, set to Israeli composer Dov Seltzer’s sparkling score, with new choral arrangements by Josh Horowitz. With one foot in 1930s Eastern Europe and the other in biblical Persia, Di Megileh recounts the Book of Esther through the eyes of Esther’s jilted lover, Fastrigoseh the tailor.


sharabiThursday, March 5, 8:00 p.m.
The Klezmatics
The New Parish, 1743 San Pablo, Oakland
Tickets: $26 seniors, students, JCCEB members / $30 generalMore Info
Since their emergence more than 25 years ago, the Klezmatics have raised the bar for Eastern European Jewish music, made aesthetically, politically and musically interesting recordings, inspired future generations, created a large body of work that is enduring, and helped to change the face of contemporary Yiddish culture. Often called a “Jewish roots band,” the Klezmatics have led a popular revival of this ages-old, nearly forgotten art form.

MendelsonSaturday, March 7, 8:00 p.m.
TEMPLE SINAI, 2808 Summit St., Oakland
Tickets: $22 seniors, students, JCCEB members / $26 generalMore Info
Cantor Jack Mendelson sings classical hazonos (Jewish liturgical music). Mendelson, the subject of the acclaimed 2005 documentary A Cantor’s Tale, and a master of the genre has dedicated his life to teaching, performing, and preserving the liturgical music tradition. Accompanied by Frank London, Anthony Coleman, Glenn Hartman and special guests TBA.

kitkaSunday, March 8, 8:00 p.m.
KITKA CD Release Concert
+ Shofar Award Ceremony honoring Ronnie Gilbert
Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
Tickets: $22 seniors, students, JCCEB members / $26 generalMore Info
Celebrate International Women’s day with the internationally renowned, Oakland-based women’s vocal ensemble showcasing new Jewish music and traditional music of Eastern Europe. A local treasure, Kitka’s stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythms, and lush harmonies will transport you to another world.

sway machineryTuesday, March 10, 8:00 p.m.
Leo’s, Oakland
Tickets: $20 advance / $25 door More Info
This horn-driven sextet from New York draws on a mélange of influences—from Afropop to Ashkenazi cantorial tropes—mining cultural memory that has rocked stages and dance floors from Mali to Poland. Fronted by Jeremiah Lockwood, formerly with Balkan Beatbox.
Presented in association with the Jewish Community Library and Jewish Learning Works.

paul hansonPaul Hanson EnsembleHOMECOMING
World Premiere: Wednesday, March 11, 8:00 p.m.
Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
Tickets: $23 senior, student / $27 generalMore Info
Thursday, March 12, 6:00 p.m. CANCELLED
Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street, San Francisco
Grammy-winning jazz bassoonist and composer Paul Hanson lived in Japan for four years as a performer with Cirque du Soleil. That life-changing experience inspired him to explore his Jewish roots through a new work commissioned by the 30th Jewish Music Festival. This program will debut one of the first large scale Jewish pieces ever written for bassoon. With Paul Hanson, bassoon; Moses Sedler, cello; Jeff Denson, bass; Mads Tolling, violin; Alan Hall, percussion and drums; and John Schott, guitarist.
Co-presented by the Contemporary Jewish Museum. In association with Lehrhaus Judaica and Jewish Community Library & Jewish Learning Works.

Diwan SazSaturday, March 14, 8:30 p.m.
Yair Dalal with Dror Sinai

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 2501 Harrison Street, Oakland
Tickets: $24 senior, student, JCCEB members / $28 generalMore Info
Direct from Israel, this nine-piece Jewish-Muslim-Christian ensemble of master musicians performs a rich variety of music from throughout the Middle and Near East. Featuring virtuosic performances of piyutim, or Jewish liturgical poems, Turkish folk songs, Rumi-inspired compositions, and by a young Bedouin singer whose voice has to be heard to be believed.
Yair Dalal & Dror Sinai: Israeli ‘oud player, violinist and composer Yair Dalal weaves Iraqi and Jewish Arabic music with influences ranging from the Balkans to India.


Steve Weintraub
STEVE WEINTRAUB – Magician of Jewish Dance (Workshops)
JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut, St., Berkeley
Workshop Registration: $15 per class; $25 for twoMore Info

Tuesday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.
Raising the Roof: Jewish Stunts, Moves and Styles (Part 1)
Dancing at a simcha is not only a pleasure; it is also a mitzvah and a gift to those celebrating. Learn to show off with the Bottle Dance, and be part of a Human Roulette Wheel and the Crushing Walls!

Wednesday, March 18, 7:30 p.m.
Make ‘Em Dance (For musicians and bands) 

Participants will split into two groups of players and dancers. Musicians learn correct tempos and feeling for each dance style. Improved playing guaranteed!

Thursday, March 19, 7:30 p.m.
Raising the Roof: Jewish Stunts, Moves and Style (Part 2)
It’s Yiddish barn dancing! Including the Jewish square dance called The Sher, and a variety of other fun and social dances with ballroom roots.


VeretskiSunday, March 22, 1:00-6:00 p.m.

JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley
Tickets: $12 senior, student, JCCEB member / $15 generalMore Info
Your time to sing, dance and be inspired to make your own music. With the Instant Klezmer Mandolin Orchestra a pop-up community chorus of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah led by Conspiracy of Beards artistic director Daryl Henline, and dance party with international Jewish dance expert Steven Weintraub and music by the internationally renowned ensemble, Veretski Pass.
Presented in association with KlezCalifornia

May 2, House Concert, East Bay location TBA
Linda Hirschhorn, Gary Lapow and Betsy Rose
Blending voices, life perspectives and songwriting gifts with deep roots in the social justice movements of our times, these Bay Area bards offer timeless music for the seasons of our lives.