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DCJCC Announces Music Festival Line-Up, June 9–26 | Arts & Culture

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DCJCC Announces Music Festival Line-Up, June 9–26
Arts & Culture


This story comes to us from Tara Chantal Silver:

Washington, DC (May 18, 2011) – The 12th Annual Washington Jewish Music Festival, presented by the Washington DC Jewish Community Center’s Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts, runs from June 9th through the 26th. A community celebration of Jewish music, the Festival will feature extraordinary performing artists working to preserve and invigorate Jewish music in contemporary culture. With events at the Washington DCJCC’s main stage at 16th and Q and partner events at the Music Center at Strathmore, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue and the JCC of Greater Washington, this year’s Washington Jewish Music Festival brings the best in Jewish music to the entire Washington community.


The performers selected for this year’s Festival appeal to all music lovers. From klezmer to showtunes, children’s songs to pop music, a cappella to indie rock, this Festival has something for everyone. The Festival begins with a special performance by actor and vocalist Mandy Patinkin, who will be appearing at the Music Center at Strathmore. Other anticipated performances include: Yeshiva University’s a cappella group, The Maccabeats, a YouTube sensation with more than 5 million views over the last year, who were recently invited to perform at the White House;globally-renowned The Klezmatics, the only klezmer group to ever win a Grammy, performing with Jewish gospel singer Joshua Nelson; and the critically acclaimed indie songstress Clare Burson, showcasing her newest album “Silver and Ash.”


This year’s featured artists include: 

Mandy Patinkin, Dress Casual with Paul Ford on Piano

The Maccabeats, EntrypointDC Program for Young Professionals

The Klezmatics, with Special Guest Joshua Nelson

The Mama Doni Band, Father’s Day Family Concert

Clare Burson, music from “Silver and Ash” Album

Dan Fishback, On a Queer Day, You Can See Forever

Songs of Life, at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Screening of “Culture Heroes,” Zubin Mehta and Chava Alberstein

Downtown Shabbat with Larry Paul & Robyn Helzner

Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights, Family Concerts


“This year’s festival is truly a community celebration of Jewish music,” says Festival Director Lili Kalish Gersch. “I’m looking forward to some amazing performances.”


Calendar of Events (in order of appearance)

*Mandy Patinkin                              |Dress Casual with Paul Ford on Piano | 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 9                              |Co-sponsor: The Music Center at Strathmore ($35-$78)


Before he was an Emmy-winning TV star, Mandy Patinkin was a Tony-winning Broadway legend. See him in his most recent and electrifying role: concert performer. “Mandy Patinkin is in the business of show-stopping,” raves The New Yorker, and that’s exactly what he does in this powerful, passionate evening featuring music by Irving Berlin, Sondheim, Porter and more.


Thursday, June 16                             |    Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater | 7 p.m.

The Maccabeats                                 |   EntryPointDC ($18, Discounted $15)


The Maccabeats’ hit videos “Candlelight” and the “The Purim Song” have been viewed more than five million times on YouTube. The a cappella group was recently invited to perform at the White House, has performed on Good Morning America and CBS 2, and has been featured by CNN, The Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many others. They will perform an eclectic repertoire of Jewish, American and Israeli songs. 

Sunday, June 19                                |    Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater | 11 a.m.

The Mama Doni Band                      |      Father’s Day Concert/Pizza Party                        (Family Ticket $25 Discount $20)      


The Mama Doni Band celebrates Jewish culture with irrepressible zest in its high-energy, interactive family rock concerts. Quirky, offbeat, and unpredictable, The Band offers a contagious and unexpected blend of reggae, rock, Latin, klezmer and “Jewgrass." (Best for ages 10 and under).


Sunday, June 19                                |     Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater | 7 p.m.

Culture Heroes Screening                 |                         ($10, Discounted $9)


Discover two musical Culture Heroes in episodes exploring the power of music from the 2010 Israeli television series. Zubin Mehta and I:  Engaging, original and intimate film explores the power of music and Mehta—the man whose name is synonymous with classical music in Israel and Chava Alberstein, Singer:  Often thought of as the voice of Israel itself, Alberstein has been performing, writing and recording for almost 50 years. Hebrew with English subtitles.

Monday, June 20                                        |    Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater | 7:30 p.m.

The Klezmatics with Joshua Nelson     | Brother Moses Smote the Water ($30, Discounted $25)


Grammy winners The Klezmatics join forces with Joshua Nelson, the African-American Jewish “prince of kosher gospel,” to explore the complexities of Jewish, black and overall human identity. Nelson blends Jewish religious lyrics and meanings with the soulful sounds of American gospel music. Reception to follow.

*Tuesday, June 21                | John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Concert Hall | 8 p.m.
Songs of Life                          |             ($50-$150) Co-sponsor: Songs of Life 

Songs of Life presents the world premiere oratorio of A Melancholy Beauty, the true story of the largest rescue of Jews during the Holocaust. This historic event will include performances by over 250 musicians: The National Philharmonic; Indianapolis Children’s Choir; Tel Aviv Chamber Choir, Israel; Philip Kutev National Folklore Ensemble, Bulgaria; Victor Valley College Singers and Master Arts Chorale, CA.


Wednesday, June 22             |        GLOE/ GLBT | Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater | 7:30 p.m.
Dan Fishback                        |      On a Queer Day, You Can See Forever  ($15, Discounted $12)


New York based performance artist and indie-folk musician Dan Fishback returns to his hometown of Washington, DC for an evening of songs and stories from his extensive catalog of songs and albums and plays. With a pixie-like voice and a critical eye, Fishback casts his eccentric view on queer romance, Jewish identity, and the politics of being young and weird.


Thursday, June 23                |            Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater | 7:30 p.m. 
Clare Burson                         |                Silver & Ash ($15, Discounted $12)


Indie songstress Clare Burson’s (also known for her 117-year-old world-traveling cheese!)
newest project—the album, “Silver and Ash”—follows her maternal grandmother’s life in Germany from her birth in 1919 to her escape in 1938. This stunning work, featured in the New York Times and on NPR, gives vigor to her grandmother’s story and explores Clare’s own struggles.


*Friday, June 24                   |     Co-sponsor: Sixth & I Historic Synagogue | 6 p.m.
Downtown Shabbat with Larry Paul & Robyn Helzner          Drinks and appetizers: 6:00 p.m.

Services begin: 6:45 p.m. (free)

Dinner: 8:00 p.m. ($6 in advance and $8 the day of the event)


Musicians Robyn Helzner and Cantor Larry Paul will lead a spirited, musical, Carlebach-inspired service.

*Sunday, June 26                      | Co-sponsor:  Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington | 2 p.m. and 4:30pm                 

Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights         | Family Concerts ($8 in advance, $10 at the door)


Joanie Leed’s CD, “I’m a Rock Star” was selected as Best Family CD of 2010 by The Washington Post:  “You won't be able to resist the urge to sing along pretending your hairbrush is a microphone.” Ranging from indie and classic rock to hip-hop, from folk to jazz and R & B, Leeds creates music that resonates with adults and kids of all ages.


Asterisk (*) denotes a partner venue. Partner ticket and seating policies will vary. Partner venue tickets available through link to partner website on wjmf.org.


High resolution festival images can be found at: www.washingtondcjcc.org/wjmfphotos


Please note: information below pertain to events at the Washington DCJCC only. Ticket policies, seating, dining, merchandise, directions and parking at partner venues will vary.


Tickets are available for purchase beginning May 15 at wjmf.org.  Please call (202) 777-3251 or email info@wjmf.org to receive further information. 

All events are general admission. Reserved seating is available for patrons with special needs. All ticket sales are final. Discounted tickets are available for members, seniors and patrons under 25. All events are located at the Washington DC JCC unless otherwise noted.

Purchase of a Festival Pass will save patrons 20%. Passes are $86 or $72 discounted rate if you are a Washington DCJCC Member, Senior or Under 25 years of age. Passes will get patrons into any Festival event at the Washington DCJCC. 

Same-day tickets may be available for purchase 30 minutes before the event. A full schedule of events and programming information is also available on the website. The Washington DCJCC is located at 1529 16th Street NW in Washington, DC (by Dupont Circle Metro). Featured CD’s will be sold at each event.

Ticket policies at partner venues may vary. Information about tickets to partner venues is available at www.wjmf.org.

Arts & Culture