Sunday, March 29, 2015

Washington Jewish Music Festival Returns May 7-17: Soul, Gypsy Swing, Jazz & More

Zusha visits the DCJCC, May 10th (Photo: Marko Dashev)

From our friends at the Washington Jewish Music Festival...

16th Annual Washington Jewish Music Festival Features Uncommon Pairings and Interactive Performances

From soul to gypsy swing to jazz, world-renowned and emerging artists featured during May 7-17 festival

The Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center (DCJCC) is once again bringing an eclectic blend of both critically acclaimed and newly emerging musical artists to the metro area. From May 7-17, Jewish music will come alive in the nation’s capital through a series of performances by Grammy-nominated and Billboard-topping acts during the 16th Annual Washington Jewish Music Festival (WJMF).

The Festival opens Thursday, May 7, at the DCJCC with soul powerhouse Neshama Carlebach in concert with The Glory to God Singers, a Baptist choir, for a moving performance of Carlebach’s father’s incomparable melodies combined with her own original compositions; emerging folk-soul Hasidic phenom group Zusha will make its D.C.-area debut at the DCJCC on Sunday, May 10; klezmer rock icon Golem brings its electric, dance-party inducing jams to Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on Thursday, May 14; and the 16th WJMF will close on Saturday, May 16, at the DCJCC with the critically acclaimed Israeli jazz group the Anat Cohen Quartet, who have performed at Center, Lincoln Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center. The New York Times describes Anat Cohen as a “clarinetist of reliable ebullience.”

“This year’s line-up features several musicians who are reinventing and reinvigorating Jewish culture through their unique musical styles,” said Lili Kalish Gersch, Washington Jewish Music Festival Director. “Whether you’re a fan of jazz, or you want to experience something new and interactive, you’ll find something to love at this year’s Festival. We are especially excited about the uncommon pairings of musical styles and unique performances from top to bottom in this lineup.”

The full festival line-up can be viewed at

The 3rd Annual WJMF in the Park returns to the newly renovated and reopened Stead Park (1625 P Street, NW) Sunday, May 17, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and features the music of Grammy-nominated duo The Pop Ups, winner of two Parent’s Choice Awards; Latin Grammy-nominated Mister G performing in Spanish and English; and Jewish Chick Rock sensation Naomi Less. The whole family is invited for a free day of moon-bounce jumping, face painting, games and more.

Other highlights of the festival include: the return of Shabbat in Song held at various area locations on Friday, May 8; an interactive performance where the audience chooses the set list performed by the accomplished chamber musicians in the SHUFFLE band on Saturday, May 9; back by popular demand, the Big Broadway Sing-Along, the opportunity to channel your inner Barbra or Broderick, on Monday, May 11; and the eclectic ensemble of Judaic-Arabic retro-folk musicians in The Epichorus with guest performer and Indian actress Priya Darshini on Wednesday, May 13.

Tickets are on sale now. Ticket sales will continue through the festival. Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets online. In addition to single tickets, WJMF is offering full festival passes for $120 to the general public, or $95 for all students, seniors and DCJCC members. More information is available at, by calling (202) 777-3251, or by e-mailing

The Washington Jewish Music Festival is the flagship of the DCJCC’s year-round music program. Established in 1999 with a lead gift from the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, the WJMF promotes a broader appreciation of Jewish culture and connects the Greater Washington, D.C. community through music. WJMF presents extraordinary performing artists who preserve and invigorate Jewish music in contemporary culture. Through collaborations, educational programming and free events, the Festival actively engages people throughout the greater DC community in cross-cultural dialogue. Join the conversation using #WJMF2015 on social media.

The Washington DCJCC works to preserve and strengthen Jewish identity, heritage, tradition and values through a wide variety of social, cultural, recreational and educational programs and services. The DCJCC is committed to welcoming everyone in the community; membership and all activities are open to all. The DCJCC is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and a designated agency of the United Way. Follow on Twitter (@16thstreetj), like on Facebook, and find more information online at