The ninth Atlanta Jewish Music Festival includes 32 events (25 public performances and seven private engagements) over three weekends at venues across the city of Atlanta.
To wrap your head around another sure to be special edition of the AJMF, we have compiled a guide to the featured artists of AJMF9. Tickets for AJMF9 can be purchased at: atlantajmf.org/ajmf9-line-up/
Tsvey Brider and Beyond the Pale
Performing: March 8 at City Winery Atlanta
Sounds like: Jerry Garcia’s klezmer fever dream
Why you should go: Seeing Toronto-based euro folk fusion group Beyond the Pale live is one of the best ways to experience the wide-open genre that is new acoustic music. Catch the show to explore jazz, bluegrass and European folk through a lens of upbeat klezmer music. If you’re searching for something more classic, Tsvey Brider delivers contemporary and original takes on traditional Yiddish music.
Performing: March 8 at Aisle 5
Sounds like: Indie pop from Tel Aviv
Why you should go: With more than 55,000 followers combined on Facebook and Instagram and millions of views on YouTube, Tel Aviv-based indie pop band Lola Marsh might be the most popular band at AJMF9. Catch the show if you like infectiously catchy pop sing-along beats and deep, warm, nostalgic vocals.
Performing: March 10 and 11 at City Winery Atlanta
Sounds like: The ’90s
Why you should go: I could suggest going to hear Marc Cohn’s powerful vocals, which blend perfectly with his soulful, piano-driven soft rock, but most people will want to see him just because they’re fans of his 1991 smash hit, “Walking in Memphis.” Though the 58-year-old singer-songwriter never matched the success of his Grammy-winning debut album, he has recorded and performed for more than 30 years and collected countless stories and songs along the way.
Performing: March 11 at the Breman Museum
Sounds like: Heady, Yemenite-inspired world music
Why you should go: Israeli Ravid Kahalani brings together traditional Yemenite chants and prayers, African world music, and a dash of classic American blues for his Yemen Blues project. Performed mostly in Yemenite Arabic, the result is a journey through Kahalani’s diverse influences from his Jewish Yemenite upbringing in Israel to his discovery of North and West African music and its connection to the roots of blues music in America.
Bint El Funk
Performing: March 18 at Orpheus Brewery
Sounds like: Earth, Wind and Falafel
Why you should go: Bint El Funk isn’t a funk band. Instead, it takes elements of funk, ska and jam band music and applies them to Middle Eastern world music. The result is a contemporary, playful and sexy sound that will get you on your feet and dancing to the beat. Tickets to the Sunday afternoon performance to include 4 pints of ice-cold, microbrewed brilliance from Orpheus.
Performing: March 15 at City Winery Atlanta
Sounds like: James Taylor meets John Mayer
Why you should go: Singer-songwriter Joshua Radin was one of the many acts following in the footsteps of John Mayer after he gained massive popularity for his sensitive acoustic music in the early 2000s. Radin’s songs were featured on a number of television shows, and his 2008 album, “Simple Times,” hit No. 1 on the iTunes overall chart back when that meant something. Show up to see the 43-year-old songster spin some heartfelt tunes in an intimate setting.
Performing: March 24 at City Winery Atlanta
Sounds like: Ben Folds Five
Why you should go: Fort Lauderdale-based pianist Jacob Jeffries is the featured artist when ATL Collective re-creates Billy Joel’s album “The Stranger” for two shows. Besides the immense talent of Jeffries, the only reason you should need to attend this show is to get an evening of dynamic Billy Joel covers produced by the always impressive ATL Collective.
As always, the AJMF is helping local artists share the spotlight.
- Sammy Rosenbaum — Former local, now-Florida-based purveyor of catchy and soulful Judaic music.
- Zale — Edgy and energetic singer-songwriter/rocker.
- Joe Alterman — Instrumentally and immensely talented jazz pianist, back from a period based in New York.
- Matt Citron — Fast-flowing and lyrical hip-hop artist.
- Sammy K — Toco Hills-bred trap artist with serious bars.
- Prodezra — Savannah-born, Atlanta-based hip-hop artist.
- Sunmoon Pie — Spiritual and sensitive duo with songs based in Kabbalistic and Jewish themes.
- Beth Schafer — Soulful song leader extraordinaire serving as Temple Sinai’s cantorial chair.
- Flavia & Gershone — Ancient, healing Hebrew chant duo from Athens.