If the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival left you craving more Jewish music and more music from Jewish artists, you’re in luck.
AJMF9, which attracted its largest audience ever, concluded in March, but festival programming continues year-round. Atlanta’s other purveyors of live music have gotten into the mix.
City Winery Atlanta regularly hosts visiting Israeli and Jewish artists, thanks to the company’s New York-based vice president of programming, Shlomo Lipetz, an Israeli who has worked at City Winery since its launch in 2008.
Variety Playhouse was sold in 2015 by longtime owner and Jewish community member Steve Harris to Agon Sports & Entertainment, whose president, Jeff Eiseman, is Jewish. After an extensive renovation in 2016, Variety remains one of Atlanta’s top music destinations. It has hosted Jewish and Israeli artists recently, as well as multiple AJMF performances over the years.
Atlanta has no shortage of good-quality Jewish music. Check out the concert calendar to see what’s headed our way in April.
Hadag Nahash at City Winery
One of Israel’s most popular and successful bands, Hadag Nahash, will perform at City Winery Atlanta on April 24. The Israeli hip-hop and funk outfit last played in Atlanta at Center Stage in 2008. The group has released three albums since.
Led by a trio of frontmen, Sha’anan Streett, Guy Mar and Shlomi Alon, Hadag Nahash blends Western pop music with Eastern elements to create a tapestry of sound with influences from jazz, hip-hop and reggae to electronic music. It’s high energy, it’s catchy, and you don’t want to wait another 10 years to see them in Atlanta.
The first time I saw them live, I was blown away by their sound. The grooves are accessible and familiar, even if you’ve never seen them before. They also bounce around musical genres so often that the music stays fresh.
If you’re thinking about going, here are a few listening suggestions to get you ready:
- “Hine Ani Ba (Here I Come)” — A catchy tune about a group of young Israelis driving to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem for a night of fun. This song was featured in the 2008 Adam Sandler film “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.”
- “The Sticker Song” — The group’s other big hit, a 2004 song in which all the lines are direct quotes or plays on slogans from bumper stickers in Israel. This one has more of a Middle Eastern feel to it but with a big, American-style hip-hop beat.
- “Lazuz” — The title track from the group’s 2003 album. “Lazuz” means to move, and that’s what you’ll want to do when you hear this funk-laden hit, which basically sounds like a cross between Parliament Funkadelic and Atlanta’s own Outkast.
Thursday, April 12
Yo La Tengo. The American indie rock band and AJMF5 headliners take the stage at 9 p.m. at Terminal West, 887 W. Marietta St., West Midtown. Tickets are $28; terminalwestatl.com/event/yo-la-tengo.
AEPi Battle of the Bands. Georgia State AEPi hosts a battle at 7 p.m. at Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave., Midtown, to raise money for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, Innovation Africa, Heroes to Heroes Foundation and other charities. Tickets are $10; smithsoldebar.com.
Friday, April 13
Acoustic Shabbat. The performers at this month’s coffeehouse evening of soulful music include Rabbi Brian Glusman, Drew Cohen and Weber School students at 7 p.m. at San Francisco Coffee House, 1192 N. Highland Ave., Virginia-Highland. Free (food and wine available for purchase); atlantajmf.org/event/acoustic-shabbat-at-san-fran-coffee-4.
Tuesday, April 24
Hadag Nahash. The Israeli hip-hop and funk outfit performs at 8 p.m. at City Winery Atlanta, 650 North Ave., Old Fourth Ward. Tickets start at $45; citywinery.com/atlanta/hadag-nahash-4-24-18.
Sunday, April 29
Israel@70. An all-day celebration for Israel’s 70th birthday at Park Tavern, 500 10th St., Midtown, features live music from Taking the Time, the winners of the Israeli version of “American Idol,” as well as the Billy Jonas Band, Joanie Leeds and Paz. The first concert is at 11:15 a.m. Tickets start at $10; jewishatlanta.org/israel70.
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