So what is real Jewish music? Where, how and by whom is it played today? There's no simple answer. What is certain is that Wednesday marks the end of the three-week mourning period for the destroyed temples, and Jews everywhere can enjoy listening to music again. Now for the first time, a joint collaboration between Jerusalem's Beit Avi Chai and Tel Aviv's Levontin 7 puts together a wide spectrum of musical genres which lay a claim to Jewish roots.
Known for their efforts at bridging the secular relgious gap, the venues are set to host artists from Russia, Germany, England, and Israel with a diverse repertoire in Yiddish, Russian, German, Romanian, English, French, and of course Hebrew. These young Jewish musicians belong to the generation that came to prominence after the klezmer revival of the 1970s. Their lyrics speak of the joy and the hardship of being a Jew. Audiences will experience Jewish culture in all its glory through various musical styles including klezmer, pre-World War II Eastern European music, Jewish punk, electronic music, and more.
Artists include the traditional-Russian music revivalist Psoy (Korolenko). Psoy's best-known song, "Buratino," pokes fun at modern rap and trance. Recorded several times by different artists, a multitude of remixes have been produced out of it. Daniel Kahn of Germany combines klezmer music, radical Yiddish songs, political cabaret and Jewish punk. The English DJ Lemez Lovas of the popular klezmer band Oi Va Voi will get everyone dancing as he introduces audiences to Jewish punk songs from around the world. Two Israeli bands - Trio Carpion and Oy Division - play pre-World War II Ashkenazi roots music.
The international Jewish music marathon will take place on Wednesday, at 8:30 p.m., at Beit Avi Chai (44 King George St., Jerusalem) and Thursday, at 8:30 p.m., at Levontin 7 (7 Levontin St., Tel Aviv). Admission: Jerusalem: NIS 40, students NIS 20, Tel Aviv: NIS 60, students NIS 50.