Festival Review: Jacob's Ladder Festival

Jacob's Ladder has evolved into a happy-go-lucky three-day jam session.

Music good 88 (photo credit: )
Music good 88
(photo credit: )
Jacob's Ladder Festival Nof Ginnosar May 7-9 Other than the increased distance we all had to cover to - eventually - get to the gently lapping cool water of the Kinneret, the Jacob's Ladder Festival did its perennial bit of soothing out furrowed brows and getting the crowds up and grooving in the aisles with aplomb. Judging by the number of vehicles in the improvised parking lot, the Nof Ginnosar site appeared to be fuller than usual, although the event's Anglo element seems to be on the wane. Hebrew was just as prevalent as English over the three-day event. But Jacob's Ladder still feels like a trip abroad. The predominant vibe is chill-out, and Gershwin's immortal lyrics from "Summertime" seemed apt - the living really felt easy. The onstage musical entertainment ran the usual gamut of Celtic, country, bluegrass, rock, pop, folk, Israeli, klezmer and even some Arabic coloring. Music filled the air wherever you went. Approaching the hotel from the camping area, the amplified sounds from the main stage eddied around the building and met the music being performed on the lawn stage. But, possibly more than anything, Jacob's Ladder has evolved into a happy-go-lucky three-day jam session. As you walk through the hotel, you pass by three or four impromptu Celtic, klezmer, folk, you-name-it musical get-togethers taking place in snug corners around the lobby area. Very few of the jam session players are professional, but all share a love of music, and are happy to share and meld their artistic bent. One of the musicians who played on the main stage on Friday night remarked the next day that he principally came to the festival to meet and play with amateur musicians, just for the love and fun of it. Add that to the always well-attended Irish dance workshop in the sports hall, chai tent, juggling activities, storytelling and Cyrelle Forman Soffer's ever-popular square dancing session, and you end up with the perfect weekend away from it all. Roll on the winter festival.