In the course of one week in Greater LA, Matisyahu will play three shows, Yemen Blues at least two shows, and Idan Raichel three shows.
Turns out that three of the biggest Jewish artists, a Hebrew Trifecta, will be performing on the same night, Thursday, Nov. 4th — Matisyahu in Ventura, Idan in the Valley, and Yemen at the Skirball. And each show will be packed to capacity.
Lastly, let’s not forget the Afro-pop sound of Fools Gold, led by two Israeli Americans who sing in Hebrew, headliners at Jewlicious Festival in February, who played Wednesday night at the Greek.
Matisyahu’s show Wednesday night in LA featured cameos by Ravid Kahalani, the leader of Yemen Blues, and Yehuda Solomon, lead singer and co-founder of the Israeli band Moshav, who are now based in LA.
All in LA, chabibi. And all the same week.
The sensationalist rumors of the death of Jewish music are just fiction, and the music plays on. The crowds live on. The creative essence of Jewish peoplehood lives on.
The 1,000 people at the show Wednesday night at Club Nokia cheered as Matisyahu retrieved his yarmulka after stage diving into the crowds. They roared when Ravid’s lofty Yemenese notes pierced the night, when Yehudah’s Arabic and Hebrew chanting mesmerized, and when Matis belted out “Jerusalem if I forget you.”
The crowd Wednesday night was part Birthright reunion, part downtown LA, part hipster and part gangster, unity and diversity. Hundreds of Jews of all ages packed into the club to see the most famous orthodox Jew in the world today. Dancing, singing, and swinging his peyos at one point, Matisyahu was the convener.
It’s good to see that the music has not died, that Jewish organizations and popular venues are able to book shows which speak to our youth just fine.
Yonah Bookstein, a leading voice of the next generation of American Jewry, is an internationally recognized expert in Jewish innovation, founder of the Jewlicious Festival, and executive rabbi at JConnectLA. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiYonah
Yemen Blues at the Skirball
Thursday, August 4, 8:00 p.m. (Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)
Admission:FREE; no reservations
Yemen Blues Downtown
Saturday Night,Aug 6
Grand Performances (Downtown LA) 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 90071
Matisyahu in Ventura, Anaheim, San Diego
Tickets at Matisyahuworld.com
Thursday - Valley
Friday, Aug 5
MIDSUMMER NIGHT SHABBAT