Washington Jewish Music Festival announces its 18th edition
Featuring top international and local talent

WASHINGTON—September 26, 2016—The Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington, DC (EDCJCC) has announced the lineup for the 18th annual Washington Jewish Music Festival (WJMF). The Festival, which runs October 26 through November 5, will showcase international and local artists performing diverse genres and exploring the intersections with Jewish music.

This year’s Festival will focus on local and global contemporary Jewish sounds. Headlining the Festival is Israel’s leading singer-songwriter Noa (Achinoam Nini), who has shared the stage with superstars such as Sting, Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli and performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House and the Vatican. Noa reunites with Mira Awad, her partner in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. The morning after the concert, the Jewish-Arab Israeli duo will lead a brunch conversation on the role of the arts in creating a shared society in Israel, presented as part of an ongoing educational program about Arab citizens of Israel.

“We’re going more international than ever—bringing the best of the world to the nation’s capital—and simultaneously deepening our connection with the truly incredible and diverse local artist community,” said Festival director Ilya Tovbis. “Our artists pull from the sounds of Cuba, Israel, Pakistan and Ethiopia, and closer ports of call like Brooklyn and Appalachia, showing that Jewish melody is alive and well in our own backyard.”

The Festival’s opening night will feature the U.S. debut of the Israeli Afro-Soul stars of AvevA Music at The Howard Theatre. Lead singer Aveva Dese swings effortlessly between Amharic and English, and her band fuses Tel Aviv’s urban beat with traditional Ethiopian sounds, R&B, funk, and pop.

Inaugurating WJMF’s Artist-in-Residence program is local multi-instrumentalist Yoshie Fruchter, who will perform with his critically-acclaimed band Pitom, Jewish-Pakistani sensation Sandaraa, and Middle Eastern-Americana fusion band Sandcatchers, as well as leading a masterclass for musicians at American University.

Kicking off a year-long partnership with Levine Music, the Festival will present two programs celebrating protest music: Solace for the Soul: Music for Survival, centered on 20th century composers who transcended adversity through music; and Strange Fruit, a program of music from–and inspired by–the American Civil Rights movement.

Closing the Festival on November 5 is Odessa/Havana, an unprecedented project of musical discovery: the Jewish-Cuban connection. The group is led by Jewish trumpeter, composer, and cultural inventor David Buchbinder and Grammy-nominated Cuban pianist Hilario Duran featuring a crew of top jazz and world musicians.

Single tickets and passes to the 18th Washington Jewish Music Festival are now available for purchase at www.WJMF.org.


About the Edlavitch DCJCC

The Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington, DC (EDCJCC) strives to be the leading provider of Jewish cultural, intellectual, and community engagement programs in the DC metropolitan area—a center for not only the DC-area Jewish community, but a home for people from a wide array of backgrounds, nationalities, and religions. The music program at the EDCJCC hosts the Washington Jewish Music Festival (WJMF), which also presents an ongoing, year-round music series, in its home venue at the EDCJCC.

Media Contact:
Alex Rodriguez