Sunday kicked off the 14th annual Washington Jewish Music Festival, presented by the Washington DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts. Israeli icon Noa opened the festival at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center with a performance as versatile as it was contagious, including operatic pop, adapted children’s songs, and tin cans.
Achinoam Nini (Noa)’s Israeli-Yemenite-Bronx sound has become an international sensation. On Sunday night she was backed up by long-time collaborator Gil Dor, The Yoed Nir String Quartet, and Gadi Seri on percussion. The performers used a modest stage of two platforms and some chairs – plus a rug for Noa’s bare feet – to produce a huge sound spanning continents.
Their eclectic collection – including the theme song to Life is Beautiful along with songs from her Yemenite heritage and the Israeli songbook – was a perfect start to what will likely be a wild mix of world music this year. Here are some other events to look out for (see the full schedule here):