Matisyahu, Kinky Friedman to Headline 15th Annual Washington Jewish Music Festival

Matisyahu, Kinky Friedman to Headline 15th Annual Washington Jewish Music Festival

The Washington DC Jewish Community Center (DCJCC) is once again bringing an eclectic blend of acclaimed musical styles to venues across the metro area. From June 1 - June 14, Jewish-inspired music from around the globe will come alive in the nation's capital through a series of cross-cultural musical performances during the Washington Jewish Music Festival (WJMF). American reggae and alternative rock superstar Matisyahu will kick off the Festival on Sunday, June 1 with an intimate acoustic concert blending Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip-hop beatboxing sounds. Boasting arguably its most diverse line-up of talent yet, the 2014 WJMF will be a truly special celebration of music for the entire Washington area community.

"This year's line-up highlights the incredible geographic diversity of Jewish music, and features musicians who are reinventing and reinvigorating Jewish culture," said Lili Kalish Gersch, Washington Jewish Music Festival Director. "Whether you're into traditional Klezmer, the rock and reggae of Matisyahu or are deep into world music, you'll find something to love at the Festival. In addition to all the fantastic artists set to perform, we're excited about the return of popular Festival traditions including WJMF in the Park and the Big Broadway Sing-Along."

The 2nd Annual WJMF in the Park is happening Sunday, June 8, from 11 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Francis Field (on 25th Street between M and N Streets NW), and features the music of Parents Choice Award winners The Mama Doni Band, ska/roots/rock mash-up Josh & the Jamtones, and the raucous dance tunes of the Michael Winograd Klezmer Ensemble. The whole family is invited for a free day of moon-bounce jumping, face painting, games and more.

Additionally, the JCC of Greater Washington in Rockville, Md., will host renowned Israeli jazz guitarist Yotam Silberstein for a unique performance of jazz, Brazilian, world music, blues and bebop on Tuesday, June 10. On the evening of Wednesday, June 11, country singer, humorist and political candidate Kinky Friedman will bring his Seeds of Change tour to the DCJCC, featuring songs from his hit albums "Live from Woodstock," "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore" and more.

A highlight of the Festival will be the celebrated music of Yemenite Israeli vocalist Ravid Kahalani (of The Idan Raichel Project), when his new project, Yemen Blues, performs its uplifting world music at the DCJCC on Thursday, June 12. The electric mix of West African and Yemenite influences features contemporary grooves, from funk to mambo to the deep soul of old chants. The 2014 WJMF closes on Saturday, June 14, at the DCJCC with 24-year old Israeli violinist Asi Matathias, who began playing with the Israel Philharmonic when he was 14 and is recognized as one of the most celebrated talents of his generation. He will be accompanied by pianist Eliran Avni.

Other highlights of the Festival include: a Klezmer Brunch on Sunday, June 1, at the DCJCC, a returning favorite which pairs lively music with a delicious kosher buffet; a reimagining of ancient Sephardic folk songs and culture with Dan Saks at Sixth & I on Saturday, June 7; and back by popular demand, the Big Broadway Sing-Along, the opportunity to channel your inner Barbra or Broderick, on Tuesday, June 10 at the DCJCC.

The Washington Jewish Music Festival is the flagship of the DCJCC's year-round music program. Established in 1999 with a lead gift from the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, the WJMF promotes a broader appreciation of Jewish culture and connects the Greater Washington, D.C. community through music. WJMF presents extraordinary performing artists who preserve and invigorate Jewish music in contemporary culture. Through collaborations, educational programming and free events, the Festival actively engages people throughout the greater DC community in cross-cultural dialogue. Join the conversation using #WJMF2014 on social media.

Tickets are on sale now and will continue through the Festival. Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets online. In addition to single tickets, WJMF is offering full Festival Passes for $100. More information is available at wjmf.org, by calling (202) 777-3251, or by e-mailing info@wjmf.org.