The other night, while waiting for the snow to magically melt away, my wife, daughter and I watched Guardians of The Galaxy. As a music lover and one-time mix tape master, I was touched by Chris Pratt’s character, Peter Quill’s, love of music and the Sony Walkman cassette player that provides so much of the movie’s soundtrack. That music is what brings him back to another time (childhood) and another place (earth). It also provides him with some great tunes to dance to.

Being connected to another time, to other people, and to our tradition, is what this year’s Boston Jewish Music Festival is all about. From Feb 27- March 15, some wild and wonderful music will be the soundtrack for our community. Just click on some of the videos below that show just how diverse (and danceable!) this music can be.

Let’s start at the beginning. On Saturday, February 28, Ravid Kahalani with his band Yemen Blues, featuring the amazing Israeli jazz trumpeter, Itamar Borochov, will be performing an intimate, acoustic Soul Session at Church of Boston in the Fenway. Atlas Soul will be the opening act. There are two shows, 21+, at 8 and 10:30 pm.

Try not to dance when you’re there, I dare you.


Keeping with Israeli music, on March 8, at 7 pm, I also highly recommend attending the American premier of Diwan Saz. This multi-ethnic (Jewish, Christian, Muslim) Israeli ensemble performs acoustic music from across the Middle Eastern. They’re at Temple Shalom in West Newton, Sunday, March 8 at 7 pm. If you come to this show, you’ll get to tell all your music-loving friends you saw them even before they were at SxSW Festival in Austin which is the last stop on their first North American tour.

Another performer who is doing something really interesting mixing of styles is Sarah Aroeste. She will brings her contemporary Ladino program on Sunday, March 8 at 4 pm at Temple Israel in Sharon.

And for our last number in this post, we’ll share a tune by a Boston rock legend. Thalia Zedek has been a part of the Boston underground scene since the early 80’s. She is going to be one of the four performers you can see at the Coolidge Corner Café Crawl on Thursday, March 5 from 8-10 pm. If you like raw, edgy poetic sounds of Patti Smith or Maryanne Faithful, be sure to check out Thalia who just opened for Yo La Tenga at First Night Boston.

I no longer concoct mix cassettes of dance tunes (I bet everyone of them included Sly and the Family Stones’ M’Lady and Ian Drury’s Reason to Be Cheerful, pt 3). In their place, is another eclectic mix of music:  the sixth annual Boston Jewish Music Festival.

For the complete schedule and tickets for all events, visit www.bostonjewishmusic