The festival’s flagship project this year was created with the singer, composer, songwriter and the undisputed star of Israeli music for many years now – Shlomo Artzi. Over five decades of original, intimate and moving original art, Artzi has become a synonym of Israeli music. From his service in the Israeli Navy, to every award and title, Artzi was one of those responsible for shaping the sound and language of our music and has earned a place of honor in its Hall of Fame. For this festival we have gathered the significant points of his life and created from it a unique audiovisual exhibition that tells in voice and images his story, our story. Let’s take a walk through the journey of his life and get to know in-depth, this huge icon of Israeli sound.
The Jewish soul’s voice echoes in HaTkuma Garden and invites you, every evening, to connect with our roots. Four minstrel singers will perform the holy singing, which is in the very soul of each and every one of us, and will turn the audience into one united crowd. Haim Israel, which in 20 years of his career cooperated with Eyal Golan, Yoav Yitzhak, Adi Leon, and Zion Golan, will perform on the first evening. The second evening invites to the stage Aharon Razel, who merges Jewish singing with Jazz, Blues and Rock, and creates curious and fascinating Jewish music. On the following day, the Hasidic music star Mendi Jerufi will go on stage. Mendi, who from an early age accepted the mission set for him by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the mission to bring joy and join people together. On the last evening, the stage in HaTkuma Garden will invite the singer of Oif Simches and the musical manager of Kinderlach, Yishai Lapidot, the winner of the ACUM Award and one of the greatest stars of Jewish music in Israel.
In one of the most breath-taking places in the Old City, in a place from which the stones of the Herod Temple were quarried and ancient history echoes between its walls, two live performances that will evoke new sounds from the bowls of the earth, will take place. Aviv Geffen, a classical icon of local rock music, will play his greatest hits on a unique stage set in the cave. And the day after will feature Keren Peles, one of the most loved singers in Israel and a shaper of the popular music of recent years, with an intimate and exciting performance. These two shows are a one-off and unique opportunity to enjoy their music in a special location and an atmosphere, unlike any other.
As other countries, residing to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, there has always been a strong connection between the Greek music and the Israeli audience. Many Greek tunes found Hebrew lyrics, many Greek singers found a home here, and the Israeli music lovers are crowding the Greek style clubs. During the days of the festival, a Greek breeze will blow in the HaDkalim Square and it shall carry with it the magical sounds of the bouzouki and tavernas down the alleys of the Old City. Avi Motro and Idan Sela, two local singers with deep affinity to the Greek music, will perform each evening the classics of Athens and the aroma of Ouzo in live shows that connect Greece with Jerusalem, and invite you to dance your troubles away.
The magic of music should be celebrated with family and friends, neighbors and acquaintances, and mostly – with as many musicians as possible, with as many instruments and voices as possible. This year, at Mish'ol HaPninim Garden, various bands and ensembles invite you to enjoy one-off breath-taking performances – Hadag Nahash will get you in to the groove machine, the Israel Camerata Jerusalem will feature Shlomi Shaban, Jerusalem Orchestra East West will feature Nasreen Qadri, Ofer Levi will sing to the tunes of Firqat Alnoor, and more. This is the place to dance to the sounds of east and west, this is the opportunity to celebrate the meeting of classical and modern spirits, this is your one-time chance to enjoy the vibrating combinations taking place only here.
We are located at the junction of lands and cultures. We are a meeting place of different nations and cultures. We are the merging of thousands of years of history and folklore. We are a huge fan of colors and sounds. This year, at the New Gate, you will find ensembles and bands playing a new kind of Middle East and creating musical combinations that awake the imagination – classical Persian music with Hassidic tunes, Arabian scales with Indian sounds, Bedouin singing with Sufi dancing, the Yemen Diwan and the Galilee fold. This is the place to open your heart and let the imagination wake up, to let the body dance to the tunes of the new Middle East.
Near the Tower of David, at the entrance to the Old City, the opportunity to enter and wander within the story of Israeli music awaits you. This unique performance offers you an exciting audio-visual show, where you can meet and experience the events that shaped the Israeli soundtrack - from the establishment of the state and until today. The unforgettable songs, the great artists, the singers who became part of our culture - all of these are here to retell and sing our song.
Every evening, the biggest stars of Israel will gather live on stage in the Bonei Yerushalayim Garden for the most talked-about performances in the country with the music we all love. This is the place to hear and see the variety of styles and sounds that make up the soundtrack of our life here. Dance in the Liron Amram’s Hafla, twirl with Liran Danino, get excited with Avraham Tal, travel to Yemen with Gulaza, take a trip around Africa with Yossi Fine and Ben Aylon, taste the flavors of Morocco with Shimon Buskila and Narkis, dance the Middle East away with Ethnix and Zehava Ben, and also with Dudu Aharon and Lina Makhoul, get excited with Marina Maximilian and Nurit Galron, or choose to hear the excellent rock music of Monica Sex.