JCC hosts 13th annual Jewish Music & Cultural Festival Sunday

The Afro-Semitic Experience will headline this year’s Jewish Music & Cultural Festival on Sunday, Sept. 9.

The Afro-Semitic Experience will headline this year’s Jewish Music & Cultural Festival on Sunday, Sept. 9.

— It’s the Bar Mitzvah year for The Jewish Music & Cultural Festival, and the Jewish Community Center of Syracuse is planning a big celebration for noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9.

The 13th annual festival will feature a variety of Jewish music with internationally known The Afro-Semitic Experience and specials guests, the Syracuse Chapter of the Gospel Workshop of Syracuse. Upstate New York bands Zetz!, Farah and West of Odessa, as well as local favorites Keyna Hora Klezmer Band, Jonathan Dinkin and Klezmercuse and Cantor Francine Berg will all perform. Attendees can plan to participate in Central New York's largest Hora Circle dance.

There will be a great selection of Kosher Jewish foods, including brisket, corned beef, knishes, hot dogs and, for the first time, kosher beer.

The popular Rabbis' Corner will be back this year presenting topics about the upcoming Jewish New Year. As always, there will be various activities for kids of all ages. This year features a GaGa Pit and a Klezmer Kabaret Puppet Theater. There will be an eclectic array of artisans along with other vendors, and attendees can visit the community tents featuring Jewish organizations and synagogues.

The Jewish Music & Cultural Festival is free to attend, and all are welcome. The JCC is located at 5565 Thompson Road in DeWitt. For more information, visit syracusejewishfestival.com

The Afro-Semitic Experience

With their highly accessible ethnic world music mix and their ability to get an audience on its feet, The Afro-Semitic Experience is emerging on the festival scene and redefining the jazz concert. This is a band beyond category — a mix of spiritual, world-beat, funk, jazz, cantorial, gospel, salsa and swing. Their concerts are celebrations where they play great music, tell stories, and offer a positive and meaningful message: Unity in the Community.

Co-founded by African-American jazz pianist Warren Byrd and Jewish-American jazz bassist David Chevan for an interfaith Martin Luther King memorial service in 1998, The Afro-Semitic Experience has gone on to share their music at concerts, workshops and worship services across the United States, Canada and Europe. Their music is an intricate tapestry of the distinct cultures and heritages of the members of the group. They weave stories and music together as they celebrate and explain the Jewish and African-American sacred traditions.

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