The Day The Music Didn’t Die

In the course of one week in Greater LA, Matisyahu will play three shows, Yemen Blues at least two shows, and Idan Raichel three shows.

Turns out that three of the biggest Jewish artists, a Hebrew Trifecta, will be performing on the same night, Thursday, Nov. 4th — Matisyahu in Ventura, Idan in the Valley, and Yemen at the Skirball. And each show will be packed to capacity.

Lastly, let’s not forget the Afro-pop sound of Fools Gold, led by two Israeli-Americans who sing in Hebrew, headliners at Jewlicious Festival in February, who played tonight at the Greek.

Matisyahu’s show Wednesday night in LA featured cameos by Ravid Kahalani, the leader of Yemen Blues, and Yehuda Solomon, lead singer and co-founder of the Israeli band Moshav, who are now based in LA.

All in LA, chabibi. And all the same week.

The rumors of the death of Jewish music are just fiction, and the music plays on. The crowds live on. The creative essence of Jewish peoplehood lives on.

The 1,000 people at the show Wednesday night at Club Nokia cheered as Matisyahu retrieved his yarmulka after stage diving into the crowds. They roared when Ravid’s lofty Yemenese notes pierced the night, when Yehudah’s Arabic and Hebrew chanting mesmerized, and when Matis belted out “Jerusalem if I forget you.”

The crowd Wednesday night was part Birthright reunion, part downtown LA, part hipster and part gangster, unity and diversity. Hundreds of Jews of all ages packed into the club to see the most famous orthodox Jew in the world today. Dancing, singing, and swinging his peyos at one point, Matisyahu was the convener.

It’s good to see that the music has not died, that Jewish organizations and popular venues are able to book shows which speak to our youth just fine.


Yemen Blues at the Skirball
Thursday, August 4, 8:00 p.m. (Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)
Admission:FREE; no reservations

Yemen Blues Downtown
Saturday Night,Aug 6
Grand Performances (Downtown LA) 350 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 90071

Matisyahu in Ventura, Anaheim, San Diego
Tickets at

Idan Raichel

Only @JewliciousFest Afro-Pop-80’s-Dance-Floor-Meets-Tel Aviv

L.A.’s Fool’s Gold play around the world with music that bridges genres, crosses continents and even transcends language. The brainchild of Israeli-American singer-songwriter Luke Top and guitarist Lewis Pesacov, Fool’s Gold has blossomed into a collective that has come up with the soundtrack to a multinational backyard party. Its ’80s dance floor-meets-Afro-pop, and we’re not going to pretend to know Congolese beats from Eritrean, or gankoguis from chekeres, but the rhythms, and the riddims beneath the rhythms, simply exude the L word, no matter their DNA. Top’s soulful lyrics mix Hebrew and English, giving the band an otherwordly quality. And the melting-pot music holds it all together — Their signature song “Surprise Hotel’s” twittering guitar line gives you happy feet; “Poseidon” could be a synth-pop hit if any synths were involved; and “The World Is All There Is” is an open-hearted hymn filled with handclaps and chanting. After seeing them this summer at the Hollywood Bowl, we knew they were Jewlicious. (Quoted generously from this review in