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Thursday, June 12, 2014 | return to: arts


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Israeli superstar to join the fun at Los Gatos music fest

by dan pine

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Any day now, Rabbi James Greene will watch the trucks roll onto the back lawn of the Addison-Penzak JCC and a crew assemble the stage for the third Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival.

By the time everything is set up for the 2 p.m. June 22 event, Greene says, “It’s like a little piece of Woodstock.”

David Broza  photo/ilan besor
David Broza photo/ilan besor
It may not be a half-million strong like the history-making concert, but the Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival has become a popular annual event in Los Gatos, drawing families and music fans from across the South Bay. More than 2,000 people attended last year.

Greene, the JCC’s program director, is especially excited about this year’s lineup. Israeli guitarist-vocalist David Broza, who headlines, will share the bill with children’s band the Macaroons, folk singer Brian Joseph and the Jewish punk band the Groggers.

Broza is a veritable superstar who blends flamenco with Middle Eastern styles. Less familiar is Joseph, whom Greene personally lobbied to play the festival. Though he writes scores for film and television, Joseph also has a solo career as a Jewish balladeer, with four albums to his credit.

“He’s one of my favorite folk singers,” says Greene. “I remember singing some of his songs to my daughter when she was a baby, and to this day she knows his voice and sound. He speaks from a place of deep connection to family and values deeply rooted in Judaism.”

As for the Groggers, the New York–based pop-punk trio is made up of former students from Yeshiva University. They made waves in the Jewish world with their neo-feminist song “Get,” which dealt with the topic of Orthodox divorce.

“Their music is funny and honest,” Greene says. “I think they will be one of the favorites.”

Besides music, festivalgoers can enjoy vegetarian food (some of it kosher) and snacks from House of Bagels, JJ Magoo’s Pizza, Sugar and Spice Mini Donuts and Sugar Tree Sweets and Treats. A mac ’n’ cheese bar will be offered by Milk and Honey. Vendors will sell jewelry, bath products, fresh produce and glassworks.

Local institutions such as the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, synagogues and Jewish day schools will set up booths. Options for kids include spin art, face painting, a rock-climbing wall and a bouncy house. And tired adults can enjoy a chair massage.

Greene appreciates that the entire event takes place in one big, enclosed outdoor space.

“This is really about people getting together and enjoying the day,” Greene says. “Israelis, Orthodox, secular Jews, liberals, everyone comes to this event and creates a joyous, festive atmosphere.”

The Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. June 22 at the Addison-Penzak JCC, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. Tickets are $5-$8; children 17 and younger are free. Fees are charged for some activities. For more information, call (408) 357-7411 or visit http://www.SiliconValleyJCC.org.


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