Jewish Music Festival Goes International

Jewish Music Festival Goes International

Israelis Yael Deckelbaum and Diwan Saz headline AJMF6

By David Cohen | AJT

The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival is bringing international music to town for the sixth annual event.

AJMF6 Begins March 12

The signature Spring Festival will feature Israeli artists Yael Deckelbaum and Diwan Saz and Montreal-based group Jump Babylon.

With an eye on attracting young, intown Jews, the AJMF will put on 10 events in 12 days in March. The festival will include Macon-based band Red Heifers and Atlanta-area artists (Hannah) Zale, Sammy Rosenbaum, Tony Levitas and more.

“We are really excited about this year’s Spring Festival,” said Russell Gottschalk, the music festival’s founder and director. “We’ve had international performers in the past but never at our opening night, and we’ve never focused entirely on international artists, specifically performers from Israel, at our main event. By premiering and presenting the best Jewish music from around the world, we can provide a great service to our community, connecting Atlantans to Israel and the incredible music that comes out of it.”

Main event headliner Yael Deckelbaum has performed since age 16 as a solo artist and is releasing an album this spring. She is also a member of the Israeli folk trio Habanot Nechama.

Interfaith, interethnic super group Diwan Saz consists of seven Jews, Muslims and Christians who perform ancient music from Central Asia, Turkey and Israel, promoting peace and understanding through their music.

AJMF6 kicks off Thursday, March 12, at Steve’s Live Music with Jump Babylon and its klezmer-inspired ska/roots/rock. The Sandy Springs venue will also host Zale’s “Fortress” album release party March 14.

The festival will produce a stage at the 31st annual Atlanta Community Food Bank Hunger Walk/Run on March 15.

“It’s a great time for AJMF, and our participation in the ACFB annual Hunger Walk/Run is a testament to our growth and visibility in the greater Atlanta community,” Gottschalk said. “I’ve participated as an individual in the past, and I’m thrilled that AJMF is going to have a stage along the 5K route. It’s really a great chance for us to market the second half of the festival and give back to our community as well.”

The main event March 21 at the Variety Playhouse will be the first edition of the AJMF to feature two Israeli headliners. Lisa Loeb and indie rock band Yo La Tengo were the past two headliners.

New additions to the Spring Festival include a cantorial showcase at Temple Emanu-El on March 22 and a Holocaust remembrance concert March 23 to conclude AJMF6.

Visit for more information on the festival.

Contact David Cohen at

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