The 2019 lineup includes Israel’s 3 Tenors, Soulfarm celebrating Bob Dylan, Jews and Blues, Perla Batalla’s Songs of Leonard Cohen, and the 10th Annual Women of Valor.
This month, the San Diego Repertory Theatre will host the 26th Annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival (JFEST), which brings another fantastic year of Jewish music, theatre and art to the community. From May 26 to July 11, 13 performances across multiple San Diego and North County venues will celebrateSan Diego’s diverse performing arts community.
“The Festival is 26 and still growing! The music of this year’s festival will delight across cultures,” Festival Artistic Director Todd Salovey said. “I think audiences will love our many original programs of theatre, dance and music exploring the Jewish experience in art.”
Opening night will feature a world premiere performance of the San Diego Ballet’s Song of Songs. Bringing to life King Solomon’s timeless mystical love song, 22 dancers ignite the stage with rousing jazz and klezmer music to celebrate a poem beloved by people from all walks of life and beliefs.
Other highlights of this year’s festival include Kol Esperanza: The Israeli 3 Tenors, an exciting young operatic pop-trio who perform a mix of Broadway hits, classical arias and inspirational Hebrew favorites. Soulfarm, led by Grammy Award-winner C Lanzbom and guitarist/lead singer Noah Solomon, salute the legendary Bob Dylan with covers of his most transcendent music with a Jewish twist of faith in Knockin’ On Dylan’s Door. Perla Batalla returns to The REP following last spring’s sold-out standing ovation triumph with a new selection of Leonard Cohen’s greatest songs in Perla Batalla Sings the Songs of Leonard Cohen. Plus, festival favorites Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi present an all-star concert celebration of the intersection of Jews and Blues with The Klezmer Summit: Blueish: Jews and the Blues, which includes special guests Tomcat Courtney (guitar), Sue Palmer (piano) and Robin Henkel (dobro guitar).
This year also marks the 10th Annual Women of Valor with music, stories and images of six women who have made a significant impact in San Diego.
“Each of the 64 strong, committed, fearless and compassionate women we have featured over the years have inspired me to pursue a life of service and meaning,” said Festival Associate Producer Ali Viterbi. “Like the Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts festival itself, Women of Valor celebrates the diverse and vibrant Jewish community here in San Diego, and we’ve been honored to tell ten years of these inspiring women’s stories.”
The festival will also feature two staged readings: In Every Generation directed and written by Ali Viterbi, a mystical journey through continents, languages and generations of an Italian Jewish family and a nation’s stories; and Asimov’s Last Chapter, a science fiction docu-comedy by San Diego REP Playwright-in-Residence and Culture Clash co-founder, Herbert Siguenza.
Rounding out the festival is Russian klezmer virtuoso Alexander Gourevich joined by Latin, Flamenco and Romany guitarist Sasha Kolpakov performing moving and joyous klezmer gems. To celebrate the upcoming Festival of First Fruits, Soulfarm leads a sunset concert over-looking the Pacific Ocean at Leichtag Commons with world-beat original and popular Jewish songs; and local teens unite to perform In the Room Where It Happens, a San Diego Jewish Teen Performance Showcase.
Finally, to close the festival, Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi return with a concert of music ranging from classical to folk to unique improvisations by accordion maestro Peter Stan, with the world premiere of The Klezmer Accordion.
Tickets for the 26th Annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival can be purchased in-person at the San Diego REP Box Office, by calling (619) 544-1000, or online at sdrep.org.