SEPHARDIC SOUNDS OF NOTE WASHINGTON, D.C.
Moroccan-born Aaron Bensoussan and Gerard Edery raise their voices with the Greek Alberto Mizrahi as the Sons of Sepharad — to the notes of oudist George Mgrdichian and percussionist Rex Benincasa — for a lineup of Sephardic songs in Ladino, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic that kicks off the fourth annual Washington Jewish Music Festival.
The five-day festival focuses on Sephardic sounds and features the D.C.-area debut on April 12 of Sarah Aroeste, whose sounds range from funk to electronica, finding precedents in cultures East and West. The festival closes April 13 with the phenomenal Septeto Roberto Rodriquez, for which the Cuban percussionist and klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer are joined by a five-piece orchestra. In between, there are workshops on Yiddish songs and liturgical music, as well as children’s activities and a screening of Erez Laufer’s “Zehava Ben: The Solitary Star,” a documentary about the late Israeli chanteuse. “Shared Roots in Spiritual Song” pairs African-American spirituals with liturgical cantorial songs and includes performances by Cantors Ramón Tasat and Natasha Hirschorn and the Heritage Signature Chorale. César Lerner and Marcelo Moguilevsky’s klezmer duo weaves together Argentine folk music, pop and jazz.
DCJCC, 1529 16th St., N.W.; April 8-April 13; please call or visit Web site for complete listings; festival pass $50, $45 members, events free-$28. (202-777-3254 or www.dcjcc.org)