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0Folk music for the masses

The twice-a-year Jacob’s Ladder Festival at the Sea of Galilee has toes tapping to a wide variety of musical styles. Known as Israel’s friendliest musical event, the Jacob’s Ladder Festival is a folk music jamboree that takes place twice a year on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. It started as a Woodstock-like musical get-together for English-speaking immigrants in 1978 but today there’s a lot more Hebrew being spoken in the crowds. The music runs the gamut from folk and blues to Celtic, bluegrass, klezmer, world music and rock, and participants and musicians come from all over the world. Organizers say their three-day music extravaganza is so well-known in Israel and abroad that they are bogged down with requests from groups to perform. “We’ve been to a lot of festivals and this is probably the best festival spirit that you can get,” says John Abrams of the high-energy bluegrass Canadian sensation, the Abrams Brothers. “Everybody dancing and singing —it’s a real collection of enthusiasm and that’s why we like coming back.”