The fatiha in Hebrew; thoughts on poetry, scripture, translation
Bassam Aramin in Zeek

Jewish music and art in Western Mass

This coming Sunday will bring the First Annual Western Massachusetts Jewish Music and Arts festival, a.k.a. WEMAfest, to an outdoor pavilion at the Springfield JCC. There will be a music stage -- featuring Golem, Neshama Carlebach and Jewmongous, among other artists -- and a "family pavilion" with storytelling and balloon artists to keep kids entertained.

And I'll be there, for at least a few hours during the afternoon, because Zeek is one of the event's co-sponsors. Zeek has events in a variety of places around the country over the course of the average year; usually I just shrug and bow out of attending, because I don't live in a major metropolitan area. This time, though, the event is in my neck of the woods -- more or less; a little under two hours from here, but that's practically local, as these things go!

I confess I'm not exactly sure where the "arts" part of the title fits in to the plan. Obviously there's music all day, but whether there will be visual art on display remains to be seen. Still, it should be a neat event, and I'm psyched that the organizers have invested the time and energy into making it happen more-or-less at my end of the state.

It looks like Golem is playing from 2:45-4, so if I can swing it, I'll plan to be there then. (Give them a listen here [mp3] if you're curious.) Some reviewers compare them to Gogol Bordello; to my ear, Golem isn't nearly as hard-edged as Gogol Bordello -- it's hard to match Eugene Hütz's furious mania -- but I can see why the comparison gets made.

Anyway, if this sounds like your idea of a good time, come! And be sure to make your way to the Zeek table and say hello.

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