The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, which begins on Thursday, unites international and local talent for more than two weeks of music programming at venues around Atlanta.
For the organizers behind the festival, now in its eighth year, “Jewish music” can range from hip-hop to jazz to world music.
“We define Jewish music as a form of artistic expression by a self-identifying Jew. So we put the onus on the artist,” said AJMF director Russell Gottschalk. “We think that if you are a good artist and authentic musician, you’ll create music that reflects your personal narrative.”
This year, the AJMF highlights Latin roots. Opening night features David Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havanna, which combines Jewish and Cuban styles. The festival will also host Ladino singer Sarah Aroeste as artist-in-residence.
The AJMF also has partnered with ATL Collective, which unites musicians to perform classic albums in their entirety. With the AJMT, ATL Collective will present the Beastie Boys’ “License to Ill.”
The AJMF’s full schedule is here. You can hear more about its programming in the interview above with Gottschalk and local musician Nick Edelstein.