With all of the upheaval, this Corona Virus has brought to the entire world including our little country we are all in need of something to look forward to. That something is a repeat of a wonderful event we organized last year celebrating the best era of music in the history of Rock-n-Roll; the music of the Woodstock era. Building on the successes of last year’s festival we are again organizing a two-day musical event at the Silo Café off the parking lot of the First Station.
For those of you who haven’t yet visited the Silo, it’s a Jerusalem dream come true. The Silo is an outdoor venue that once housed “The Hatzer” whose events often hosted up to 800 people. Hanan Anando Mars, the founder of the Silo had the vision to create a cultural center in mid-town Jerusalem that would appeal to residents of all ages. There is always something happening at the Silo from themed food and music evenings to theater and second-hand sales. The Silo’s vegetarian restaurant is among the best in the city.
When I met Hanan last year I was looking for a venue to hold The Jerusalem Community Woodstock which we called “Jerustock”. When I asked Hanan if we could hold a Woodstock event at the Silo he told me “The Silo is Woodstock!” How right he was. They say about Sinai that it is a state of mind. Woodstock 2019 was exactly that. Over 300 music lovers for all over Jerusalem came out to find an atmosphere that felt like the original concert of 1969 only without the mayhem. Beginning Thursday afternoon Anglo and Israeli bands played the best of Woodstock’s music. Jon Hock shared stories about Country Joe and the Fish. Country Joe was actually Jewish with a Russian mother who spoke Yiddish in the home. This surprised Steve Rodan who heads up Jon Hock and had no idea that Country Joe was Jewish. Steve and his bank loved singing the best of Country Joe’s revolutionary songs.
Four Winds Home rocked the tunes of the Grateful Dead with the leader of the band Steve Levine resembling Jerry Garcia with this iconic hairstyle. Other bands and singers paid tribute to Janis Joplin, Neil Young, Arlo Guthrie, and more. Tamar and Natanel performed a beautiful rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s best hits with their perfect harmonies. Families pitched tents and musicians gathered around the campfire jamming until four in the morning. We began day two with a yoga session on the deck and the music began again mid-morning. One of the concert-goers got up on stage to tell us about his real Woodstock experience with his then-girlfriend now-wife watching Sly and the Family Stone rock the festival. He couldn’t believe that during his visit to Israel he could relive those memories right here in Jerusalem.
That brings us to this year. Due to the success of last year’s festival, bands could not wait to join us again though this year we have recruited more of Jerusalem’s best tribute bands. Thursday’s event will showcase full bands such as Jon Hock playing tribute to Santana. Four Winds Home with songs from Gerry’s Band and the Grateful Dead. MLC Mid Life Crisis and Nastalgia Yerushalmi will belt out the best of Credence Clearwater Revival, Rolling Stones, Beatles, and more. Shlomo Mizrachi the Jimi Hendrix of the Middle East will join us with his critically acclaimed trio. Also coming in from Tel Aviv is the Roni Dot band who will be partnering up with the Fine Marten band to pay tribute to Country Joe and the Fish and Jefferson Airplane as our final act on Thursday night. Roni sings Grace Slick like no one I have heard before!
Friday’s event will be entirely acoustic starting off with Pesach Stadlan’s rendition of Bob Dylan followed by Uncle John’s Band with an acoustic version of The Grateful Dead, Yaffo 97 joined by Aqua Doll’s drummer Jacob Brown with a medley of songs including Lynyrd Skynyrd. Pritzat Disc, Jerusalem’s most well-known tribute band will be singing their medley of Woodstock songs at the peak of the Friday event and we will end the festival with a special treat; singers and musicians from Jerusalem’s new School of Rock.
The Jerusalem School of Rock (JSOR) kicked off only a month ago and has already formed four new bands. Convening at the Pundak club and hostel, kids aged 13-20 singers and musicians came to us already skilled to join a band which is the purpose of the project. The girls will astound the concert-goers with their renditions of Joan Baez, the Beatles and Bob Dylan. Their musical harmonies will follow you into Shabbat as we end our two-day festival with plans to repeat it year after year though hopefully next year with no restrictions.
For a sneak preview join us Tuesday August 11th in front of the Italian Synagogue on Hillel street from 5:30-8:30 pm to hear the Jon Hock band performing the Blues and a few of the JSOR singers performing bluesy pop and folk songs.
Worth mentioning that due to the Coronavirus situation tickets are limited and must be ordered ahead of time. There is enough space for social distancing. And for those of you who have experienced great bands performing with terrible sound issues have no fear. Koach Stafford who recently made Aliyah from Tulsa Oklahoma has been working sound for just about every band to tour the US and will be our professional soundman! Everyone is encouraged to come early, set up their site, and enjoy the great food of the Silo’s vegetarian restaurant. And what makes the festival family-friendly? There will be no smoking in the venue and of course contrary to the original Woodstock, no drugs on location. A drug-free Woodstock! What a concept? Visit and share our FB event. For tickets see our eventbee site. Zoom tickets available as well. For more information contact event producer Tracey Shipley firstname.lastname@example.org 972548108918