By Brian Ossip, DC Music Live
The Washington Jewish Music Festival kicked off with an incredible performance by hip-hop/funk band Hadag Nahash at the Fillmore in Silver Spring. One of Israel’s most successful bands, Hadag Nahash returned to the states and their home-away-from-home here in the District.
The event, sponsored by the DCJCC, is now in its 13th year, and features bands and artists of all types and genres including funk, jazz, hip hop, indie, as well as traditional Jewish klezmer music.
“Our first show ever in the states was at George Washington University,” said vocalist/saxophonist/flutist Shlomi Alon. “We’ve played the 9:30 Club, the 6th & I Historic Synagogue twice, University of Maryland. This is probably our 8th or 9th time in the area.”
Taking the stage around 8:45pm to a packed house, the band wasted no time getting the party started with their 9-piece band featuring 3 front men. Their sound ranged from hip-hop and funk to Middle Eastern vibes and even a bit of ‘70s classic rock and Cali pop.
As veterans of the scene, the band has become known for their work in social platforms, and over time has become the critics and social moral of the Israeli society. “The focus is to bring the extremely important and sometimes really tough issues through the backdoor by giving good times at shows,” added keyboardist David Klems. “We want to have a dance party. People enjoy themselves, and then realize what they are hearing is more than just the music.”
Klems continued, saying that Hadag Nahash are “…musicians, first of all. We’ve always brought that other [social] side into the band, but we mix it up. It’s a fine line to walk, sometimes.”
The crowd at the Fillmore swayed, danced and jumped to the rhythms and beats from the band, and a few crowd surfers were even spotted. According to Alon, the band is “…diverse, there are a lot of different genres to our sound. We really try to be a party.”
As the openers of the Washington Jewish Music Festival, the band felt a special honor to be taking the stage. “We are really honored at being the openers of this festival,” said vocalist/DJ Guy Mar. “There is really nothing like this festival in Israel or anywhere else. This is pretty amazing. It’s a privilege for us to play here.”
Hadag Nahash has shared the stage with acts such as The Black Eyed Peas and Cypress Hill, and it’s easy to see why. Their songs, filled with grooves and beats that are easy to move to created a dance-party vibe among the crowd, the first in many performances of the 13th annual Washington Jewish Music Festival, an event that is sure to delight all who attend.
For more pictures of the show, head here.