Sounds of the Old City

Sounds of the Old City,

is an annual music festival

held at night in Jerusalem, Israel.

This year the weather was cold and wintry,

View of Tower of David at night lights on

but at least the heavy rain stopped for opening night.

Walking to the starting point at Jaffa Gate,

Arab man walking in Jerusalem Israel mall

Mamilla Mall was not busy as usual.

For the festival, musicians performed

View Old City Jerusalem Israel at night

on a large stage outside on Jaffa Gate Plaza,

musicians in Old City near Jaffa Gate

and inside along the Tower of David wall.

There are nine large stages with various performances.

music Tower of David sound festival

Traverna was inside the Tower of David – in the moat.

man playing mandolin in Tower of Davis moat at Music festival

The musical styles and instruments were varied,

from Kelzemer and religious music to DJs and pop songs.

Along the route through the Old City,

musician in alleyway of old city Jerusalem Israel

musicians played alone,

musicians on Jerusalem Old City street for Sounds of Old City Festival

or as a group.

The festival is free and open to the public,

woman playing harp in Old City at night

but this harpist was looking for donations.

As every year,

people in Cardo for music concert Old City Sounds of Night music

one of the most popular performance locations is the Cardo.

Yitzhak Meir singing in the Cardo Old City Jerusalem Israel music festival at night

Yitzhak Meir was singing

people watching music at Cardo for music festival in old city at night

to an enthusiastic crowd.

Who could imagine on those streets of old,

that one day Jews would be singing and dancing to Hebrew songs,

and the powerful Roman Empire would be ancient history?

Next on to the plaza

Hurva Synagogue at night in Old City Jerusalem

by the Hurva Synagogue,

this large stage was dark between shows,

Rova night of music festival stage near the Hurva

but I had to share with you the size of the crowd.

Thousands of people were out enjoying the music.

The sounds of music have now spread outside the walls of the Old City,

and for the first time a stage is located at Zion Square.

The festival runs from Monday to Thursday,

7:00 – 11:00 pm, so there is still time to see and hear.

As I went to leave, some streets were too quiet.

Though cold and damp weather and security concerns

may have kept some away,

empty street in Old City at night Jerusalem Israel

it was still a beautiful sight,

as the sounds of music filled the Jerusalem streets.

Sounds of Music on Jerusalem’s Old City Streets

There seems to be a constant stream of festivals in Jerusalem, Israel,

 and this week is the annual music festival, Sounds of the Old City.

Nighttime music festivals are not the best ops for photos,

but some of these backdrops and stages are indeed spectacular.

Starting outside of Jaffa Gate,

image music, photo Old City music, picture music at night

the Na’am Ensemble was the opening act,

image girl singing, photo Jerusalem music, picture music

followed by a performance by Gole Anar.

Most of the names of the folk singers are not familiar to Anglo audiences.

music jerusalem image, photo music Old City

On the stage next to The Tower of David, the Alaev Family

photo girl singing, image music, picture family band

included family members dressed in colorful Bukharan clothing.

image music, photo band at night, picture Sounds of Old City

 There were over 11 mapped out performance locations,

the Dilijan Ensemble was #4 along the route.

A few locations were standouts,

image moat, photo photo during sounds of Old city festival

 like #3, down in the Tower of David moat!

image Tavrerna, photo Shimon Parnas

The show with the music of Taverna band, hosted by Shimon Parnas,

image moat, photo Sounds of Old City, Jerusalem music

was almost secondary to the site.

image moat, photo tower of David moat, picture Sounds of Old City music

Built for protection so many years ago, who could imagine this musical scene?

image Ketem Paz, photo Ketem Paz, music in Cardo picture

Ketem Paz, a group of religious and secular artists,

who sing Yemenite melodies from traditional texts,

image Cardo at night, photo Jerusalem music, picture interesting stage for music

performed in the Open Cardo as the opening act.

  What a stage!

image musicians, photo Old City night, picture violin

Also, students from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance

were playing along the route.

image Arab market, photo Musiim Jerusalem

Signs showed the way through the Muslim Quarter

image Muslim Quarter, photo music Jerusalem, picture music festival

and the shuk, market,

but as usual I got lost.

They need more and better signs.

image Arab musicians

By a photo in the free information booklet (available in English, Hebrew and Arabic)

it seems that I saw Lelot HaMizrach and not the Sahara trio.

Finally, I ended up in Muristan Square where

image Hebrews of Dimona, photo music festival. picture music Old City

the Hebrews of Dimona were belting out

image Hebrews of Dimona, photo children watching musics, Palestinian children in Jerusalemn

 some old US favorites from the Four Seasons that even got the attention of even the very young.

image cute child, picture night at Mamilla Mall

Not everyone out at night was interested in live music,

image Palestinian woman, photo Arab girl, picture Arab girl

and some were shopping in Mamilla Mall.

Thousands and thousands of people,

from around the world were on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

But if there is no violence, just sounds of music, then it is not news.

Be warned though, that not only is the Old City closed to vehicles,

but some streets in Old City were even blocked for pedestrians,

image Waldorf Jerusalem, photo WAldorf not open, picture Waldorf at night

like the street by the new still not quite open Waldorf-Astoria.

 Sounds of the Old City runs from March 31 – April 3, 7-11:00 pm.