NEW MUSICAL COLLABORATION EXPLORES THE BLACK-JEWISH EXPERIENCE
Israeli hip-hop duo teams up with Georgia reggae group for a musical journey exploring Middle Eastern rhythms and Caribbean styles
Atlanta, GA—March 9, 2010 – Israeli hip-hop duo Axum recently announced that they will team up with the Georgia-based reggae jam band DubConscious for a musical journey exploring the Black-Jewish experience through Middle Eastern rhythms and Caribbean styles.
The inaugural collaboration took place March 6 at Atlanta’s Apache Café, where a diverse crowd of 150 people were treated to an electrifying fusion of hip-hop and reggae. The event was sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival (AJMF), American Jewish Committee’s Black-Jewish Coalition (BJC) and the Rabin-King Initiative (RKI).
“It was a unique experience created by team effort,” noted Itai Tsur, AJC’s Assistant Director. “Axum and DubConscious gelled almost immediately and their synergy was palpable throughout the evening.”
Named after the famed city and kingdom in Africa, Axum mixes the influences of its members’ ancient ancestral roots in Ethiopia and Morocco with the sounds of their present (and equally ancient) birthplace and home, Israel, to produce a uniquely fresh sound that has been topping charts in Israel since they released their first album in 2009. The duo is helmed by performance artists Jackson (Gilor Yehuda) and Tedross (Reuben Aragai).
The performance with DubConscious—hailed as a unique world music psychedelic dub/reggae collective—marked an incredible start to Axum’s two-month residency with Hillels of GA as part of the Schusterman Visiting Artists Program (SVAP), one of the largest organized residency programs of Israeli artists ever to launch in the U.S. Funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and others, SVAP awards Israeli filmmakers, choreographers, musicians, writers and visual artists two- to four-month residencies in North America with a focus on fostering interaction between the artists and the communities where they are based.
“These extraordinary artists embody the vibrant, creative face of Israel and provide a meaningful way to connect North Americans to a diverse and complex contemporary Israel that goes beyond the prism of conflict,” said Lynn Schusterman, chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, which launched the program in 2008.
Axum’s residency includes appearances at local universities, schools, synagogues and other music venues. The duo will also schedule future performances with DubConscious and collaborate with the group on at least one track in the Axum in Atlanta EP. This collection of music will reflect the musical path of Axum’s residency and feature at least one local/regional artist on each track.
“Coming to the U.S. has provided us with a great opportunity to develop our music on the international stage,” said Jackson. “We listen to reggae, dance hall, hiphop, classical—all sorts of genres and styles. It’s exciting to be in a new place creating music and engaging with new people.”
For further information or artist solicitation for the Axum in Atlanta EP, please contact Russell Gottschalk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-377-0161.
ABOUT ATLANTA JEWISH MUSIC FESTIVAL (AJMF)
Inspired by successful Jewish cultural events around the country, AJMF will bring fresh, cutting edge live music celebrating Jewish heritage and culture to audiences in the Southeast. With its vibrant Jewish community and strong commitment to the arts, Atlanta has proven a welcome destination for other highly successful events such as the Atlanta Jewish Book Festival and the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. By centering around the common language of music, AJMF will celebrate the diversity of Jewish life in a way that is joyous, entertaining and accessible to all. www.atlantajewishmusicfestival.org