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The Ark Project

The Jewish Music Festival is dedicated to nurturing artistic creativity by encouraging new collaborations. In 2008, we brought together nine internationally known, singularly innovative musicians from the Bay Area, New York, New Orleans, Ukraine and Israel for the first time in contemporary Jewish music. This historic collective project of shared ideas, talents and skills culminated in a new work performed as the Festival finale. This was the first in a series of ritual performances exploring tradition, creativity, time, environment through art and music in the 24th Jewish Music Festival.

The Ark began as the JMF’s first artist residency two years ago and has now blossomed into an international powerhouse. The Ark Project consists of nine of the best artists in Jewish music.
Ark is:
Aaron Alexander – drums (New York)
Avi Avital – mandolin (Israel/Italy)
Stu Brotman – bass (SF Bay Area)
Jewlia Eisenberg – vocals
Glenn Hartman – keyboards, accordion (New Orleans Diaspora)
Jessie Ivry – cello (SF Bay Area)
Frank London – trumpet, bandleader (New York)
Marjana Sadowska – vocals, harmonium (Ukraine)
John Schott – guitar (SF Bay Area)

In Concert
Pt. 1 Festival of Jewish Culture – Krakow, Poland 2008

After the Ark’s premiere at the 24th Jewish Music Festival in the US, they went on to perform at the Festival of Jewish Culture in Krakow, Poland.

Live in Poland, Pt. 2

This footage is from their concert in Lublin, Poland. Lublin was one of the major centers of East European Jewry before the Holocaust. Today it is Poland’s ninth largest city, but the specter of what has been lost seems all too present. I was struck by bandleader Frank London’s query: “I wonder if the people who live here feel the absence of their former neighbors the way that I feel it at every moment being here.” My hope is that bringing Jewish music back to this place will bring about some understanding and healing.

Behind the Scenes – the making of a Jewish music supergroup
This footage was made in March, 2008, documenting the Ark’s rehearsals, residency, and performance with the 24th Jewish Music Festival.

The Jewish Music Festival is a fiscally sponsored project of the JCC East Bay