Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival

An International Celebration of Music
9 September

The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival returns! Join us on September 9-12, 2014, for a tentalizing celebration of music in the most fascinating city in the world. More details coming soon!

Click here to view photos of 2013 events

And here is another view of the making and the events of this unique festival: 
The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival is one-of-a-kind. It is the only festival that connects music from such a diverse range of countries and religions with the holiest city in the world—a city in which holy sounds have been an intrinsic part of its soundtrack for thousands of years. Even the locations in which the festival is held, ranging from the Tower of David Museum ensconced within the walls of the Old City, to Tzidkiyahu Cave in East Jerusalem, to the YMCA, one of the most beautiful and prominent buildings in Jerusalem (which boasts Jewish, Christian and Islamic architectural features that are an inherent part of its vision of brotherhood)—are filled with spiritual and religious meaning that adds significant depth to the performances they host. With the help of the unique and far-reaching artistic program, the festival hopes to contribute its own modest part towards the building of bridges and the engenderment of cultural and social ties between peoples.  

There was that moment at the end of that very special night of the first Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival 2012, in the early hours of the morning, when hundreds of us stood together on a rooftop overlooking the most beautiful landscape in the world. After listening to Jewish choruses, Sufi ceremonies and Christian prayers, and after experiencing the sounds of Africa, Central Asia, and the daily sounds of Jerusalem, we watched with pure joy as the first signs of life rose above the terraced and grave-cluttered hills of the Mount of Olives. This was the moment that we understood, or more to the point, felt, that something had happened—we were not just talking about another albeit pleasurable music festival, but a far more meaningful, profound experience.  

At the heart of the festival’s artistic philosophy, is the belief that meaning is what differentiates between holy music and sacred music. It is this meaning that structures the music, emanates from the artist’s soul and weaves its way into the soul of the listener. 

In 2013, the festival was extended to four days, with an even more exciting lineup of dozens of local and international performances, placing it in the top tier of the world’s sacred music festivals. The festival also included a number of original productions, as well as a unique mix of concerts, performances with audience participation, ceremonies, meditative experiences and more. 

We again invited the audience to join us on a “night stroll” in the grounds of the Tower of David Museum. From Thursday at midnight to sunrise on Friday morning, visitors will be given the opportunity, with one ticket, to experience ceremonies, singing circles, prayers, workshops and dances performed by leading artists and creators from around the world.

Intertwined with this musical program, the festival offers "Testimony Encounters," a selection of walks around town that will showcase the authentic rituals and ceremonies of Jerusalem's diverse faiths - all of which represent an ancient and still organic component of the city's rich, multi-textured tapestry.

We offer you an engrossing, touching, ongoing and intense experience—a spiritual musical journey that begins with an ancient Byzantine church choir, moves on to a mystic Rastafari ceremony carried out by the Nyabinghi drummers to ancient Indian musical traditions, and even African blues from Mali. 

Leading artists of all religions from across Israel and the world, gather in Jerusalem and, together with thousands of people, will try to reach new spiritual, human, musical and artistic heights. Come join us!

Click here for the event's page in the Tower of David website

Co-Artistic Directors: Gil Ron Shama, Gil Karniel, Omri Sharir
Managing director: Malki Amir Danon
Producer: Carmi Wurtman, 2bVibes
Artistic director, Jerusalem Season of Culture: Itay Mautner
Original Concept: Gil Karniel and Omri Sharir, 2011

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Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival - Events

Sacred: Shows

Sacred: Exhibition