Where Israel’s Folk Community Shines

Where Israel’s Folk Community Shines

Aug 20

Just got back from the first of two summertime “hoots” sponsored by the Jerusalem Folk Club. After a day of oppressive heat and humidity in my home town, it was great to drive up the hill at night and cool off in Jerusalem’s higher elevation. My spirits were elevated, too.

Outdoor hoots – in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – have become a much-anticipated thing around here. Unlike the regular folk club format, in which a small number of acts are highlighted, hoots are an opportunity for the entire community to get together. Sort of like a mini-folk festival with free entrance (and no need for sunscreen).

Getting such a large number of musicians on and off stage can be a challenge, so the hoot’s mistress of ceremonies – a new olah and great musician named Sharon Klein – instituted a new format. The musicians were placed right in the middle of the courtyard, facing each other in a circle, while the audience spread themselves (and their blankets) all around behind them. Then we went around the circle twice, giving each musician a chance to share two songs. Then Sharon announced the next “round” and a new group of musicians took center stage.

A fine time was had by all.