This years edition of the Chutzpah Festival in Vancouver was a vibrant celebration of the performing arts with electrifying music, riveting theatre and breath-taking dance. My favourite events of the festival were all related to music and of the musicians that I did see I loved Israelli group ‘Hadag Nahash’ who headlined the festival with their concert on February 25, at the Commodore Ballroom.
Opening for Hadag Nahash was Vancouver’s Santa Lucia a high energy latin infused group of talented musicians that had the crowd dancing away.
Hadag Nahash is one of the most successful acts in Israeli popular music today and made their Vancouver premiere at Chutzpah! Famous for their songs of political and social protest, this band’s music features acoustic instruments driven by funk, hip hop and Hebraic beats. Hadag Nahash (transl. Snake Fish) has toured internationally and shared stages with the likes of Black Eyed Peas and Arrested Development’s leader, Speech.
Lastly, “The Sway Machinery” played the Electric Owl on February 18 with a jazzy set. The Sway Machinery, a NYC blues- world beat-Chazzanus ensemble who have somehow managed to reconcile the disparate influences of ancient Jewish spiritualism and contemporary Islamic African blues into a magically charged-up sound all their own. Their music bursts with a hip blend of modern rhythmic power and ancient folklore.