Todd Herzog has such deep faith in music’s power and ability to build bridges that can span an increasingly divisive world he constructed an entire Valley event around this belief. The Desert Gathering Jewish Music Fest, will hold its 5th annual festival at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus in Scottsdale from 4 to 8 pm on Sunday, Nov. 5.
Launched in Nov. 2013, the DGJMF (which Herzog conceived of during his Valley Beit Midrash StartMeUp fellowship) has introduced many of the Valley’s population – Jewish and non-Jewish – to Jewish musicians in the genres of roots rock, soul, Americana, klezmer, acoustic folk, dancehall, electronica, hip hop, classic rock and, of course, traditional Jewish song. The 2017 musical lineup once again spans the musical horizon and includes Nefesh Mountain, Chava Mirel, Josh Niehaus, Herzog and several local cantors and youth groups.
“The outdoor concert event designed to celebrate Jewish music and culture is a vibrant, interactive, family-friendly experience that features the best in contemporary Jewish music,” says Todd. Many aspects of the Fest remain constant each year – top-notch Jewish music acts, tasty food vendors and an emphasis on community togetherness, but this year sees a significant change – relocating the music festival from downtown Phoenix to the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus in North Scottsdale.
The DGJMF, which has seen attendance reach 2,000 people in some years, will have access to a greater number of parking spots and easier access for attendees at the new location. The Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus also gives the music festival a more intimate and contained setting, according to Herzog.
“The more intimate setting promotes greater interaction amongst attendees while still allowing for plenty of room to sit down with friends and family on blankets or get up and dance to the music,” says Todd. “It also reinforces and deepens our partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center.”
The festival offers general admission seating on the lawn, near various food and arts vendors. A VIP tent ticket package includes catered kosher buffet, gift bag, preferred parking and opportunities to meet and greet the musicians. For the younger attendees, PJ Library will sponsor an area that includes family-friendly activities. Pardes Jewish Day School, also located on the campus, will host a private “Preschool Pre-Party” for their students’ families where they will get a chance to meet the musicians appearing later in the day. Families who register for the Preschool Pre-Party will receive one free general admission ticket to the festival with at least one paid admission.
More information, as well as ticket options for the 5th Annual Desert Gathering Jewish Music Fest, can be found at desertgatheringaz.org.
What: 5th Annual Desert Gathering Jewish Music Fest
Who: Nefesh Mountain, Chava Mirel, Josh Niehaus, Todd Herzog, Jewish day school and religious school students
When: Sunday, Nov. 5, 4-8 pm
Where: Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Cost: $5 general admission ticket (for ages 6 & up); $20 family five-pack of tickets; $75 for VIP ticket, includes catered kosher buffet and bag of souvenirs
Contact: call 480-483-7121 or