Jerusalem International Oud Festival 2023

Jerusalem International Oud Festival 2023

The Jerusalem International Oud Festival is an annual celebration of the Middle East’s “king of instruments”, a pear-shaped string instrument that is very popular in North African Middle Eastern music.

Founded in 2000, the oud festival promotes cultural diversity while strengthening familiar sounds and protecting endangered sounds. Every year, the festival presents many original productions and special performances that offer unique interpretations of ancient and modern works and illustrate the connection between Arab and Persian classical music and Jewish liturgical music. The festival is sponsored, curated, and hosted by the Confederation House.

Oud Festival 2023 Highlights

Opening Show: Berry Sakharof hosts Shai Tsabari, Eliyahu Dagmi, and Elad Gabbay

Berry Sakharof returns to the Oud Festival with his unique musical imprint, familiar voice, and renowned guitar playing. Sakharof is considered an innovative musician, always ahead of his time and having a fast influence on local music, gathering loyal listeners who have followed him since the beginning of his career. Sakharov returns to host Shai Tsabari, Eliyahu Dagmi, and Elad Gabbay on stage. The best songs of Sakharof's vast and varied repertoire will be performed, from the most prominent Israeli rock anthems, along with unique features that will be only seen and heard on this special night.

When? November 16th, 21:00
Where? Sherover Hall, Jerusalem Theatre

Amir Benayoun and the La Casbah Ensemble

Amir Benayoun's show at the Oud Festival invites the audience to celebrate Benayoun's special connection to Algerian folk music, influenced by his father and the North African musicians in Be'er Sheva during the 1980s. In his personal work, Benayoun uniquely combined the sounds of his childhood with modern writing and composition. As part of a special production exclusively for the Oud Festival, the artist will perform with the La Casbah Ensemble - an Israeli musical project specializing in Algerian music. The show will present a selection of his classics and the best works of notable Algerian artists from the last century.

When? November 19th, 21:00
Where? Rebecca Crown Hall, Jerusalem Theatre

Songs of Rabbi Israel ben Moses Najara: From Then Until Today

Join an original musical performance produced for the Oud Festival. The show will present a performance of songs from the book "The Remnant of Zemirot Yisrael”, which incorporates the collection of late Rabbi Israel Najara's poetry. Some of the songs will be performed according to the musical instructions left by Najera himself, some according to traditional melodies, and others in new tunes specially composed for the show. The evening will also include a literary discussion.

When? November 16th, 21:00
Where? Auditorium, Yad Yitzhak Ben-Zvi

Closing Show: Ehud Banai and Knesiyat Hasechel band: The Joint Show

The Oud Festival will conclude the 24th edition of the festival with an inspiring joint meeting of the Hebrew rock poet Ehud Banai and one of the most fascinating and original bands in Israeli rock. Banai describes this encounter as a combination of Persian rhythms, British rock, Moroccan rhythms, and Western rock'n'roll influences.

The joint show promises exciting performances of songs from the rich and magnificent repertoire of these artists. It is an unmissable show of songs and music that strikes us to our core.

When? November 25th, 21:00
Where? Sherover Hall, Jerusalem Theatre

Photos by Yannis Margetoussakis, Alena Soboleva

Where to Stay in Jerusalem

Are you looking for accommodation while in town for the Oud Festival 2023? Check out our complete listings! 

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Restaurants in Jerusalem

Don't go to the festival on an empty stomach! There are plenty of amazing restaurants in Jerusalem, whether you're looking for a quick bite, something romantic or family-friendly! 

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Further Details

Where? The Oud International Festival will be held at the Jerusalem Theater, Zappa Jerusalem, and the Confederation House.

dates & times

  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
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