An Evening of Mizrahi Song and Stories with Yoni Avi Battat

  • 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Mayyim Hayyim
    1838 Washington Street
    Newton, MA 02466

Join us for an intimate evening of music, storytelling, and communal singing with local musician Yoni Avi Battat (he/him). Inspired by traditional Arab musical forms, this collection of original and traditional music combines Hebrew, Arabic, English, and Yiddish lyrics to express the fragmenting effects of migration, lost languages, colonialism, assimilation, and erasure. Through the sharing of his own Iraqi-Jewish ancestral roots, Yoni invites us all to delve into the complexity and nuance of identity. We will gather for light refreshments and conversation from 7-7:30 followed by an interactive performance by Yoni.

About Yoni Battat

Yoni Avi Battat (he/him) is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and composer, celebrating his diverse Jewish ancestry through music. He maintains an active performance schedule across the country and internationally, playing violin, viola, and oud (middle-eastern lute) in collaborative and interdisciplinary projects spanning a wide range of styles. In 2015, Yoni founded his own Yiddish-Jazz band called Two Shekel Swing, which has since released their debut album “Pocket Change,” performed in Toronto’s Jewish Music Week, and opened for Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird, amongst other public appearances. Over the past 15 years, Yoni has been immersing himself in maqam, the musical mode system of Arab music. These efforts gave way to his 2022 debut album Fragments, which explores his Iraqi-Jewish identity by pairing maqam music with lyrics in Arabic, Hebrew, English, and Yiddish. His most recent project in this style is Kedmah: The Rising Song Piyyut Project, which presents Jewish song and poetry from the Middle East and North Africa. Their debut album, Simu Lev, emerges on Rising Song Records in the Spring of 2024 – one of the first projects of its kind to present this repertoire to American-Jewish communities in an egalitarian format. From 2021-2022 Yoni toured nationally as an actor and violinist with the Tony Award-winning musical, “The Band’s Visit.” Yoni now lives in Boston, MA, working locally and nationally towards his mission of bringing Arab music into the soundscape of American Jewish life. @yoniavibattat


This program is a part of our “Let Justice Well Up” initiative and is made possible by the generous support of the Miriam Fund.

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As part of our commitment to racial justice, and thanks to the support of the Miriam Fund, registration for this event is free for participants who identify as Jews of color, Indigenous, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jews (JOCISM). If you do not identify as JOCISM, this program is offered on a sliding scale from $18 – $72 (suggested registration: $54). Please register at the price point that is sustainable for your needs. In order to make our programming sustainable, we need participants who register at all levels, including above the suggested registration. If you are interested in further supporting Mayyim Hayyim’s racial justice work and helping sponsor our ability to offer low-or no-cost programming for JOCISM, please consider registering at our “Support racial justice” level by contributing more than $72.

  • Registration for JOCISM: Free
  • Standard Registration: $18 – $72 (Suggested: $54)
  • Support Racial Justice Initiatives: $72+