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Celebrating Hanukkah, the Matisyahu way

Jared Polin

Don’t expect any Hanukkah remixes at Matisyahu’s annual Festival of Light tour.

“I don’t know where that came from,” says the Jewish reggae artist. “I don’t even know what a classic Hanukah song is and we certainly don’t perform any. I have a couple of Hanukkah songs I’ve written that we perform.”

Now in its eight year, the artist says the tour is a combination of their new record and older songs like “One Day” and “Youth.”

“We do have a huge disco ball dreidel, which is amazing,” adds the Los Angeles-based artist, “and we do the menorah if there’s no ordinance against it. We light the menorah and have a Hanukkah party. It’s a spiritual jam session.”

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Matisyahu, born Matthew Paul Miller, and his backing band, the Dub Trio, released a fourth studio album, “Akeda,” in June. It’s full of the richly rhythmic reggae, hip hop, and electronic permutations, the Pennsylvania-born, New York-raised 35-year-old is known for, but with some decidedly rock flavors.

“The new album is more eclectic,” muses Matisyahu. “One of the things I’m good at is blending things together and having it make sense. The people I make music with, we work outside genre. We try to create to our own unique sound.”

On the road

Veteran touring artist Matisyahu doesn’t need long to pack for a trip: “I under-pack. I take exactly what I need,” he says. “I travel with a small backpack, even when I’m leaving for months. Essential items are headphones and some kind of book I’m into. Most times I don’t even take my computer with me, just my phone. Then I look at where I’m going — the Northeast for this tour. I’ll need one warm coat and a pair of warm pants that I can wear everyday. Then one pair of really comfortable pants to wear onstage every night. I always need comfortable clothes.”

IF YOU GO

Boston: 12/19

House of Blues

15 Lansdowne St.

$28.50-$39.50, 888-693-2583

www.hob.com/boston

New York: 12/20

With Judith Hill

Saturday, 8 p.m.

Best Buy Theater

1515 Broadway at W. 44th Street

$29.50 - $35.00, 212-930-1950

www.bestbuytheater.com

Philadelphia: 12/23

Tuesday, 8 p.m.

Theatre of the Living Arts

334 South St.

$28.50, 215-922-1011

www.tlaphilly.com

 
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