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Matisyahu's "Festival of Lights" at SLPAC 

Here's a joke you don't hear everyday: What do you get when you mix a Hasidic Jew with a reggae rapper? Matisyahu. His debut album, Shake off the Dust...Arise (2004), introduced the world to someone genuinely new under the sun, a rapping Hasidic Jew, and Matisyahu scored a Top 40 hit with "King without a Crown." In 2006, Esquire awarded the singer the "Most Lovable Oddball" award in their "Esky" music awards. Since then, Matisyahu has shed layers off his strict religious persona (and a thick beard) and as a thoughtful, spiritual songwriter. His latest CD, Akeda (2014), is by far Matisyahu's most personal album, and the one over which he has had the most creative control. He brings his "Festival of Light" tour to the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center on December 27 at 8pm. Tickets are $49, $30, $29. (845) 214-1400; Sugarloafpac.org. 

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