Plenty of music on tap for Israel in the Park festival

Take one of Israel's hottest music stars — Rami Kleinstein — backed up by his full band in a concert-length 90-minute set.

Add Vocolot, the Bay Area's all-women a cappella group, RebbeSoul, California's six-piece Jewish rock band, and Inasense, a New York City-based band that merges blues and Middle Eastern music.

And for good measure, throw in an hour with family favorite Craig Taubman.

The five are the ingredients for a hot musical afternoon at "Israel in the Park," the Bay Area's 50th birthday party for Israel. The entertainers will grace the main stage at the festival on Sunday, June 7, which runs from noon to 6 p.m. at Sharon Meadows in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

Kleinstein, the headliner, has been called Israel's Bruce Springsteen. His 4:30 p.m. performance will mark his first appearance in the Bay Area and his only U.S. gig for "Israel at 50." Combining rock and soul, he is one of the Jewish state's most popular recording artists and entertainers.

His first solo album, "The Day of the Bomb," reached gold status, and his sixth, "Everything You Want," reached triple platinum just 10 days after its release last year.

His background includes classical training, and he's arranged and accompanied albums for acclaimed Israeli singer Rita, who happens to be his wife.

Inasense, the four-piece "desert rock" band that will open for Kleinstein at 3:15 p.m., melds blues, rock and roll, Middle Eastern influences and jazz to form a unique sound which has been compared to the Grateful Dead's. The group is back by popular demand, after playing to a wildly appreciative audience in April at "Beyond Tel Aviv," a South of Market Israel at 50 celebration.

Inasense was born in Israel in 1990 when its lead singer, California native Noah Chase, began jamming with C Lanzbom, a New Jersey-born bass player who also lived in Israel. The two moved back to the United States in 1991 and, based in New York City, completed the band and began to do live concerts and record.

RebbeSoul first received major musical attention in the early '90s when its recorded pop version of the prayer Avinu Malkeinu received frequent air play. Led by guitarist and vocalist Bruce Berger, the band includes drums, bass, keyboards, percussion, guitars and balalaika played by instrumentalists from Brazil, Tanzania, Holland and the United States.

RebbeSoul has been featured in stories in Billboard Magazine and on National Public Radio and CNN International and has played at the renowned House of Blues in Los Angeles. A popular Bay Area act, RebbeSoul offers rock renditions of old favorites, Jewish songs and new material, often drawing big crowds. The group will appear at 2:15 p.m.

Vocolot's repertoire, composed primarily by the group's founder Linda Hirschhorn, mixes ancient and contemporary sources for its folk, jazz and classical musical tapestry. Songs are in English, Hebrew and occasionally Yiddish, Ladino, Arabic and American Sign Language. Many reflect the group's dedication to social justice. The group has performed a cappella to audiences around the country since 1988.

Other members of Berkeley-based Vocolot include Ellen Robinson, Jennifer Karno, Rosalind Glazer and Judith Kate Friedman. They will open the festival's live entertainment at 12:30 p.m.

With his music and lyrics, Taubman especially reaches out to young people. He incorporates light rock, country and traditional Latin and Jewish rhythms into his contemporary style. Taubman's hourlong concert will begin at 1 p.m.

In addition to entertainment on the main stage, there will be Israeli and belly dancing — including lessons, special entertainment, and sing-along. In addition, other bands will play throughout the day at other sites.