Artists and bands such as Chi Chi Bonichi, Hasidic New Wave, Hip Hop Hoodios, Daniel Kahn, David Krakauer, Oi Va Voi, Matisyahu, Masada, Idan Raichel, DJ Socalled, Sophie Solomon and John Zorn, have all created new Jewish roots music, inspired by traditional sources and JMI actively supports the work of innovative musicians working in this space Solomon & Socalled’s HipHopKhasene, a hiphop take on the music for a traditional shtetl wedding featuring David Krakuer & Michael Alpert (released on Piranha Records), was funded by a JMI Millenium Award and UK concerts by artists including Israel’s Idan Raichel, Russia’s Nayekhovichi, Canada’s DJ Socalled, Yiddish Twist Orchestra and Max Pashm (electro swing and klezmer breaks) have all been made possible thanks to JMI.
From 2005-2008, JMI published Nu-Musik? an annual review of the latest innovations in the Jewish music scene world wide. Copies are available in the JMI library.
The JMI also celebrates those Jewish musicians whose work is perhaps less directlly rooted in Jewish musical traditions, such as Irving Berlin, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and is interested in understanding how their Jewish roots and identity have impacted the work of such artists. In 2012, Sophie Solomon appeared at Poet in the City/Jewish Book Week with Clinton Heylin and Dorian Lynskey to discuss the Poetry of Bob Dylan.