// Latest News
21 May / Ashkenaz @ Tastes of the Hill
As Toronto’s Jewish community sprawls ever-northward into Richmond Hill and Vaughan, Ashkenaz has developed a multi-year strategy to expand the geographic reach of its programming and establish an ongoing presence in this dynamic region of the GTA. As the first initiative of this effort, Ashkenaz will offer an afternoon of music and family programming as part of Richmond Hill’s multicultural food festival, Tastes of the Hill. Now in its fourth year, this free outdoor event offers a cornucopia of culinary delights from area restaurants, along with complimentary music and dance programming. Drawing a multicultural audience, the event provides an ideal opportunity for Ashkenaz to bring its programming to an area of the GTA that remains underserved in the arts/culture realm. Ashkenaz will present 3-4 musical performances, and provide 905-ers with a ‘taste’ of its own signature downtown festival in a mini version of the world-famous Ashkenaz Parade. Stay tuned for more details and save the date!
Sunday August 25, 1-7pm, Richmond Green Park,
1300 Elgin Mills Road East Richmond Hill, ON
14 May / Shye Ben Tzur
Shye Ben Tzur & Rajasthan Express
Thursday July 25, 2013, 9pm
The Mod Club Theatre, 722 College St.
$20 in advance / $25 at the door
One of the most talked-about artists at the 2012 Ashkenaz Festival, Israel’s Shye Ben Tzur returns to Toronto as part of a coast-to-coast North American summer tour. Having studied Indian classical music for over a decade, and immersed himself in Muslim Qawwali music, Shye Ben Tzur has fashioned a wholly unique fusion of Hebrew and Middle Eastern musical influences with those of the Indian sub-continent. Working with a cross-cultural ensemble of Rajasthani-Indian and Israeli musicians, his music transcends the seemingly quirky juxtapositions of devotional Qawwali music with Hebrew poetry, Indian classical vocals with spanish guitar, funky bass with pulsating tabla. This not-to-be-missed event will be one of Toronto’s top summer’s concerts, featuring a colourful ensemble, deep grooves and soulful improvisation in an awe-inspiring show that will resonate with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
03 May / Anthony Russell
Annual Summer Yiddish Concert
Featuring Anthony Russell
With special guest Kyra Folk-Farber
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 8pm
Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst St.
Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door
African-American by birth and Jewish by choice, Anthony (Mordechai Tzvi) Russell has been hailed as “the new voice of Yiddish song” (Huffington Post). Trained as an operatic bass, Russell has more recently discovered in Yiddish art song an ideal canvas for the expression of his own multifaceted identity. He has deeply immersed himself in the recital repertoire of the famed Sidor Belarsky (1898-1975), one of the 20th century’s most celebrated and prolific performers of cantorial music, Chassidic nigunim, and Yiddish folk songs. Striving in his interpretations to “embody the aspirations, desires and struggles of one diaspora culture enriched with the colours and experiences of another,” Russell’s rich basso cantante evokes Paul Robeson as much as Belarsky himself. His earnest and heartfelt interpretations reveal the narrative, melodic, and cultural riches of a timeless repertoire, now given refreshing new life by an emerging talent. Returning to Toronto after his show-stopping appearance at the 2012 Ashkenaz Festival, Russell will be joined by special guest Kyra Folk-Farber, another fresh new voice in the world of contemporary Yiddish music.
Co-presented by the Committee For Yiddish of UJA Federation, and in association with Moses Znaimer’s IdeaCity Conference.
12 Mar / Reel Ashkenaz
REEL ASHKENAZ @ TORONTO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL April 11-21, 2013
Ashkenaz is pleased to partner once again with Toronto Jewish Film Festival in presenting four very different Jewish musical stories on film, encompassing Ashkenazic, Mizrahi and popular musical traditions. For advance tickets visit the TJFF box office online or call 416-324-9121.
03 Dec / Simja Dujov
We are pleased to announce details of the first event of Ashkenaz’s 2013 season!
Ashkenaz teams up with the Koffler Centre of the Arts for the Canadian debut of Buenos Aires’ Simja Dujov, a rising star in Argentina’s world music scene. In this very special concert collaboration with an all-star cast of young Toronto musicians, Duhov will present his eclectic blend of Latin and South American influences with klezmer, Balkan and worldbeat styles. Click here for a sneak preview!
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Doors 7 PM, Concert 8 PM
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. West*
Advance tickets $12/Door $15 (Advance tickets on sale soon)
*Dinner reservations guarantee seating. To reserve for dinner please call (416) 588-0307 or go to www.lula.ca
14 Nov / AVIVA: CD Release Concert
AVIVA: CD Release Concert and Celebration
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Doors 7:30pm, Concert 8pm
918 Bathurst Street Arts Centre
$15 Advance, $20 Door
> Purchase advance tickets here
Celebrate the release of When I Arrived You Were Already There, Aviva Chernick‘s new album of sensual, soulful music. This special evening will include a concert of the album’s songs as well as new music yet to be recorded. Transcendent vocals matched to light, instrumental textures, gentle harmonies, sublime solos, playful rivers of rhythm, heavily spiritual in nature. You may even find yourself singing along!
Joining Aviva are Ernie Tollar (bansuri, bass flute, nay), Joel Schwartz (resonator guitar, electric guitar), Rakesh Tewari (percussion), Aaron Lightstone (oud, sax), Maryem Tollar (vocals) and Sundar Viswanathan (vocals).
The Ashkenaz Foundation is a proud Community Partner for this event.
17 Oct / Cadenas @ Diaspora Film Fest
01 Oct / Volunteer raffle winner
Congratulations to our lucky Festival volunteer Noah Van Der Lan who has won an artist-autographed 11 x 17 Ashkenaz Festival 2012 poster in our volunteer draw! The poster looks great, featuring over 50 artist autographs. This is just one way we wanted to give back to our amazing Festival volunteers. There are many year-round volunteer opportunities and incentives to enjoy; please email janis [at] ashkenazfestival [dot] com to learn more.
31 Aug / ‘The Rare and Astounding Russell’
Anthony Russell was featured in today’s Fab Magazine.
24 Aug / All Shye, all the time
If you haven’t already, meet 2012 Festival headliner Shye Ben Tzur. An Israeli composer, producer, and performer, Shye creates an intoxicating musical fusion that draws on Hebrew, Middle Eastern, and Indian influences. Catch his main stage festival performance (and North American debut) Sunday September 2 at 8pm!
Shye was recently interviewed by Tamara Kramer of Montreal’s Shtetl on the Shortwave about his music, his inspiration, and the connection between Israel and India. Listen to some audio clips below, or hear the full version here.
Finally, post-festival, Ashkenaz is proud to join a wonderful group of community partners in presenting Shye along with the Rajasthan Gypsies at Size Doesn’t Matter‘s Bindaas, an evening celebrating the fusion of Israeli and Indian music culture taking place September 6. Learn more about the event here.
See you there!
// “Shye Ben Tzur – Clip 2″
// “Shye Ben Tzur – Clip 1″
24 Aug / Socalled in NOW Magazine
Socalled featured in NOW Magazine’s September 1 listing on their monthly tip sheet of where to go and what to do!
22 Aug / Pre-festival artist appearances
Ashkenaz is pleased to partner this year for the first time with Chapters / Indigo Books, with in-store appearances by festival artists!
Watch for the following performances:
- Klezkonnection performs at Chapters Bayview Village (2901 Bayview Avenue, Toronto) on Sunday August 26th at 2pm
- Opa! performs at Indigo Books in the Manulife Centre (55 Bloor St. West, at Bay St) on Thursday August 30 at 12pm
- Klezkonnection performs at Indigo Books in the Manulife Centre (55 Bloor St. West, at Bay St) on Saturday September 1 at 2pm
20 Aug / Ashkenaz featured in InsideToronto
The Ashkenaz Festival together with Shadowland Theatre are energetically gearing up for Festival Parade production, which begins next week! Monday August 13th kicks off a whirlwind three weeks of work on the infamous Ashkenaz Parade, which promenades around Harbourfront Centre to conclude the Festival on September 3 (Labour Day), at 4pm. Parade production will take place at 918 Bathurst cultural centre, just north of Bloor on the west side of Bathurst.
There will soon be a flurry of activity as students, interns, families, teens and cultural groups take part in the various programs happening in the lead-up to the Festival. In addition to the Parade Masterclass and the community Workshop Day on August 26th, Ashkenaz and Shadowland welcome participants of all ages to a free drop-in experience from August 27th-August 31st, 10am-4pm. These days have been set aside to invite everyone who has a few hours here and there to get creative with papier mache, painting, wood-cutting, stilt-walking training and more! Depending on the level of involvement, participants may have the chance at the parade to maneuvre a puppet that they worked on. The group of drop-inners will also get to work on site decor for the Festival long weekend. So come on down and contribute to what is surely going to be a wonderful spectacle at North America’s largest festival of Yiddish and Jewish Culture!
For more information on the free drop-in days at 918 Bathurst, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-979-9955. We look forward to welcoming you and your creativity!
03 Aug / Ashkenaz in the National Post
On August 1, The National Post selected the Ashkenaz Festival to be included in their “Month Ahead” feature! This inclusion was on the front page of the Arts & Life section which reaches an audience of over 420,000 people. So mark your calendar and save the date: the Festival begins on the 28th of August and concludes on the 3rd of September. It’s great to be featured in this way and helps make the Festival lead-up atmosphere even more exciting! Keep an eye out over the coming months for more Ashkenaz-related promotion and information in media outlets all throughout Toronto…
31 Jul / “Rhapsody 1939-45″ comes to Ashkenaz
The 2012 Ashkenaz Festival team is thrilled to be adding the beautiful work of Leo Spellman (Szpilman) to the festival programme. Spellman, a 99-year-old composer and Holocaust survivor who settled in Toronto after World War II, composed “Rhapsody 1939-45″ in a displaced person’s camp in Germany, in 1947. The score lay forgotten in a suitcase for over fifty years. Over the subsequent decades, Spellman established a successful musical career as a composer, concert pianist, society musician, cantorial accompanist, and music director of the Toronto Jewish Theatre. Now finally recorded, Spellman’s “Rhapsody 1939-1945” will be performed in Canada for the first time at the 2012 Ashkenaz Festival, with an orchestra conducted by Paul Hoffert and Spellman in attendance.
Rhapsody 1939-1945 depicts three themes – the horror of war, the sadness of loss, and the hope for a better tomorrow. The first section paints a sonic picture of bombs falling, machine gun fire, and troops marching. The second is a mournful lamentation evoking profound despair. The third section employs joyful klezmer music themes to remind us that even in adversity there is strength, passion, resilience and hope at the heart of the soul of the Jewish people. The Rhapsody builds to a hopeful and ecstatic finale, referencing “Hatikvah” and the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel, shortly after the work was composed.
Spellman’s cousin, Wladyslaw Szpilman, is the subject of the Oscar-winning Roman Polanski film The Pianist. The Szpilman family was a revered musical dynasty in Poland for over 100 years.
We hope you will join us for this legendary performance on the last night of our Festival celebrations.
You can purchase tickets for the Monday September 3, 6pm performance here.
($20 in advance/$25 day-of)
Sponsored by NanDan Foundation and Mirvish Charitable Foundation.
10 Jul / Workshop Day with Shadowland Theatre
The 2012 Ashkenaz Festival is pleased to announce details of the community workshop day with Shadowland Theatre on Sunday, August 26 at 918 Bathurst (just north of Bloor). This unique and fun-filled day is a lead-up event to the 2012 Festival – led by Ashkenaz staff and Shadowland interns – and a chance to take part in the production of the Parade that will promenade at Harbourfront on Monday, September 3rd.
We will focus on parade images that participants can wear or animate in the parade. You’ll have the chance to create an oversize character/puppet that reflects a historical character or attribute, or an exaggerated prop for use in the Ashkenaz Parade. Participants will be guided in transforming simple materials into a dramatic sculpted mask or object that will be used in the Parade performance.
Sunday, August 26 at 918 Bathurst:
10am-12pm - Children under 12 and Young Families workshop (Children under 12 must be accompanied by a guardian). Participants will be guided by Shadowland staff to decorate personal hamsas and will make dramatic face masks based on characters from Yiddish folklore. A sparkly, joyous morning!
1pm-3pm- Combined Seniors and Teens/Young Adults workshop. Participants will decorate a giant mezuzah with created tiles and decorative elements and will be encouraged to exchange stories of mezuzot they have had in the past, doorways and entrances and homes that are special to them. Elements of these stories will be woven into the final sculpture.
4pm-6pm- Teens workshop. Create an oversize character that reflects significant a historical character or attribute, or an exaggerated prop for use in the Ashkenaz Parade. Participants will be guided in transforming simple materials into a dramatic sculpted mask or object that will be used in the performance.
There will be a nominal fee of $10 per family for the morning session, and $5 per participant for the other two sessions in order to cover costs of workshop materials. Please note that for the 1pm-3pm session, the teens/young adults participation fee will cover the seniors fee, ie., seniors go free.
For more info and to register for a workshop, please email email@example.com. We look forward to having you join us for the fun pre-festival excitement!
28 Jun / Dancing into summer at Bialik
Ashkenaz brings dance to Bialik’s year-end celebration
On June 21st, 2012, Bialik students were once again the participants of an Ashkenaz in the Schools program, this time through the art of Yiddish dance. As part of Panorama, Bialik’s week-long arts celebration program at the end of term, Ashkenaz brought dynamic dance teacher (and Artist Liaison & Programming Coordinator) Avia Moore to lead a dance workshop to grade 6 and 7 students.
11 Jun / 2012 Ashkenaz Parade Masterclass
Since the first Ashkenaz festival in 1995, Shadowland Theatre artists Anne Barber and Brad Harley have created the festival’s largest work of art involving hundreds of community participants. This processional performance will travel around Harbourfront Centre and adjacent Queens Quay locations on Monday, September 3, 2012 in the afternoon. The 2012 parade will be based on folkloric characters, superstitions, and stories from Jewish and Yiddish culture – with a radical new twist. The 2012 Festival Parade Masterclass offers a fun and dynamic experience for enthusiastic and creative people of all ages!
Masterclass session dates:
Tuesday, August 21st, 6-9pm
Thursday, August 23rd, 6-9pm
Tuesday, August 28th, 6-9pm
29 Mar / 2012 Parade Internship
Since the Ashkenaz festival began in 1995, Shadowland artists Anne Barber and Brad Harley have created the festival’s largest work of art involving hundreds of community participants. This processional performance will travel around Harbourfront Centre and adjacent Queens Quay locations on Monday, September 3 2012 in the afternoon. The 2012 parade will be based on folkloric characters, superstitions and stories from Jewish and Yiddish culture but with a radical new twist.
Ashkenaz is pleased to present, in partnership with the Canada Israel Cultural Foundation, the Canadian debut of Israeli jazz guitarist Ori Dakari. Israeli guitarist Ori Dakari is an exciting new arrival on the international world-jazz scene. With his debut CD release “Entrances” (2009) on John Zorn’s prestigious Tzadik Records label, Ori Dakari has fashioned a compelling sound all his own. Lyrical and powerful, his unique compositions are rooted as much in contemporary jazz sounds as in Israeli, Yemenite, East European, and North African music. Surrounded by an impressive cast of some of NY’s top young jazz heavies, Dakari and his quartet create exciting improvisations and intense rhythmic drive. The band has already lit up the international jazz circuit with festival and club performances in Israel, US, Russia, Serbia and Thailand; don’t miss their Canadian debut at Toronto’s Trane Studio.
07 Nov / Lemon Bucket Orkestra – Nov 19, 2011
The exciting new event space at the Lower Ossington Theatre Lounge will play host to Toronto’s only Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Party-Punk-Super-Band, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra. Come down to Queen and Ossington for Ashkenaz’s kick-off show of the season.
DATE: Saturday, November 19, 2011
PLACE: LOT Lounge, 100 Ossington Ave (street-level space, just north of Queen)
TIME: Doors at 10 p.m., show at 10:30 p.m.
For more info on the artists go to www.lemonbucketorkestra.com
Jewish People, Yiddish Nation: Noah Prylucki and the Folkists in Poland
Oct 18, 2011
The official launch of the new book by Professor Kalman Weiser. Featuring a special musical performance by Marilyn Lerner and David Wall
Linguist, folklorist, journalist, and politician Noah Prylucki (1882–1941) was a champion of Yiddishism, a movement that promoted secular Yiddish culture as the basis for Jewish collective identity in the twentieth century. Prylucki’s dramatic path – from russified Zionist raised in a Ukrainian shtetl, to Diaspora nationalist parliamentarian in metropolitan Warsaw, to professor of Yiddish the University of Vilnius in Soviet Lithuania – uniquely reflects the dilemmas and competing options facing the Jews of this era as life in Eastern Europe underwent radical transformation. Using hitherto unexplored archival sources, memoirs, interviews, and materials from the vibrant interwar Jewish and Polish presses, Professor Kalman Weiser investigates the rise and fall of Yiddishism and of Prylucki’s political party, the Folkists, in the post-World War One era. Jewish People, Yiddish Nation reveals the life of a remarkable individual and the fortunes of a major cultural movement that has long been obscured. Professor Weiser will discuss his research, present selected passages from the book and participate in a Q and A.
Illustrating the continuing relevance of the Yiddishist movement, two of Toronto’s leading interpreters of Yiddish song, Marilyn Lerner and David Wall, will present new musical settings of Yiddish folksong texts collected by Prylucki himself.
Ashkenaz is thrilled to announce that this year’s Annual Summer Yiddish Concert will feature the Canadian debut of Serendipity4, a veritable supergroup including the legendary star of song, stage and screen Theodore Bikel, along with renowned Dutch Yiddish singer Shura Lipovsky, virtuoso Bosnian accordionist Merima Kljuco and acclaimed conductor and pianist Tamara Brooks. This quartet of highly celebrated musicians highlight the diversity and commonality of different cultures, performing songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino and Bosnian styles.
16 Apr / Ashkenaz @ TJFF May 8-15, 2011
Springtime in Toronto can mean only one thing: the Jewish Film Festival is upon us! From May 7-15, Ashkenaz is thrilled once again to partner with the TJFF in the presentation of two films at this year’s festival.
16 Apr / Ashkenaz 2011 Summer Kickoff
Ashkenaz kicks off the summer with an eardrum-rattling double bill featuring two electrifying bands from opposite ends of the earth. Brooklyn’s Yiddish Princess wowed audiences at the 2010 Ashkenaz Festival with its bizarre and compelling re-take on Yiddish music set as 1980′s-style power pop. Combining the soaring vocals of Sarah Gordon with the irreverent arrangements of klez-synth madman Michael Winograd, the group is completed by a double guitar onslaught and arena rock drum/bass rhythm section that rocks out without leaving the shlock out.
Making their Toronto debut, Australia’s The Barons of Tang blend tango, zydeco, jazz and rockabilly with East European gypsy and klezmer influences. Performed with crushing intensity and an unabashed punk attitude, the 7-piece group’s self-described brand of “gypsy deathcore” music is unlike anything heard before in these parts.
We are very excited to partner for the first time with the Toronto Jazz Festival in presenting another returning favourite from our last Festival. Since their Ashkenaz-commissioned, world premiere performance at Harbourfront Centre last summer, Montreal’s LES BATARDS DE BOUCHE has continued developing its unique and virtuosic repertoire of Jewish- and Quebecois-influenced harmonica music. Featuring the full range of Harmonica family instruments (diatonic, chromatic, chord and bass), the group elicits a delightful range of sounds and moods from its quirky instrumentation, and will release its debut CD back where it all began in Toronto in a free outdoor performance on Wednesday June 29, 5:30pm at Metro Square (next to Roy Thomson Hall), co-presented by Ashkenaz and the Toronto Jazz Festival.
12 Jan / Yemen Blues – Feb 26, 2011
Ashkenaz presents the premiere Toronto performance of YEMEN BLUES, the most exciting new World music act out of Israel. With its explosive, 21st century brew of Yemenite-Jewish song and poetry, West African grooves and American jazz, blues and funk, the nine-piece ensemble creates a breathtaking musical experience, brimming with innovation, celebration and virtuosity.
“Yemen Blues is THE discovery of the year“ (WDR Funkhaus Europa, Germany)
14 Dec / Hip Hop Hanukah – Dec 2, 2010
Ashkenaz and The Annex Shul present…
Thursday December 2nd, 2010
The Mod Club, 722 College St. at Crawford
Doors 9pm, Show 9:30pm
19+Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
*Bring a new, unwrapped toy to participate in our charity toy drive and get the chance to win some awesome prizes. Hip Hop Hanukah, a one-night celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights, will bring together arts and charity and feature Jewish hip-hop sensation SOCALLED, with Hanukah songs and music from his upcoming CD.
Montreal-based SOCALLED (aka Josh Dolgin) combines hip hop, rap and funk with Yiddish theatre tunes and old-school Klezmer samples gleaned from 78 rpm records rescued out of derelict basements and garbage piles. Spicing up his eclectic music mix with electric guitar, bass, horns and live folk musicians on traditional instruments, it’s an irresistible sonic tapestry that promises a not-to-be-missed evening!
HIP HOP HANUKAH TOY DRIVE: Please bring a new unwrapped toy to the event for a chance to win some awesome prizes! Toys will be donated to Chai Life Line, an organization that brings hope to children suffering from serious illness & their families. Toy donations will be matched by Best Made Toys, a local toy importer.
For more on SOCALLED, check out the following links:
NFB’s “The Socalled Movie” trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jdov1ZhZWBo
These Are The Good Old Days” video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=lLK_kkL2yjY
“You are Never Alone” video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=8tS4OWiozmw
Sponsers: Artist accomodations for Hip Hop Hanukah have been generously sponsored by Annex Quest House.
September 8-30, 2010 – Visual Arts Exhibit
Ashkenaz and the Al Green Gallery present
“Isaac Bashevis Singer and his Artists”
Al Green Gallery, 64 Merton St. (Yonge/Davisville)
Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 14th, 6-8 pm
Exhibition began September 8th, & continues through September 30th, 2010.
Viewing hours: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays 12-5pm; Thursdays 12-7pm; Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
This exhibit is also a collaboration with the The Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion Museum (NY)
For more info phone theAl Green Galleryat 416-440-3084 or contact Ashkenaz
Winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature, Isaac Bashevis Singer’s (1902-1991) prolific legacy of fictional work is a pillar in the canon of Yiddish and Jewish literature. Of his many books and stories, more than thirty have been illustrated. The visual interpretations given to his work by various artists reveal a fascinating variety of approaches, matching the authors own diverse themes and moods.
This unique exhibit features over 80 paintings, drawings and photographs created by 17 artists for Singer’s books and stories. Exhibited artists include Larry Rivers, Maurice Sendak, Raphael Soyer, Roman Vishniac, William Pene Du Bois, Ira Moskowitz, Eric Carle, Leonard Everrett Fisher, Antonio Frasconi, Nonny Hogrogian, Yuri Shulevitz, Irene Lieblich and Margot Zemach.
With a unique sense of humanity, humour, and clarity, Singer’s early writing evoked the vanished world of Polish Jews prior to and during the First World War. Beginning with his 1961 short story collection The Spinoza of Market Street and continuing in his later works, the writer depicted a post-Holocaust world rife with chaos and paranoia. Based on his sharp observations and genuine love of pious, superstitious, earthy, heroic, and tragic figures, his works continue to live in our collective memories. Singer’s fictional characters blur the lines between folk tales, legends and supernatural powers, and the harsh realities of fear, anxiety, and despair that come with surviving.
For more information click here
26 Oct / Campus Rep. Positions!
Ashkenaz Campus Rep. opportunities available now!
As an Ashkenaz Campus Representative, you will have a unique opportunity to build bridges between multicultural communites through the arts. By assisting with grassroots marketing and creation of Ashkenaz events, Campus Reps will help develop greater awareness about the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary Jewish music/art, and foster community engagement and art and culture opportunities on campus.
- The Miles Nadal J.C.C (750 Spadina Ave.)
- Free Times Café (320 College Street)
- The Hungarian Canadian Cultural Centre (840 St Clair. Ave W.)
- Pickle Barrel: Yonge & Eglinton location and Yorkdale location
- Israel’s : The Judaica Centre (870 Eglinton Ave West)
- Barbara Frum Library (20 Covington Road)
- Prosserman J.C.C (4588 Bathurst St.)
- Lipa Green Lobby (4600 Bathurst Street)
- Garnett Williams Community Centre (501 Clark Ave.)
- Bathurst Clark Resource Library (900 Clark Avenue West)
ALTHOUGH THERE ARE SCHEDULES THROUGHOUT THE CITY, THE ABOVE ARE THE CENTRAL DEPOTS.
Ashkenaz Festival ticketed events will be on sale as of Tuesday July 20 from the Harbourfront Centre Box office. Visit the “Buy Tickets” page for details or call 416-973-4000.
We are thrilled to announce this year’s lineup with the launch of a brand new website that we hope will be a helpful and informative resource to our audience. Please take advantage of the terrific new interactive features that allow you to personalize and plan your Ashkenaz experience, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay close to the action and up to date on latest festival developments.
Thanks to the incredible support of our generous community we are once again able to present the Ashkenaz Festival almost entirely free to the public, but as always there are a handful of not-to-be-missed featured performances for which tickets are required. Tickets will be available from the Harbourfront Centre box office as of July 20.
This year’s 15th anniversary festival will feature perhaps our most diverse lineup yet. Our 90 acts and 200+ individual artists represent the very best of the Canadian and international Jewish culture scene. With traditional and cutting-edge Klezmer and Yiddish music, increased offerings in Sephardic and Mizrachi music, a wide range of cross-cultural fusion, and unique multi-disciplinary performances, this year’s eclectic program offers numerous surprises. Illuminating context is provided by panel discussions, lectures, films, and participatory dance and music workshops, while kids activities and group celebrations like the famous Ashkenaz Parade unite our multicultural and multigenerational audience in a one-of-a-kind community experience.
Please join us Labour Day weekend to take part in this wonderful celebration!
Ashkenaz and the Al Green Gallery present
I Am From Here: The Paintings of Maciej Frankiewicz
Al Green Gallery, 64 Merton St. (Yonge/Davisville)
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 24th, 6-8 pm
Exhibition continues through July 8th, 2010.
Viewing hours: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays 12-5pm; Thursdays 12-7pm; Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
For more info phone the Al Green Gallery at 416-440-3084 or contact Ashkenaz at 416-979-9901
A portion of proceeds will benefit the 2010 Ashkenaz Festival
The incredibly unique and beautiful paintings by Polish artist Maciej Frankiewicz elicited a powerful response from our audience at the 2008 Ashkenaz Festival, including many inquiries to purchase the work right off the walls of Harbourfront Centre. We are thrilled now to partner with the Al Green Gallery in re-mounting an extended two-week exhibit and sale of this artists’ extraordinary, one-of-a-kind works.
Maciej Frankiewicz was born in 1968 in Starachowice, Poland, previously known as Wierzbnik to its once-sizable Jewish population. Frankiewicz has devoted much of his adult life to preserving the memory of a world and a people he never knew. He has worked in collaboration with North American and Israeli-based organizations of Jewish landslayt (former townspeople) from Wierzbnik/Starachowice, to restore and preserve the remains of the Wierzbnik Jewish cemetery and establish the “Memorial Room of the Wierzbnik Jews” in the Starachowice cultural centre. As a prolific painter he has produced hundreds of works depicting his vision of former Jewish life in Wierzbnik. These striking works are by turns surreal, provocative, and romantic, inhabiting an amorphous realm somewhere between “slice of life” documentary and nostalgic fantasy. In his various capacities as artist, historian, researcher, collector, and activist, Frankiewicz signals hope for the continuing preservation of the memory of the lost Jewish worlds of Poland, by those who grapple with the legacy of the Holocaust on their own soil.
Brass -band blowout with Philadelphia’s Susan Watts and Montreal’s Fanfare Severni
Canadian debut of two of Israel’s leading Yiddish/Klezmer artists
Barry Zukerman Amphitheatre, Earl Bales Park, free
10 Jun / 2010 Curatorial Statement
The convergence of global and local forces has been at the heart of the Ashkenaz Festival since its inception. The festival emerged during the second wave of an international movement popularly known as the Klezmer/Yiddish Revival, which had begun in earnest in the mid-70s. Initially the esoteric domain of a small handful of committed researchers, musicians and artists in only a few farflung locales, such as New York, Winnipeg, San Francisco and Berlin, by the mid-90s the Revival was reaching larger audiences, attracting new converts and popping up in various manifestations in more and more communities around the world, including Amsterdam, London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal, and of course Toronto.
The debut of the Ashkenaz Festival in 1995 was a significant milestone in the life of the movement, and from its very first edition Ashkenaz put Toronto on the map as a key centre in the international Klezmer/Yiddish Revival. By partnering with Harbourfront Centre and reaching a broad multicultural audience, Ashkenaz’s visionary founders placed the work of the Klezmer/Yiddish revivalists in its largest and most public context yet. And with the broadening over the years of the festival’s artistic mandate, Ashkenaz has both reflected and encouraged the extension of the Klezmer/Yiddish Revival into other forms of contemporary Jewish and non-Jewish music/art, creating numerous new subgenres.
The 15th anniversary Ashkenaz Festival is a significant milestone, during which the position of the festival at the convergence of so many local and global forces will be amply displayed. Ashkenaz 2010 will share the beauty and richness of Toronto’s renowned multicultural spirit with artists and audiences both from around the world and from around the corner. Ashkenaz 2010 will, as always, bring into focus the cultural vibrancy and interconnectedness of Jewish and non-Jewish communities at home and abroad. In short, through Ashkenaz an international cultural insurgency has dug deep roots in Toronto, and Toronto had made itself into a key influence in shaping the character and evolution of contemporary Jewish music and art.
Ashkenaz and the Toronto Jewish Film Festival are proud to present
The World Premiere screening of:
THE KLEZMATICS: ON HOLY GROUND (USA 2010, 108 MIN)
Preceded by a special concert presentation with Klezmatics members
FRANK LONDON, LORIN SKLAMBERG AND LISA GUTKIN
THURSDAY APRIL 22, 8 PM, BLOOR CINEMA 506 BLOOR ST. WEST
Film followed by Q & A with the musicians and director Eric Greenberg Anjou
For over 20 years The Klezmatics have been at the vanguard of the international Klezmer revival movement. The Grammy award-winning group has redefined the boundaries of contemporary Jewish music, through nine albums and collaborations with such diverse artists as Chava Alberstein, Arlo Guthrie, Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Nelson. Following the group through tours in the US, Germany and Poland, this strikingly honest documentary portrait reveals the challenges faced by the Klezmatics as they strive to continue making joyous, boundary-breaking music while balancing the demands of family, career and their own individual lives.
To purchase tickets visit www.tjff.com Phone orders 416-967-1528 (beginning April 1)
22 Feb / Psoy Korolenko – March 7, 2010
Russian-Jewish troubadour presents Soviet popular hits and post-shtetl songs in Russian, Yiddish, and Moldavian
Robert Gill Theatre, Uof T, 216 College St. 3rd floor
Yiddish raconteur releases his new book “How to be a Mentsh (And not a shmuck)”
Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St. West – $5@door, or free with book purchase
Moldova’s leading performer of Yiddish song and a leader in the revival of post-Soviet Jewish culture
Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue, 100 Elder St – $10@door
World/roots fusion from Montreal
Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. West – $15@door
Music, Dance, Theatre, Literature, Film, Visual Arts, Kids events, & the Ashkenaz Parade
Abraham Inc, Pharaoh’s Daughter, Andy Statman, Joshua Nelson, Konsonans Retro, & many more
Harbourfront Centre, Toronto – most events free
High-octane Roma music and jazz/folk fusion from Hungary
Hungarian Canadian Cultural Centre, 840 St. Clair West – $25@door
Toronto group blends Sephardic, Hebrew and Middle-eastern sounds with Jazz, latin, funk, reggae and electronica
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. – $12 adv, $15@door
Jazz/World music interpretation of famous I.B. Singer story, performed with narration
Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina Ave. – $15 adv, $20@door
Balkan-Ladino music from Bosnia
Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W. – $20 adv, $25@door
22 Jan / Theodore Bikel – February 2, 2008
Legendary singer/actor performs in Toronto for the first time in 20 years!
Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St. – $45/$60/$75
Montreal’s Yiddish Hip-hop renegade fuses Jewish roots with urban grooves
The Mod Club Theatre, 722 College St.
Yiddish swing and three-part harmony a la the Barry Sisters
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W.
Yiddish raconteur reads from his new book
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W.
Holland’s leading Yiddish songstress’ first Canadian appearance in over a decade
Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina Ave.
THE SOCALLED MOVIE
Sunday May 2, 9:15pm Bloor Cinema 506 Bloor St. West
Tuesday, May 04 11:30 am at The ROM Theatre., 100 Queens Park
The Socalled Movie is an NFB-produced, feature documentary film about Montreal-based Yiddish hip-hop madman Josh Dolgin – aka Socalled. Directed by Garry Beitel, the film features Katie Moore, Fred Wesley, C-Rayz Walz, David Krakauer, Matt Haimovitz, Arkady Gendler, Benjamin Steiger Levine, D-Shade, Gonzales and Irving Fields, in a kaleidoscopic portrait offering 18 entertaining short films about Socalled’s creative process.
View the Socalled Movie Trailer on YouTube
Visit the official NFB Socalled Movie website
Internationally renowned Klezmer supergroup performs Jewish street and cabaret songs from the Nazi ghetto of Lodz, Poland
Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St.
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