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.

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!

Shtetl on the Shortwave // “Shye Ben Tzur – Clip 2″

Shtetl on the Shortwave // “Shye Ben Tzur – Clip 1″

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

New drop-in days for Parade Production

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 janis@ashkenazfestival.com or call 416-979-9955. We look forward to welcoming you and your creativity!