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 Yid PrincessYiddish 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.

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Ashkenaz @ Toronto Jazz Festival – June 29, 2011

batardsWe 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), jazzthe 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.

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)

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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:

These Are The Good Old Days” video:

“You are Never Alone” video:

Sponsers: Artist accomodations for Hip Hop Hanukah have been generously sponsored by Annex Quest House.

Visual Arts Exhibit – Sept. 8-30, 2010

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
at 416-979-9901

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

Read an article from Shalom Life about the exhibit when it previewed at the 2010 Ashkenaz Festival

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.

Ashkenaz 2010 Hard-Copy Schedules Now Available around G.T.A!


  • 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)