2018 Ashkenaz Festival

2018 Ashkenaz Festival

The 2018 Ashkenaz Festival will take place Tuesday August 28 through Monday September 3 in Toronto, at Harbourfront Centre and other venues around the GTA. The Festival will once again feature artists from across Canada and around the world, including Israel, Russia, Poland, Italy, Australia, Brazil, and the US. Our weeklong celebration will simultaneously showcase diversity and cross-culturalism within the Jewish music and arts world, while also delving deeply into the Yiddishkayt that has always been at the core of our work. This year’s Festival will shine a spotlight on women in Jewish music and culture, highlighting great female artists, past and present, and conveying their centrality in creating, maintaining and evolving Jewish musical and artistic traditions. Other festival highlights will include a number of artists and programs representing the great re-birth of Jewish music and culture in the former Soviet Union, and an exploration of the Polish-Jewish experience through music, film, literature and visual arts, marking a number of significant anniversaries related to that history. We will also celebrate Israel@70 with a robust program of diverse Israeli world music. Watch these pages throughout June and July as we add artist listings and scheduling information. Be sure to join our email list and/or follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest info and updates as they become available.

OPENING CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT: Yiddish Glory will open the Festival on August 28 at Koerner Hall. Click here for details!

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Featured Performers

A-Wa   Israel

A-WA (pronounced Ay-Wa) is a band formed by 3 sisters who combine music inspired by the ancient oral history of Yemenite women’s Read More

Salomé: Woman of Valor   Vancouver/NYC

Innovative, transformative and daring, Salomé: Woman of Valor is the culmination of years of work by Grammy Award-winning composer/trumpeter Frank London and celebrated Read More

Eleanor Reissa & Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars   NYC

The soulful and inimitable Eleanor Reissa and the “mystical high priest of New Wave Avant-Klez jazz” Frank London have been inspiring each other Read More

Gili Yalo   Ethiopia/Israel

Gili Yalo is one of the most intriguing new artists in Israel’s world music scene. Combining his Ethiopian roots with soul, reggae, Read More

Yiddish Glory   Russia/Canada

Hailed by more than 100 critics and journalists around the world, Yiddish Glory is a rare and extraordinary program of songs and Read More

YID!   Australia

Conceived by Melbourne musician Simon Starr, YID! is an extraordinary 22-piece collective of virtuoso musicians that unfurls a joyous, edgy and ferociously Read More

Lara St. John and Matt Herskowitz   NY/Montreal

“Lavuta: Violin Without Borders” Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” (The Strad), a “volcanic violinist” Read More

Dobranotch   Russia

Russia’s Dobranotch performs its own irreverent brand of Jewish, Gypsy and Balkan traditional music, drawing on deep knowledge of traditions, rich experience Read More

Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk   Poland

Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk is a singer, accordion player and researcher of Eastern European musical folklore. Her research and creative work focuses on Read More

Socalled String Quartet   Montreal

Montreal’s Socalled (aka. Josh Dolgin) is one of Canada’s leading exports to the international Yiddish music scene. He is best-known as a Read More

The Bashevis Singers   Melbourne, Australia

The Bashevis Singers are the children of generations of people who lived their lives in Yiddish. Siblings Evie and Husky Gawenda and Read More

A Tribute to Elaine Hoffman Watts   USA/Canada

Featuring SUSAN LANKIN-WATTS and special guests TSIBELE, MARILYN LERNER and RACHEL LEMISCH Elaine Hoffman Watts z”l (1932-2017) was a legendary musician and Read More

If It Be Your Will: An All-Canadian Tribute to Leonard Cohen   Canada

A one-of-a-kind concert celebrating the life and words of the legendary Leonard Cohen, with particular attention paid to the Jewish themes in Read More

Ben Caplan   Halifax, NS

Ben Caplan is a songwriter, performer and entertainer in the most time-honoured sense of the word. From the moment he walks onto Read More

The Prince and the Dybbuk (2017)   Germany/Poland

Directed by Elwira Niewiera & Piotr Rosołowski English, Italian, Spanish, Polish & German w/ English subtitles, 82 minutes A dybbuk in Jewish Read More

Briga   Montreal

Briga’s music is a reflection of her fragmented identity.She’s acreator, a composer, a producer, a violinist, multi-instrumentalist, and a vocalist. Recipient of the Read More

Narishkayt: Yidlife Crisis in Krakow   Canada/Poland, 2017

Directed by Paulina Fiejdasz, English and Yiddish with English Subtitles (50 minutes)  YidLife Crisis is a Yiddish comedy web series and evolving Read More

THIS IS ONLY A PARTIAL LISTING OF ALL FESTIVAL ARTISTS AND PERFORMANCES. USE THE ICONS AT TOP OF PAGE TO BROWSE COMPLETE FESTIVAL LISTINGS BY ARTISTIC DISCIPLINE