From left to right - Co-Founders of I=I - Parisa Sabet, Dan Deutsch, Noam Lemish. Photo by Magadhee Suraweera Special to Ashkenaz 2016: All Rivers at Once, I=I

This year’s #AshkenazFest welcomes The Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative, whose mission is to suggest a path of cultural reconciliation in place of the diplomatic hostility that persists between these two nations. A new collective of Iranian/Persian and Israeli/Jewish musicians was assembled specifically for the 2016 Festival program. Check out this Q&A with co-artistic director Noam Lemish which provides… Read More »

Ensemble Lucidarium Lucidarium Ensemble: Commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Venice Ghetto

One of the many overarching themes at this year’s #AshkenazFest is the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the Venice Ghetto in 1516. This was the first such Ghetto of its kind in the world (in fact the word Ghetto comes from the Italian word for foundry, geto, referring to the site’s… Read More »

Theo Bikel and Dan Kahn, photo taken by Socalled Q&A: Daniel Kahn, the inaugural Theodore Bikel Artist-in-Residence

I can’t believe we’re less than two weeks away from this year’s #AshkenazFest. With all the hype in the office and everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off (Chickens..See what I did there? See 11th Ashkenaz Festival logo), it was nice to take a deep breath and check in with inaugural Theodore… Read More »

Josh et radio A man, a musician, a magician, a Montrealer, amongst many other titles that don’t start with ‘M’

Over Labour Day Weekend 2012, I was visiting Toronto from Montreal for a Maccabiah Israel basketball training camp. My Sunday night was open, so my cousin suggested that we check out the Ashkenaz Festival. At the time, I hadn’t heard too much about the festival (How things change in just four short years!). I had… Read More »

Death of a Salesman in Yiddish Yiddish is SEXY again! An interview with DOAS’s (Toyt Fun a Seylsman), Avi Hoffman

We’re nearing the one-month countdown to the 2016 Ashkenaz Festival! As things start to fall beautifully into place, this week, with much excitement, ticketed events for this year’s #AshkenazFest were announced. Such events include, The Klezmatics, Lucidarium Ensemble, Muzsikás, Semer Ensemble and We Keep Coming Back. One ticketed event I’d like to highlight in this… Read More »

Sholem Aleichem Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem – prior to joining this year’s #AshkenazFest team as the Communications Associate, Sholem Aleichem was just a phrase I would use to greet people – it didn’t have much more significance than my own satirical way of saying hello, especially amongst my non-Jewish friends. Since my start at Ashkenaz, however, this phrase has… Read More »

The Klezmatics: 30 years of devotion to klezmer revival The Klezmatics: 30 years of devotion to klezmer revival

In my first full week at Ashkenaz, I had the opportunity to check in with Klezmatics’ Frank London to weigh in on the iconic group’s influence and contribution to the revitalization of klezmer music over the past three decades. The Grammy-award winning band is performing its 30th anniversary show on the Festival’s opening night, Tuesday, August… Read More »

Blue walls and poster art - My doors to creativity and productivity! Welcome to the #AshkenazFest Blog!

Vus makht du, folks? My name is Melissa Szilagyi. I am the Communications Associate for this year’s Ashkenaz Festival. I come to Ashkenaz from a diverse PR background, ranging from work in politics and public affairs, healthcare and the Jewish not-for-profit sector. As part of our in-house communications strategy, I am launching a blog to… Read More »