2016 Ashkenaz Festival


The 11th biennial Ashkenaz Festival takes place from August 30 to September 5, 2016, at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre and other venues across the GTA.


Featured Performers

Abraham Inc   US/Canada

We are thrilled to welcome back to Ashkenaz, Abraham Inc, the 9- piece Jewish -funk supergroup co-led by the titanic trio of Read More

Jinta La-Mvta   Japan

Tokyo’s Jinta-la-Mvta is a unique ensemble that combines its own roots in Japanese folkloric music traditions with influences from Jewish, Greek, Balkan Read More

The Klezmatics   New York

Celebrating their 30th anniversary with the release of a brand new CD at Ashkenaz, the Grammy-award winning Klezmatics have been redefining Yiddish roots music for three decades. Read More

Semer Ensemble   Germany

Germany’s Semer Ensemble is a world-class supergroup of Berlin-based musicians and singers who create fresh interpretations and provocative, contemporary arrangements of repertoire Read More

Muzsikás   Hungary

For over 40 years, the  musicians of Budapest’s Muzsikás Ensemble have been the leading global emissaries of Hungarian folk music. Their legendary Read More

Baladino   Israel

With its members hailing from Berlin and Tel Aviv, Baladino is a Mediterranean folk band that offers fresh, yet deeply authentic interpretations of Sephardic and Ladino melodies and brings this tradition back into full, fresh dialogue with its trans-Mediterranean past. Read More

Death of a Salesman (Toyt Fun a Seylsman)

Ashkenaz, in association with the Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre, is pleased to present the new Yiddish-language production of Arthur Miller’s iconic Death Read More

Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra   Montreal

Montreal’s Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra is an explosion of music and dance, circus and imagination. The band is a creative chaos that fuses Afro-Colombian Read More

Lucidarium Ensemble   Italy/Switzerland

Lucidarium Ensemble specializes in bringing little-known repertoires from the Renaissance and Middle Ages back to life in an entertaining, engaging way designed Read More

Lemon Bucket Orkestra   Toronto

From Toronto to New York, Budapest to Berlin, audiences are hailing the Lemon Bucket Orkestra as folk music revolutionaries. Self-described as a Read More

Beyond the Pale   Toronto

Celebrating their 18th anniversary at Ashkenaz 2016, Beyond the Pale are known for their unique brand of boundary-busting Eurofolk fusion, featuring inventive Read More

Zusha   NYC

Zusha is a World Soul band led by Shlomo Gaisin (vocals), Elisha Mlotek (percussion) and Zachariah Goldschmiedt (guitar). Their music focuses on Read More

Mark Rubin   New Orleans

Oklahoma-born, Texas-reared, and now living in New Orleans, multi-instrumentalist Mark Rubin is an unabashed Southern Jew, known equally for his muscular musicianship Read More

We Keep Coming Back

A mother and son, both descendants of Polish Holocaust survivors, return to Poland in the hopes of finding their lost identity and Read More

Zhenya Lopatnik   Ukraine

Ukraine’s Zhenya Lopatnik is a leading voice in a new generation of Yiddish singers and songwriters emerging from the former Soviet Union. Born Read More

Nicole Borger   Brazil/NY

Brazilian chanteuse Nicole Borger creates fresh interpretations of Yiddish song classics, translating them into Portugese and setting them to a kaleidoscope of Read More

Fressers Summit

As part of the 2016 Ashkenaz Festival’s new focus on Jewish foodways, each of our unique presenters will give individual presentations throughout Read More

Oktopus   Montreal

Montreal’s Oktopus is one of the most vibrant new voices in Canada’s world music scene. Their spirited blend of traditional East-European melodies Read More

18 Years in the Yiddish Revival: A Socalled Photography Show

Ashkenaz is pleased to present a world-premiere exhibit of photography by Montreal musician Socalled. As one of the leading figures of his Read More

Michael Wex   Toronto

“Rhapsody in Schmaltz” Author of Born to Kvetch, columnist, bon vivant and raconteur, Michael Wex has been called “a Yiddish national treasure.” Born Read More

Janet and Jak Esim Quartet   Turkey

Istanbul’s Janet and Jak Esim are among the greatest performers and researchers of Ladino song in the world today. Most of the Read More

Galeet Dardashti   NYC

Over the past several years, some of Israel’s most noted secular rock singers have begun performing their own renditions of traditional Middle Read More

Sandcatchers   NYC

Sandcatchers was formed in the corner of Cheryl’s, a soul food restaurant on the corner of Underhill avenue and Eastern Parkway in Read More

The Mayors of Sambor   Winnipeg

Winnipeg sibling act features members of Finjan explores the intersection east European folk traditions with classical chamber music. Read More

Zev Feldman Trio   New York/Montreal

The Zev Feldman Trio is a neo-traditionalist ensemble that performs Klezmer music in the small group style of 19th century Europe, while Read More

Raise the Roof (2015)

Directed by Yari and Cary Wolinsky (USA) 85 minutes “How often do you get a chance to reach deep into history and Read More

Nomadica   Toronto

Nomadica re-imagines and recombines the rich, soulful and righteously celebratory musics of the Arabs, Gypsies and Jews. Led by Juno-award winning trumpeter Read More

The Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative   Toronto/Montreal/NYC

The Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative (I=I) is a Toronto based collective of Israeli and Iranian musicians whose mission is to suggest a path of Read More

Ashkenaz Parade

Ashkenaz is thrilled to welcome back Shadowland Theatre to create the Festival’s joyous Parade. Iconic Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem’s 100th yohrzayt provides Read More

Zane Caplansky   Toronto

Zane Caplansky was born to own a deli. Now one of Canada’s most successful and well-known restaurateurs, Zane’s path to smoked-meat success Read More

Michael Twitty   Baltimore

Food writer, independent scholar and culinary historian, Michael Twitty’s “Kosher Soul” explores the intersection of Jewish and African American foodways as a Read More

Elizabeth Alpern   Brooklyn

Liz Alpern is the co-owner of The Gefilteria, a culinary venture that reimagines Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, and co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto: Read More

Bonnie Stern   Toronto

“EATING MY WAY THROUGH ISRAEL” Bonnie has led six culinary tours to Israel in the last ten years and has seen firsthand Read More

Ventanas   Toronto

Tamar Ilana and her trans-Mediterranean ensemble Ventanas embrace the varied instrumental and melodic traditions of the Sephardic Jews of North Africa, the Balkans, and Read More