Ashkenaz Barn Concerts!

In July 2021, Ashkenaz presented its first official concerts with a live audience since the global pandemic began. The performances took place in the barn at Bela Farm, a beautiful property one hour northwest of Toronto. For all of the artists too, this was their first opportunity to perform for a live audience in over 18 months. The thrill and excitement of the artists and the small socially-distanced audiences was palpable. This magical week of concerts was documented with multiple cameras and mics and each show will soon be edited and streamed for all to enjoy. Stay tuned to our social media channels for the most up-to-date info about broadcast dates. Here below are short descriptions of each of these concerts:

ROMada – World premiere of an Ashkenaz commissioned new ensemble of Roma musicians living in Canada, led by Moldavian-born, Montreal-based accordionist Sergiu Popa.

Socalled with Toronto Jazz Orchestra – North American premiere of a new program by Montreal-based Yiddish iconoclast, performed with a 19-piece jazz big band

Hartzedike-Lider – Duo of legendary Canadian Yiddish singer Allan Merovitz and guitarist/pianist Brian Katz, joined by special guest Jane Bunnett (sax, flute)

Aviva Chernick and La Serena Trio –  Beloved Toronto vocalist performs songs in Ladino, Hebrew, Yiddish and English, with her amazing ensemble (Joel Schwartz, Justin Gray, Naghmeh Farhamand), plus special guest Maryem Tollar

Ashkenaz 2020: Live and From the Archive

Join us online September 1-7 for a virtual celebration of Ashkenaz’s 25th anniversary! The festivities will include two parallel programs: a series of new ‘pop-up’ performances by Toronto based artists, livestreaming each day at 4pm, and a series of archival performances from past Festivals, streaming each evening at 8pm. Streams will take place on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE. MORE INFO

2020 Festival Postponement

We regretfully announce today the postponement of the 25th anniversary Ashkenaz Festival to 2021. We have arrived at this decision through ongoing consultation with our venue partner, Harbourfront Centre, and in alignment with the recommendations of Toronto Public Health, Public Health Ontario, and Health Canada, as well as the Government of Ontario’s recently announced roadmap for safely reopening the province. Under this guidance, large-scale gatherings such as ours will clearly not be able to take place as planned this summer.

The next Ashkenaz Festival is now officially re-scheduled for August 31 to September 6, 2021. These new festival dates align with more conservative estimates as to when major live events will once again be possible, giving us optimism that we will be able to proceed with the festival at that time.

 In the meantime we are contemplating new approaches to executing our mission. Over the last month we co-presented two well-attended and highly-reviewed online programs. These inaugural virtual events have helped us clarify some key principles that will guide our future efforts:

  • Musicians and performing artists are key to our mission, and they are among those most highly impacted, economically, by this crisis. We are committed to helping artists and arts workers sustain their careers during this challenging period, by advocating for their interests and providing professional compensation for their work;  
  • We remain committed to the highest professional production standards. Quality will always take primacy over quantity in our virtual content;
  • Partnerships will remain central to our approach in order that our online programs will reach the largest possible virtual audiences;
  • Our digital efforts will be a complement to our usual work and mission and we will return to live presentation and in-person communal experiences when the time is appropriate.

So, what can you do to help? First, we urge you all to please continue abiding by the most current public health and safety regulations. With solidarity and collective resolve we can together prevent more death and suffering, and hasten a return to some kind of normal in which live music and community experiences may be possible.  Second, please be sure to follow us on our social media pages if you don’t already so that you can stay abreast of our most current developments and program announcements. Click these links to find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Please mark our new 2021 Festival dates in your calendar.

Finally, please consider a tax deductible charitable donation to Ashkenaz at this time. We rely on private donations for over half of our total operating revenues. Your support will provide critical resources to help keep artists and art workers employed, while ensuring the health and efficacy of our organization. Though we recognize there are many urgent health and well-being causes requiring support right now, we know that music and the arts are critical to maintaining community and social connection amidst the isolation and distance of these times. For the Jewish community, it is especially vital in tough times to celebrate our shared culture, identity and resilience, and to engage youth, seniors and culturally-diverse audiences in meaningful artistic experiences. This is just what we hope to do over the coming year, providing hope, connection and inspiration at a critical time.

Thank you all, stay safe, stay sane….and stay tuned!

COVID-19 update

(April 1, 2020) The staff and Board of Directors of Ashkenaz are closely following the COVID-19 situation to determine if and how our plans for this year’s 25th anniversary festival will be impacted. The safety and health of our audience members, artists, staff and volunteers are of primary importance to us. Stay tuned for further updates.

Ashkenaz Paid Summer Internships 2019

We are hiring for this summer’s Ashkenaz team! See link below for information on three paid internship opportunities. If you are someone (or know someone) who would like to be a part of our summer team, please email your cover letter, cv and relevant work samples to Managing Director Samantha Parnes at sam@ashkenaz.ca.

Due to funding restrictions, the applicants must be: under 30 years of age; be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; have a valid SIN and be legally entitled to work in Ontario.  

Click here for info!

Eric’s Hanukah Playlist on CBC

What do Moishe Oysher, Flory Jagoda and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings have in common? Answer: they have each created some of the best Hanukah songs ever, all of which were part of a playlist our Artistic Director Eric Stein brought in for a spot he did yesterday on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.  Click play below to listen to the segment. Happy Hanukah!

 

Yiddish Glory to open 2018 Ashkenaz Festival

iddish Glory to open 2018 Ashkenaz Festival

We are pleased to announce the opening concert of the 2018 Ashkenaz Festival. Hailed by more than 100 critics and journalists around the world, Yiddish Glory is a rare and extraordinary program of songs and lyrics composed by Holocaust victims and survivors in the Soviet Union during World War II. Many of the songs are eyewitness accounts of Nazi atrocities in Ukraine at sites such as Babi Yar, Pechora and Tulchin, while others are explicit descriptions of resistance and revenge. Others are simply expressions of love, hope and even humour amidst unimaginable circumstances. Most of the songs were written by women and children, perspectives rarely seen in music of this period.

The songs were originally collected during the war by a team of Jewish Soviet ethnomusicologists led by Moisei Beregovsky. Shortly afterwards, during Stalin’s anti-Jewish purge, the collectors were arrested, their work confiscated, and they died thinking the music was lost to history. Now these rare gems have been rediscovered and resurrected in a jaw-dropping new program. Conceived and created by Professor Anna Shternshis and musical archaeologist Psoy Korolenko, Yiddish Glory’s all-star international cast includes Toronto’s beloved jazz chanteuse Sophie Milman, Moscow-based Gypsy virtuosi Trio Loyko, and Ashkenaz Festival co-founder David Buchbinder, among others. Don’t miss this unforgettable concert event!

WATCH A VIDEO featuring Sophie Milman

READ THE REVIEWS

YIDDISH GLORY: THE LOST SONGS OF WWII
TUESDAY AUGUST 28, 7:30pm
Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W.

Presented by ShowOne Productions, in collaboration with Ashkenaz and Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at University of Toronto

EXCLUSIVE 10% DISCOUNT PRE-SALE ON NOW UNTIL JUNE 5 at midnight. Click here and use code “Glory10” or call 416-408-0208 and quote the code.

2018 Festival Internships available

We are hiring for this summer’s Ashkenaz Festival team. See links below for three paid internship opportunities. Please note that due to funding restrictions, applicants must be a Canadian citizen, under 30 years of age, and have been in school full-time in the prior year and planning to return to school full-time in the fall.

Graphic Designer

Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Festival Assistant

Summer Internships with Ashkenaz!

Two Positions: Paid contracts, to begin in May/June for approx 7 weeks

Due to funding restrictions, the applicants must be:

Eligible to work in Canada; under 30 years of age; and have been in school full-time in the prior year and planning to return to school full-time in the fall.

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Graphic Designer

The Ashkenaz Foundation, a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to the presentation of world class Jewish music and art, is currently seeking a candidate to fill the position of Graphic Designer Through its internationally-renowned, biennial “Ashkenaz Festival,” and an expanding slate of year-round programming, Ashkenaz showcases the work of leading contemporary artists from Canada and around the world working in all artistic disciplines. Ashkenaz’s mandate and programming encompasses a vast range of pan-Jewish music and art, including east European, Yiddish, Sephardic, Ladino and Mizrachi traditions, and also strongly emphasizes fusion and cross-cultural exchange with artists from outside Jewish cultural traditions. The Graphic Designer will work closely with the Artistic and Managing Directors on graphic design and communications related to 2017 and 2018 programming, including a slate of summer concerts and a major fundraising event in the fall.

Responsibilities:

The Graphic Designer will play a central role in the overall communications, promotion, and marketing efforts of the Ashkenaz Foundation. Duties will include: graphic design for posters, flyers, ads, etc., both for print and online platforms; designing and distributing marketing materials for the events, as well as niche-interest materials; proofreading and editing various print and web materials; layout and content creation for regular e-newsletters (use of Constant Contact); assisting with the organization’s social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, others) for maximum impact; administrative management of programming info for website; planning and implementing creative promotional campaigns; if possible, creation and editing of online video promotions; and general participation as a member of the Ashkenaz team and assisting with any and all general duties relating to the work of the organization.

Qualifications:

-Due to funding restrictions, the applicants must be: eligible to work in Canada; under 30 years of age; and have been in school full-time in the prior year and planning to return to school full-time in the fall.

— Experience with graphic design (creative and software)

— Strong communication skills (both oral & written)

— Excellent organizational/time management and problem-solving skills

— Strong interpersonal skills

— Detail-orientated

— Fluency with Microsoft Office, e-mail, Internet, social media, website, and design software

— Must work well both independently and as part of a team

— Must be positive, mature-minded, flexible and comfortable working in a fast-paced, time-sensitive, non-corporate environment

— Experience working on websites (backend, WordPress platform) an asset

— Experience with video editing an asset

— Knowledge of and interest in music, the arts and/or Jewish culture is an asset

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Videography Coordinator

The Ashkenaz Foundation, a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to the presentation of world class Jewish music and art, is currently seeking a candidate to fill the position of Videography Coordinator (VC). Through its internationally-renowned, biennial “Ashkenaz Festival,” and an expanding slate of year-round programming, Ashkenaz showcases the work of leading contemporary artists from Canada and around the world working in all artistic disciplines. Ashkenaz’s mandate and programming encompasses a vast range of pan-Jewish music and art, including east European, Yiddish, Sephardic, Ladino and Mizrachi traditions, and also strongly emphasizes fusion and cross-cultural exchange with artists from outside Jewish cultural traditions. The VC will work closely with the Artistic and Managing Directors on both content creation and archival editing video materials related to past and upcoming Ashkenaz events.

Responsibilities:

The VC will play a central role in the overall communications, promotion, and marketing efforts of the Ashkenaz Foundation. Duties will include: creating new content (filming summer concerts/events, capturing interviews); editing archival video material into shorter useable videos; creating short, trailer videos to promote future events (including the 2018 Festival), as well as videos to highlight the Foundation’s other activities (school presentations, dance events, etc); and general participation as a member of the Ashkenaz team assisting with any and all general duties relating to the work of the organization. Trailers and videos will be used on the Foundation’s website, e-blasts, YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and through other promotional avenues.

Qualifications:

-Due to funding restrictions, the applicants must be: eligible to work in Canada; under 30 years of age; and have been in school full-time in the prior year and planning to return to school full-time in the fall.

— Experience with videography (creative and software)

— Strong communication skills (both oral & written)

— Excellent organizational/time management and problem-solving skills

— Strong interpersonal skills

— Detail-orientated

— Fluency with Microsoft Office, e-mail, Internet, social media, website, and design software

— Must work well both independently and as part of a team

— Must be positive, mature-minded, flexible and comfortable working in a fast-paced, time-sensitive, non-corporate environment

— Experience working on websites (backend, WordPress platform) an asset

— Knowledge of and interest in music, the arts and/or Jewish culture is an asset

 

Job contact information:

Please email resume, cover letter, and any samples of work/materials that you feel are relevant to:

Samantha Parnes, Managing Director

(e) sam[at]ashkenaz[dot]ca