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One of the largest and most prestigious events of its kind, Ashkenaz 2008 will once again feature the best of the global Yiddish/Jewish culture scene. From traditional and boundary-breaking Klezmer music and cross-cultural fusion, to diverse offerings in theatre, film, dance, visual arts, literature, and family programming, Ashkenaz celebrates culture, community, and artistic innovation.

 

AcknowledgementsInternational Marketplace

Events will be added to this schedule as they are confirmed.

Yichud/Seclusion Featuring Julie Tepperman and Aaron Willis

1:00pm

A newly married couple are alone together for the first time EVER in this hilarious and touching look at the Jewish ritual of yichud (seclusion).

Theatre

Czernowitz Discussion Series: Shirley Kumove (Toronto) "Low Culture Roots, High Culture Dreams: The Intellectual Legacy of Czernowitz"

1:00pm

Expert folklorist and translator Shirley Kumove explores the tensions between high and low culture and the ambivalent relationship between masses, scholars, and artists in the process of creating a modern Yiddish culture in the early twentieth century.

Literary Arts

Aubrey Davis Storytelling - The Soup Of The Soup Of The Soup

1:00pm

Join this colourful Toronto storyteller as he adds a little contemporary Jewish spice to folk tales, fables and jokes from both Ashkenazi and Sephardic folklore.

Family

Flory Jagoda

1:15pm

Known world-wide as one of the only authentic performers of Ladino music, this octogenarian has earned the nickname "Keeper of the Flame" for her work in preserving Judeo-Spanish language and music.

Music

Nayekhovichi (Russia)

2:00pm

The world's leading (and perhaps only) Klezmer "garage band", mashing classic rock punk, and psychedelia with Yiddish and Russian folk music and Post-Soviet angst.

Music

They Called Me Mayer July: The Art of Mayer Kirshenblatt

2:00pm

Toronto painter Mayer Kirshenblatt will present an illustrated slide exhibit of his work, which depicts his childhood years in the shtetl of Opatow, Poland. Each of Kirshenblatt’s paintings tells a story, and together they recreate in living colour the bygone world of pre-war Polish Jewish life. Part of Ashkenaz’s Jewish Poland in Memory and Imagination Series.

Visual Arts

Vira Lozinsky

2:30pm

A leading voice among a new generation of singers cultivating Yiddish culture in Israel.

Music

The Lithuanian Empire (Canada/US)

2:30pm

Formed in 2005 at Montreal’s KlezKanada Festival, the Lithuanian Empire has sprung onto the Canadian klezmer scene with a big sound and fresh spins on classic tunes.

Music

Interview with Andy Statman (US)

2:30pm

Legendary clarinetist/mandolinist Andy Statman gives a rare glimpse into his extraordinary musical career in an interview with fellow klezmer revival pioneer and KlezKamp founder Henry Sapoznik.

Music

Kinder Kapers

2:30pm

A group program introducing pre-schoolers and their grown-ups to Yiddishkayt, hosted by Toronto's Morris Winchevsky School.

Family

Kathy Kacer

2:30pm

Reading from her latest book, and using archival slides, renowned children’s author Kathy Kacer weaves a gripping story around the historical events of the Second World War and the Holocaust. (Recommended for children ages 9 and up)

Family

Ashkenaz Parade featuring Shadowland Theatre

4:00pm

Propelled by the music of Konsonans Retro and all the Festival musicians, Shadowland will once again transform Harbourfront Centre into a swirling spectacle of colour, puppetry, stilt-dancing, and performance.

Adrienne Cooper (US) and Marilyn Lerner (Toronto) "Every Mother's Son: Jewish Songs of War and Peacemaking"

5:00pm

A multi-media concert exploring 4 centuries of Jewish songs and new work on war and peace.

Music

Lache Cercel and The Roma Swing Ensemble (Vancouver)

5:00pm

A passionate blending of traditional Eastern European melodies with swinging rhythms and sophisticated jazz harmonies!

Music

If Cows Could Fly (Calgary/Hamilton/Montreal)

5:00pm

A musical play about growing up Jewish in the Ottawa Valley- "A lovely heartwarming evening for the whole family." - Avril Benoit, CBC Radio

Theatre

Family