Bringing you the world’s best Jewish music and culture, featuring concerts, dance, theatre, opera, food, crafts, family programming, lectures and more!

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The Ashkenaz Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious showcases of Jewish music and culture anywhere in the world.  Since 1995, the festival has taken place biennially at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto’s premier venue for the presentation of world and folk culture and for the meeting of diverse communities through the arts.

Originally founded as a showcase for Klezmer and Yiddish music and culture, the Ashkenaz Festival has evolved over the years into an eclectic showcase of global Jewish art and culture, encompassing not merely the traditions of eastern Europe, but also Sephardic, Mizrachi and Israeli culture, and all manner of cross-cultural fusion.

The Festival is offered 90% free to the public and attracts a multicultural audience of over 60,000 people. Nowhere else in the world does so large and diverse an audience come together to experience Jewish cultural arts. Though strongly focused on music, Ashkenaz is a multidisciplinary festival, including dance, theatre, film, literature and talk, visual arts, and kids/family programs. Ashkenaz usually features over 80 performances and 200+ individual artists, hailing from across Canada and around the world. Over the years, Ashkenaz has presented artists from over 25 countries and 6 continents.

 

TUESDAY AUGUST 30

“A Concert of Women Cantors”
The 2022 Ashkenaz Festival will open with the North American Premiere of a new program of Women’s Cantorial Music featuring Cantors Sveta Kundish, Rachel Weston, and Judith Berkson, together with music director Patrick Farrell and an all-star ensemble. The group presents an exceptional mosaic of musical styles and languages, from traditional khazones, Yiddish songs and Hasidic nigunim to modern Synagogue music and Hebrew melodies. This special concert will celebrate female voices, the principles of equality, and the continuing development of Jewish liturgical tradition. 

8pm @Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Ave. BUY TICKETS

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 31

“Bas Sheve” – An Opera in Yiddish by Henekh Kon

Ashkenaz 2022 will feature the North American premiere of Henekh Kon’s “Bas-Sheve,” the only known pre-Holocaust Yiddish opera. Newly revived and re-constructed, this new concert production of the work will be conducted/directed by Neal Stulberg and features the UCLA Philharmonia, with rising star soloists Jaclyn Grossman, Jonah Spungin, Marcel d’Entremont and Geoffrey Schellenberg. Produced through a tri-national partnership between Ashkenaz, Yiddish Summer Weimar and the UCLA Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Azrieli Foundation, Workmen’s Circle Foundation, and Glenn Gould School at RCM. Additional performances on Sept 1 and 2.

8pm @Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W. BUY TICKETS

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 1

“Bas Sheve” continues (see description above) BUY TICKETS

8pm @Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W

          ~

“Rhythm and Jews”

Ashkenaz Festival founding Artistic Director David Buchbinder brings forth a new assemblage of local klezmer heroes for an evening of new, old-world sounds at one of Toronto’s most beloved live music venues, Drom Taberna.  The lineup includes Bret Higgins, Beth Silver, John Williams Emelyn Stam, current Ashkenaz Artistic Director Eric Stein, and some other possible surprise guests.

8pm@Drom Taberna, 458 Queen St. W.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2

“Bas Sheve” continues (see description above) 

8pm @Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W.  BUY TICKETS  

          ~

Musical shabbat service and dinner at Beth Tzedec Congregation, featuring this years festival’s  Theodore Bikel Artist-in-Residence, Cantor Sveta Kundish.

6pm @Beth Tzedec Congregation, 1700 Bathurst St.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 3 to MONDAY SEPTEMBER 5

Over 48 hours of stellar, multi-venue programming at Harbourfront Centre, beginning at 6pm on Saturday evening Sept 3 and concluding at nightfall on Labour Day Monday, Sept 5. Lineup includes Michael Wex’s outrageous new theatre show Last Night at Cabaret Yitesh,” plus over two dozen musical performances including ROMada, the Ukrainian-Jewish All-Stars, Chloe Pourmorady, Abate Berihun, Mostly Kosher, Nefesh Mountain, Noam Vazana, Jaffa Road, Queen Kong, Gephilte, and more. Browse our event listings for artist info and stay tuned for a more detailed schedule of the weekend programming as soon as we lock in our production schedule.

Presented by:

A Kultura Collective Member

Start Date August 30, 2022

Closing Date September 5, 2022

Various times

Downtown Toronto

Harbourfront Centre
35 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

Website:

Free

Accessibility

If accessibility options not listed, please contact the venue to confirm

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