Ashkenaz Festival Announces Free Headlining Concerts

Published: June 22nd 2010
in Culture » Music

Balkan Beat Box

What could be better than a festival featuring two of the hottest Jewish bands of the moment? Not paying a cent to see them. Here are two of the free events recently announced for the 2010 Ashkenaz Festival:


The Other Europeans, an “intercultural supergroup” that unites 14 leading klezmer (Yiddish) and lautari (Roma) musicians, will perform Sat. Sept. 4. The Jews and the Roma have a long history of cooperating since they lived side-by-side in Eastern Europe before war, Holocaust, and immigration forced them apart. The group comprises soloists from seven countries (including Germany, Hungary, France, England, and the U.S.) and even though the two peoples are often considered marginally European, they have played a major role in creating and transmitting European musical traditions.


The band has toured Yiddish and Jewish festivals throughout Europe and North America and their music has been described a “captivating“ and creating “a feeling of something beyond words.“


The second group is Balkan Beat Box, a trio of Jewish-Israeli hipsters who will perform Sun. Sept. 5. The New York-based group includes  saxophone player Ori Kaplan, drummer/programmer/producer Tamir Muskat, and MC Tomer Yosef, who came together after many years in New York‘s underground music scene. Credited with creating a new breed of 21st century music, they combine the musical traditions of Europe and the Mediterranean rim with rock, reggae, electronica, hip hop, dance hall, Balkanoid horns, and Greek guitars – just to name a few. They’ve also toured throughout the world, including stops at such festivals as Bonaroo, Roskilde (Denmark), and Paleo (Switzerland). The Ashkenaz Festival marks their Toronto debut.


The Ashkenaz Festival runs Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2010. Both concerts will start at 9:30 p.m. at the Harbourfront Centre Sirius Stage, and admission is free. For more information, visit

Related articles: (music, ashkenaz festival, concert, the other europeans, balkan beat box)

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