Prezident Brown with Marla Brown
Jul
20
9:00 PM21:00

Prezident Brown with Marla Brown

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $25 Advance / $30 Day of Show

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Prezident Brown is the reigning Jamaican reggae M.C., a champion of the new roots and reality consciousness, with a message that is pure Rasta conscious vibes, from the spiritual “To Jah Only” through his more recent “Do Thy Work.” He is an artist driven by a sense of mission and purpose that, he likes to say, “edutains” (heightens the consciousness of listeners) as much as entertains. According to JamBase, “A distinct and powerful stage presence, a Prezident Brown show is a transcendent spiritual movement that leaves audiences satiated, sweaty and smiling.”

Born Fitz Albert Cotterell, Prezident Brown grew up in the green hills of Clarendon, Jamaica. As “Junior Ranking,” a name his mother gave him, he would grab the microphone and chant away at schoolyards and country dances. As a teenager, he was known as Slim Brown because of his resemblance and similar DJ style to his mentor, U Brown. Discovered by reggae producer Jack Ruby, who renamed him Prezident Brown, he became one of the hottest sound system stars, recording for a number of record companies, and in the ’90s his songs began to supplant the guns and self-hype lyrics then popular in the dance halls. Collaborations included appearing on Steel Pulse’s “Black and Proud.”

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MARLA BROWN - THE CROWN PRINCESS OF REGGAE
Marla Brown is an internationally acclaimed reggae artists, and the youngest child and daughter of the late great Crown Prince of Reggae Dennis Brown with his wife Yvonne Brown. 

Very First and Debut E.P. "DELIVERANCE" Peaked No.5 in iTunes Reggae Chart in first few hours upon release 2016

First Female Reggae Artist to orchestrate an all female musical collaboration on single Survivor Allstars 2017

“If this EP is any indication Marla Brown will continue to present her
thoughtful, conscious lyrics sung in a tone that is cultivated from great
genetics and hard work.” – Reggaeville

Deborah Adela Marla Brown, popularly known as Marla, is the youngest child of the late, great Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Emanuel Brown. A successful international touring artist in her own right, she has graced stages in Europe, South America, Jamaica and the States first as a professional dancer, then as a singer. 

Marla recorded her first single called Better Days which featured her own original lyrics and a video was also made to accompany the single. Better Days had an overwhelmingly positive response and gained much success worldwide. The song reached number 5 on the UK charts. Marla's voice is very sweet and strong and she has an uplifting presence and message in her music. 

With many musical collaborations with some of Jamaica’s finest artists and producers, this young Princess has a bright, exciting future ahead within the music industry. 

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Mark St Mary with Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Jul
21
7:30 PM19:30

Mark St Mary with Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod

 

Doors at 7:30 pm ; Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod at 8:00 pm ;
Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

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The hardworking Mark St. Mary Louisiana Blues & Zydeco Band has been a favorite of Cajun/zydeco festival crowds for years. St. Mary and company were voted best zydeco band of 2007 by the Bay Area Blues Society, and he was named the Delta King at the Isleton Crawfish Festival. St. Mary began playing accordion when he was 12, inspired originally by “King of Zydeco” Clifton Chenier. Singing in English and Creole French, St. Mary leads his band through original songs including “St. Mary Special” and “Moi Seado (My Syrup),” interspersed with dance floor favorites from Chenier’s “I’m Coming Home” and the classic Harry Choates version of “Jolie Blon” to Rockin’ Sidney’s “Don’t Mess with My Toot Toot.” 

Accompanying St. Mary are some of the finest Cajun and zydeco musicians in Northern California, playing waltzes, two-steps, line dances, and flat-foot zydeco. His band includes guitarist Jim Scott, bassist Dana Mandell, and drummer Timothy Orr.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Jul
22
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Bandworks
Jul
22
5:00 PM17:00

Bandworks

Doors at 4:30 pm; Show at 5:00 pm

25th Anniversary Party with The Bait & Switch Blues Band, The Erik Brock Band, & Femme Fatal

FREE!

Since 1993, Berkeley-based BandWorks has helped several thousand youngsters fulfill their dream of playing in a rock band. BandWorks helps organize students into bands, provides coaching with some of the best musician-instructors in the Bay Area, and after 8 weeks rehearsing their favorite rock, pop, blues, reggae and original songs, takes the bands to the stage at Ashkenaz to perform live in front of an audience. In addition, BandWorks offers year-round classes for kids, teens, and adults, as well as summer camps for kids and teens at locations around the Bay Area.

Tonight, the Instructors' bands take the stage for the 25th anniversary party!

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Tri Tip Trio plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Jul
24
8:00 PM20:00

Tri Tip Trio plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

Doors Open 7:30pm / 8pm dance lesson with Cheryl McBride / Show starts 8:30pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Steeped in Louisiana and New Orleans zydeco and swamp blues, Tri Tip Trio comes with a vision and nearly a generation of its members playing together in other groups. The Tri Tip Trio concept is based on “King of Zydeco” Clifton and his brother Cleveland Chenier’s early zydeco/blues dance hall sounds. Lloyd Meadows’ propulsive washboard and harmonica and soulful vocals, along with Bruce Gordon’s pumping accordion and Louie Rodriguez’s rock-solid drumming, are all Tri Tip Trio needs to capture raw and exciting sounds for both dancers and listeners. The three musical musketeers play classic zydeco, blues, and New Orleans funk as well as band originals. They also like to integrate cover tunes that were never originally zydeco songs into their sound. The group’s CD, “3 of a Kind,” is a tribute to Clifton Chenier and includes a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Miss You” alongside original and traditional tunes.

Gordon and Meadows are longtime Bay Area blues and zydeco veterans. They have shared the stage for many years, performing in the Zydeco Flames, a band Meadows and Gordon co-founded in 1991. The members have had varied and extensive careers on their own, playing with a who’s who of local and national talent, including Elvin Bishop, Tom Rigney, Annie Sampson, Mal Sharpe, Brenda Boykin, Chris Cain, Luther Tucker, and Sonny Rhodes.

 

 

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Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Jul
26
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Abyssinians ft. Bernard Collins plus Skank Bank
Jul
27
9:30 PM21:30

Abyssinians ft. Bernard Collins plus Skank Bank

Doors at 9pm; Show at 9:30pm

Tickets are $25 Adv. / $30 Day of Show

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Few reggae acts better capture the heart and soul of roots reggae music than the Abyssinians. Their deep catchy melodies, Rastafarian themes, and beautiful harmonIes delivered with deep spiritual feeling were instrumental in defining the entire reggae genre. Bernard Collin's lead vocals anchor the Abyssinian's hit songs such as "Forward On To Zion", "Declaration Of Rights", "This Land", "Wicked Men" and "Know Jah Today". November 2017 they did a successful US tour that was very well received. Music and singing were always around Bernard Collins in his childhood. His mother Ethel Parkes used to teach piano lessons. While growing up in Riversdale Jamaica he had the company of hot r & b music on the radio at nights and he had religious music at the Seventh Day church attended by his family. By the time Bernard moved to Kingston in the early 60's he was "one hot crooner". While scatting with friends such as Douglas Whittingham and George Henry at their homes on Bob Marley's White Road in Trench Town, that Collins started to perfect what was to become one of reggae's most recognized and valued voices. With the support and guidance of other luminaries such as Leroy Sibbles, Bernard carefully developed his experience at crafting musical works. "Girl I'm Gonna Dance Tonight" was one of his early efforts. After a stint at the Chestervale Youth Camp as a radio technician, Bernard returned to Kingston with a renewed taste for singing. In this time Bernard met Donald Manning and started a musical friendship in which they worked on music together with Mannings strumming the guitar and Bernard singing at the stables by the horse race track. Bernard's admiration and love of his African heritage led to his participation in an outpost of the Ethiopian Orthodox church. He learned about the glories and majesty represented by centuries of Ethiopian church history. In the same "church" yard one night in 1969 Bernard Collins and Donald Manning drafted the blueprint of a song that would launch them into the canon of reggae greats. The song they were nurturing was recorded and went on to become reggae's most popular song of all time - Satta Massagana. Satta Massagana quickly gained momentum as an anthem traveling from the radio airwaves to the churches of Jamaica. With this song Bernard and Donald felt the power inherent in their efforts, and along with a young third vocalist the newly formed Abyssinians sallied forth into the turbulence of Kingston's music scene. In 1969 the new lineup approached the producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd. Dodd had produced "Happy Land" and he agreed to record the trio. At first Dodd was unhappy with session's outcome. In his opinion, the Jamaican record-buying public would have little if any interest in the Abyssinians revolutionary Rastafarian themes. Reggae was still a relatively new genre, and in its early days, it was brightly upbeat, yet the trio had slowed the beat down and smothered it in plaintive melodies in a minor key. Who in their right mind would buy such music? Who, indeed? The answer came in 1971 when the Abyssinians bought back its tape (for a ludicrously inflated sum), and released "Satta Massa Gana" as a single on their own Clinch label. The song's deeply devotional message, its dreams of far-away Africa, its throbbing rhythm, and its melancholy melody struck a chord across the island, and the song was an instant classic. A label battle between Clinch and Dodd’s Studio One label was now sparked. Belatedly realizing what he'd let slip away, Dodd quickly released "Satta Massa Gana" himself, backed with "Jerusalem," admittedly in very limited quantities. A rush of DJ versions inevitably followed. Dodd released two instrumental versions, "Night in Ethiopia" by pianist Jackie Mittu and "Cool It" by saxophonist Tommy McCook. The latter recorded another instrumental version for Clinch, "Mandella," while the label also put out several DJ versions, including two by Big Youth and one by Dillinger. Other DJs soon followed suit, but the most innovative was the Abyssinians own toasting take, "Mabrak," on which the Abyssinians recited passages from the Bible in Amharic. The Abyssinians released three further hit singles in 1971. The first was "Declaration of Rights," and never has a call to revolution sounded so sweet and heartfelt. The equally evocative "Jerusalem" also appeared in 1971, and completing a quartet of hits for the year was "Let My Days Be Long." Over the next few years, the trio continued releasing excellent singles, both on Clinch, as well as recording for other producers. However, in a musical scene renowned for its prolific output, the Abyssinians recordings were now to come few and far between, at least by Jamaican standards. But what records they were: 1972's "Leggo Beast," a simmering blend of deep roots and soul, and the deeply religious "Yim Mas Gan," excellently produced by Lloyd “Matador” Daly were some of the more notable singles released. The trio finally cut its debut album, Forward Unto Zion, in 1976, with producer Clive Hunt. Including hits, re-recordings of older classics, and new material, the record remains a roots masterpiece and brought the group great international acclaim. Their follow-up album, Arise, was released in 1978 through a deal with Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong label. Arise brought the hit single "Hey You". The Abyssinians went on to release several albums and singles with Bernard's lead vocals anchoring their most memorable songs such as Forward On To Zion, Declaration Of Rights, This Land, Wicked Men and Know Jah Today. In the late '80s, Collins resurrected a new Abyssinians and released two singles, "African Princess" and "Swing Low," on the Clinch label. in 1993 the Heartbeat label released an excellent best-of album, Satta Massagana. France's Music Disc considerately gathered up non-Clinch material for The Best of the Abyssinians the following year. Two sublime dub sets, Tabou's Satta Dub and Heartbeat's Declaration of Dub, appeared in 1998. The Abyssinians promptly released a new album, Reunion, the same year, which featured Mannings and Collins indeed reunited. However, it was a short-lived reconciliation and the next year Collins, with a new lineup released The Last Days, credited to Bernard Collins and the Abyssinians. In the early 90's Bernard reunited with childhood friends George Henry and Melvin Trusty. In 1994 Bernard fronted this trio on trips to Japan, Europe and the UK. where their performances were greatly applauded and appreciated. The Abyssinians, fronted by Bernard Collins, are one of the most spiritual reggae acts available and one of the greatest reggae acts in the history of Jamaican music. Their music spreads a message of faith, peace and love all over the world. Their catalog is moderate in quantity but their music has made a great impactSkank Bank is an American Reggae Fusion band from the San Francisco Bay Area, California, formed in 2013. The diverse Collective of musicians is led by california born Guitarist/Singer Gabriel Winter and Brazillian Drummer/Singer Marcos Rodrigues. The band has an eclectic sound that fuses roots reggae/ska with elements of jazz, funk, and rock―known for their heady psychedelic dub jams and breakdowns. Ranging from a quartet to a nonet, the group has had more than 20 members with the only consistent bandmates of Winter's being trumpet player Liam King, trombone player Adam Miller, and co-founding bassist Jiggly Streich. 
Emerging from the 924 Gilman Street Berkeley Ska-Punk revival in early 2013, Skank Bank explored various styles of Reggae and Ska. Incorperating harmonic dissonance and improvisational elements of jazz with textural elements, groovy jams, and drones of psychedelic music, the group created a cosmic and soulful sound rooted in the sounds of Jamaican one-drop, rockers, and dancehall riddims. 

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Skank Bank has toured in United States and has two full-length Albums to their credit; Dance Depository (2016), and Keep Complaining (2015). Their music is also well represented in a variety of films and compilations; James Franco's Metamorphasis Junior Year (2017), Arcane Drama: A Compilation of 924 Gilman St. Music Vol. 1 (2017), UnderCover Presents: A Tribute to Green Day's Dookie (2016), and Gilman Ska Night Vol. 2 (2014). 
Skank Bank has shared the stage with The Toasters, Don Carlos, Green Day, The Supervillains, Human Rights (Bad Brains), Roddy Radiation (The Specials), Noorwood Fisher (Fishbone), Voodoo Glowskulls, Skankin Pickle, and many others.

 

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Maestra: Ouida and the Party Continuette
Jul
28
8:00 PM20:00

Maestra: Ouida and the Party Continuette

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance /
$20 Day of Show

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The Party Continuette! Come join Ouida Lewis, from Kingston, Jamaica and her Rydim Lyfe band in a rocking journey of Jamaican music from Ska and Rocksteady to modern day Rootz Reggae and more!! The Rydim Lyfe band includes : Michaelle Goerlitz, Carolyn Brandy, Lillie Robinson, Amikaeyla and YOU! Bring your drum!

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Jul
29
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Hālau Makana
Jul
29
7:00 PM19:00

Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Hālau Makana

Doors open at 6:30 pm / Show 7:00 pm

Tickets are: Adults - $12 Advanced / $15 Day of Show

Kids - $8 Advanced / $10 Day of Show

$35 for a Family of 4

Buy Tickets Here

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Hālau Makana is the resident Polynesian Performing Arts Company of Island Hawaiian Studios in Alameda. We have shared our Hawaiian, Tahitian and Maori culture at many Bay Area Festivals, Corporate Functions, Community Gatherings and Private Events for 20+ years.

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Blues Box Bayou Band plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Jul
31
8:00 PM20:00

Blues Box Bayou Band plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm with Ted Sherrod
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

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The Blues Box Bayou Band adds swamp beat boogie and blues to Louisiana dance grooves to create its own Americana/Cajun/zydeco sound. Based in Sonora, the BBBB has built its chops and fan base over more than 15 years of performing, including gigs at fundraisers and festivals from the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee to the Gilroy Garlic Festival and the Isleton Crawdad Festival. Singer and accordionist Pete (PD) Grimaldi formed the band in 1996 after a stint as a promoter of shows in hometown Modesto by acts from Queen Ida and Buckwheat Zydeco to Tom Rigney. That exposure to music from Louisiana and beyond inspired Grimaldi to pick up the squeezebox himself and put his own spin on “roots music.” The current BBBB also features Pete’s brother Frank Grimaldi on lead guitar, bassist and singer Julie Johnson, and a rotating cast of friends including drummer Peter DeMattos and rubboard player Deb Krilanovich.

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Balkan Folkdance
Aug
1
8:00 PM20:00

Balkan Folkdance

Doors at 6:30 pm; Dance at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $7

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This monthly event is a revival of ’70s-style Berkeley folkdancing with some international request dancing to recorded music, capturing the spirit that David Nadel was inspired by when he opened Ashkenaz in 1973 with Balkan folkdancing. One does not need a live band to experience the communal pleasure of dancing together, and the dance lessons help newcomers join in the experience.

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Bachata Nightz plus Dance Lesson with Kathy Reyes
Aug
2
8:00 PM20:00

Bachata Nightz plus Dance Lesson with Kathy Reyes

Doors at 8 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:30 pm with Kathy Reyes; Performance at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $10 Advance / $15 Day of Show/ $10 Students

Bachata Nightz happens the first Thursday of the month. It is led by award-winning Bachata contest master Kathy Reyes, who also teaches dance at Ashkenaz. Bachata is a form of Latin dance/music that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is now danced all over the world. Reyes teaches the dance lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by performance and dancing to recorded music spun by DJ MIGZ. 

Currently the defending Los Angeles Bachata Champion (winning first place at the L.A. Bachata Festival), Kathy Reyes is known for her unique style and interpretation of music. She discovered her talent and passion for Latin dancing in college in Los Angeles, and over the past 10 years has taken various prizes individually and in dance troupes. She leads groups and teaches here, in Los Angeles and San Diego. Teaching allows her to share her philosophy of dance: “Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart takes one to a whole different level.”

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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Aug
3
9:00 PM21:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9 pm

Tickets $18 Advance
$18 Students / 
$20 Day of Show

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community. 

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way. 

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Funky Gators plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Aug
4
8:00 PM20:00

Funky Gators plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8:00 pm / Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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The Funky Gators is a band of Cajun, zydeco, and R&B veterans whose credits include many of the most popular local bands of the past couple of decades. They take zydeco and mix in some R&B and funk flavor while still keeping the zydeco tempos that dancers love. The Funky Gators play zydeco hits by Boozoo Chavis, Rosie Ledet, and others, plus Motown classics such as “Heatwave” and “Walking the Dog.” 

Along with rubboard player and lead singer Myrna, the band is accordion player Dana Mandell, guitarist Ian Lamson, bassist Marty Holland, and drummer Rasheed Wedlow. Myrna was a star in Gator Beat, and after that band’s leader Richie Domingue died several years ago, she retired from the zydeco scene. But after much coaxing from fans, she and Mandell put together the Funky Gators. Myrna’s many years of R&B experience combines with Mandell’s zydeco dance knowledge to create a sound that R&B listeners enjoy and that also keeps zydeco dancers out on the floor.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Aug
5
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

SoulSanctuary_square.jpg

Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Aug
5
6:30 PM18:30

Heart of Rock and Roll Series: Rolling Thunder

Doors at 6:00 pm; Show at 6:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

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Rolling Thunder brings a kaleidoscopic appreciation of Bob Dylan.  Take one “Blonde on Blonde” song.  Add a large spoon full of Grateful Dead essence, Van Morrison passion, and Dr. John’s Cajun hot sauce. And shake!  Ahhh…. 
You got it.  We take the songs of Dylan, the Dead and others and make them our own. 
  
Multi-talented Berkeley singer Zoe Carter brings us delicious lead vocals and harmonies. Brian Bloom, spicy vocals and bad-ass guitar work.  Oakland’s Steve Capper on the keys and Martin Gran’s guitar bring the RnB and soul sensibilities.  Our S.F. bass and drum duo, Charlie McCoy and Joe Mockus, lock down the rhythm and keep the groove going non-stop.  And finally, harmonica virtuoso Paul Herzoff and siren whistle savant John Bock bring divine color and texture.  
Come see for yourself.

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Midnite Ramblers plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Aug
7
8:00 PM20:00

Midnite Ramblers plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod at 8:00 pm / Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Back in 2009 two of the Bay Area’s top traditional musicians teamed up to form the Midnite Ramblers, playing roots music steeped in authentic Cajun and Creole traditions. They deliver irresistibly danceable Cajun classics. An early year of intense musical experiences in Louisiana made the Ramblers’ sound even more authentic to the Cajun tradition. Singer and fiddler Agi Ban is a founder of the Aux Cajunals as well as the Midnite Ramblers. Accordion player and fiddler Mark Marcin is a former teacher at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, where his love of Cajun, Creole, and zydeco music led to learning accordion from Ray Abshire, Jimmy Breaux, and others. He studied fiddle with Suzy Thompson and Cedric Watson. 

The Ramblers are rounded out by guitarist-singer Alan Senauke (a veteran of countless roots bands including California Cajun Orchestra, he’s also a Zen priest) and bassist-singer Allegra Thompson, best-known as a member of the honky-tonk trio the Drifter Sisters (and as the daughter of Cajun stars Eric and Suzy Thompson). As Marcin proclaims, “Bring your dancing shoes and join the Midnite Ramblers for a night of lively two-steps, soulful blues and haunting waltzes!”

 

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Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Aug
8
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

stu Allen 2.jpg

A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Comedy at Ashkenaz!
Aug
9
8:00 PM20:00

Comedy at Ashkenaz!

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15 - $20 Sliding Scale

Buy Tickets Here

Berkeley, CA… Bay Area comedian and comedy producer, Lisa Geduldig (of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy), and Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center joined forces last year to bring the East Bay a new monthly (the second Thursday of the month) comedy series, Comedy at Ashkenaz!

This month’s show features Dan St Paul, Milt Abel, Jill Maragos, and Lisa Geduldig.

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Dan St. Paul grew up in San Francisco's Mission District and moved to LA where he appeared on several episodes of An Evening at the Improv, numerous shows on VH-1, MTV, and Comedy Central. He has opened for Jerry Seinfeld, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, and others. He appeared in the movie Flubber with Robin Williams and signed a recording deal with MCA records. His CD, Natural and Good for You contains one the most requested comedy pieces on radio, "The First Baseball Game." He also is the star of his own one-man play, Outer Mission, Middle Class - The Comic Diary of an Immigrant's Son. Corporate clients include Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, Nations Bank, Philips Magnavox, Chevron, and Blue Cross. The majority of Dan's material comes from being a suburban husband and father and dealing with the frustrations of everyday life. He lives in Foster City with his wife and son. www.danstpaul.com

 

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Milt Abel is a stand-up comedian with over 35 years of experience. Starting in the heyday of the San Francisco comedy scene of the 1980's, Milt went on to headline comedy clubs throughout North America and cruise ships throughout the world. Besides numerous TV appearances (An Evening At The Improv and comedy specials for PBS and Showtime) and having written for Dennis Miller’s TV show, Milt's stand up performances are heard regularly on SiriusXM comedy channels. He also an accomplished author, publishing a collection of humorous short stories about cruise ship life "Stories from the Delux" and a novel "The Deductions.” www.miltabel.com

 

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Jill Maragos developed her sense of humor and knack for storytelling as a survival tactic for growing up with a crazy family in Buffalo, NY. With degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Mechanical Engineering, she made the natural progression into stand up comedy. This year Jill was selected to perform on Audible's "Fresh Voices of Comedy" at SF Sketchfest. She performs regularly at The Punchline and Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco and has appeared on "The Office" (NBC), "Laughs" (FOX), "Comedy Time" for The Ice House in Pasadena (YouTube), and "West Coast Comedy" (Hulu). She performs throughout the country.

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Lisa Geduldig is a local comedian and comedy producer who’s the creator, producer, and MC of a variety of comedy shows including Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ - Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant (which celebrates its 25th Anniversary last December); Comedy Returns to El Rio! (which just celebrated its 10th Anniversary in May). She moonlights as a bilingual (Spanish-English) publicist.

 

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Silk and Soul Reunion
Aug
11
8:00 PM20:00

Silk and Soul Reunion

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

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One of the most popular bands in San Francisco in the late '70's, Silk and Soul, is having a reunion concert in 2018! First appearing at Lowell High School's 1976 Senior Show, the band continued to perform throughout the Bay Area over the next five years. Made up primarily of Lowell High School students, the band eventually became a mix of players representing Lowell, Washington, Sacred Heart, Riordan, McAteer, and USF. Returning members include Lowell Grads Frank Macchia, Marvin Wong, Peter Grimes, Kevin Lym, Tony Thomas, Albert Abena, Marty Wehner, and Erik Andrews. Also featuring Dominique Marchand, Andy Amoroso, Eric Valencia, Albert Lassiter, and Vance Reddit. Joining us this year is Gary Bell, a well-known Bay Area guitarist as a member of Elements of Soul, who was a Silk and Soul member for the last two years of the band. Also returning are two fantastic Bay Area musicians that we could not do this without: the funkiest bass player around, Kirk Crumpler, as well as saxophonist extraordinaire, Brian Lassiter (son of our trumpet player, Albert!).

This year we are so fortunate to have two new special guests joining us: Darlene Coleman, on lead and background vocals, is a great singer who will blow you away with her amazing talent! And multi-keyboardist David Council, who is currently touring with Larry Graham and Graham Central Station, will be joining us! So, if you miss hearing real musicians playing the TRUE Old School soul and RnB music of Earth, Wind, and Fire, Tower of Power, Ohio Players, Average White Band, and more, please join us! Come see friends you haven't seen in years! Let's make it a big reunion for us all !!!

“Well, it’s a Saturday night and Silk and Soul will be hangin’ out, at Ashkenaz, it’s the place to party... So, you should jump into your ride and hit the road cuz there’s only one place to go!”

 

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Aug
12
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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 Tango Revelation Milonga presents: Emilio Solla and Guests
Aug
12
8:00 PM20:00

Tango Revelation Milonga presents: Emilio Solla and Guests

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8 pm; Performance at 9 pm

8-9pm: All level dance class

9:00pm - 12am Milonga

 

Emilio Solla will perform with bandoneon player Seth Asarnow

Hosted by Sonja Riket of Intimate Embrace Tango

Tickets are $25 Day of Show / $20 Student & Senior Day of Show / $20 Advance / $17 Student & Senior Advance
 

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Grammy Nominated Argentina born and NY based pianist & composer Emilio Solla got his degree in Classical Piano at the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires and his MA in Jazz Composition at Queens College in New York. He continued to study composition, arranging, counterpoint, improvisation and conducting in Buenos Aires, Barcelona and New York.

His first band, Aperturawas praised by Astor Piazzolla himself as one of the most interesting new sounds in the Buenos Aires scene in 1986. Nowadays, with seven CDs as band leader (Fresh Sound Records) and more than forty as arranger/producer, he is considered by peers and critics to be one of the most outstanding and personal voices in this musical stream, a fusion of modern Argentine tango and folk with jazz and other contemporary music styles (generally referred to as “Tango-Jazz”). He has performed all around Europe, Japan, the US and Latin America to raving reviews in many of the most important Jazz houses and Festivals (Bim Huis, Lincoln Center, Marciac, Blue Note, Fasching).

Solla moved to Barcelona in 1996, and to New York in 2006, always in search of personal and artistic growth. Since in New York, he has composed for, arranged for and performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo O’Farrill, Edmar Castañeda, Pablo AslanCristina Pato and many others, besides performing with his quintet Bien Sur! in town at the Jazz Standard, Dizzie’s and Smalls, featuring  saxophonist Chris Cheek. Former members of this band include Donny Mc Caslin and Jeff Ballard. This quintet has released its first CD, Bien Sur! (Fresh Sound, 2010), with special guest Billy Hart, included in the Best of 2010 list by Downbeat Magazine.

He continues to tour Europe with Emilio Solla & Afines, his Barcelona’s based quintet, while working as a free-lance arranger and pianist in different projects in NY. Since November 2010, he is leading a nine piece orchestra, La Inestable de Brooklyn, featuring some of the strongest jazz players in NYC (John Ellis, Ryan Keberle) whose first CD, Second Half (2014) has been Nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award as Best Latin Jazz Album. In November 2014 Solla’s first symphonic work had its World Premiere at the Palau de la Musica, during the Barcelona Jazz Festival, with concerts at the Chicago Symphony Hall and Rutgers University in 2015. 2016 will bring him back to Buenos Aires for the Premiere of the orchestral version of his Suite Piazzollana.

He has a long background as educator as well, having taught regularly in different conservatories in Argentina and Spain. He is currently a Faculty Member at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and has given clinics in Jazz Composition at Emory University, Bates College, Gotemburg Music School (Sweden), Jazz & Pop Conservatory (Helsinki, Finland)

 

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Zydeco Dance-A-Long Movie "Kingdom of Zydeco" plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Aug
14
8:00 PM20:00

Zydeco Dance-A-Long Movie "Kingdom of Zydeco" plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8:00 pm / Film at 8:30 pm

Tickets are TBA

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"THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO is both a cunning little comedy of manners and a sweet-tempered celebration of American roots music. It chronicles the sea change that took place in the black Creole music scene of southwest Louisiana with the deaths of both Clifton Chenier and Rockin' Dopsie, king and crown prince, respectively, of zydeco music. Who, then, assumes titular leadership of this righteously rocking, washboard-driven sub-genre of rhythm-and-blues? A colorful, engaging cast of disc jockeys, club owners, record dealers and other zydeco artists have their own opinions and biases in the matter. The Chavis-Jocque tussle is prototypical American status buffoonery painted in folk miniature. Both these men kick out the jams in thrilling performances filmed with blissful authority by Mugge, a specialist in roots music documentaries such as 1991's DEEP BLUES. It's Chenier's legacy - and Mugge's observational skills - that triumph in the end."
- Gene Seymour, New York Newsday

 

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Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Aug
15
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Annette Aguilar and String Beans
Aug
17
8:00 PM20:00

Annette Aguilar and String Beans

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 Day of Show

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Annette A. Aguilar - Multi-percussionist, recording artist,educator, producer and bandleader - was born in San Francisco into a family from Nicaragua. She began playing music at the age of eleven.

At sixteen, she was recognized for her percussion playing and began sitting in and performing with internationally renowned Latin artists such as members of the Santana Band, Cal Tjader, and Pete and Sheila Escovedo.
She earned a Bachelor in Music from San Francisco State University, a Masters from Manhattan School of Music, and Masters in Music Education at CUNY. She has worked on Grammy Award-winning Broadway shows and currently serves as principal timpanist for the Bronx Symphony.

In 1992, she formed her Latin and Brazilian jazz group, Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans. StringBeans soon became a popular fixture of the New York City’s East Village and Lower East Side music scene. A three-time selection as Latin Jazz Ambassadors by the U.S. State Department, the Kennedy Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center, the group has toured South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar, sharing their knowledge of music from the Americans and the Caribbean. 

Their debut CD on their own label, Special Friends, and second CD, No Cheap Dates, received numerous reviews nationally and abroad. Their third CD, "The Day Waits for Nobody" is in the works.

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The Wedding Band
Aug
18
7:30 PM19:30

The Wedding Band

Doors 7pm, Show 7:30pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of show

Buy Tickets Here

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A Special Engagement: Mike & Sascha’s Wedding Band of east bay dream band all-stars playing our favorite party rock hits as we celebrate Mike & Sascha finally getting hitched. So many fond memories of music and dancing at the Ashkenaz since the 1980s… we look forward to a good time with old and new friends. All are welcome.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Aug
19
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

SouSanctuary_portrait.jpg

Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson with Pattie Whitehurst
Aug
21
8:00 PM20:00

Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson with Pattie Whitehurst

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson with Pattie Whitehurst at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

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He may have been crowned Emperor of the 2011 Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, but violinist-fiddler-composer and singer Tom Rigney and his band Flambeau have always been royalty at Ashkenaz. When not globetrotting – last year they covered ground from Alaska to Alviso Slough to a Caribbean New Year’s cruise – they hold court here almost monthly, playing Rigney’s own tunes and their usual high-energy mix of Louisiana Cajun, zydeco, New Orleans R&B, and down-home blues favorites. Some songs are pulled from the recent CD/DVD recorded at the Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom, “Swamp Fever – Live at Three Stages,” whose video was part of the 2015 PBS series “Music Gone Public.” Featured songs range from “Iko Iko” to “Orange Blossom Special” and “C’est la Vie.” 

What sets Rigney and Flambeau apart is Rigney’s fresh musical takes on Cajun and zydeco, and other styles he loves to play from rock to classical, creating a celebration of life through dance rhythms. Flambeau is a tight ensemble of virtuoso musicians, with guitarist Danny Caron (Charles Brown’s bandleader; he and Rigney met when both backed up Rockin’ Sidney in the ’80s), boogie-woogie keyboardist Caroline Dahl, bassist and singer Steve Parks, and drummer Brent Rampone.

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Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Aug
22
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

View Event →
 Pan-Celtic Ceilidh Dance
Aug
23
8:00 PM20:00

Pan-Celtic Ceilidh Dance

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $8 Advance / $10 Day of Show

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Ashkenaz is proud to launch the first of the bi-monthly Pan-Celtic Ceilidh dance! The Ceilidh is a tradition of music, dance and storytelling in Scottish and Irish traditions. In Ashkenaz inclusive tradition, this Ceilidh will combine easy dances everyone can do in many traditions including English Ceilidh, English Country, Contra, Scottish and Irish Ceilidh. This first in the series will feature teacher, DJ, host, and caller Alan Kline, and International Folk Dance music ensemble led by Jim Oakden.

 

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Israel Vibration and Roots Radics
Aug
24
9:00 PM21:00

Israel Vibration and Roots Radics

Doors Open at 8:30 pm / Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $30 advance/$35 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

Israel Vibration

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One of the classic Jamaican reggae harmony groups, Israel Vibration continues to uphold conscious music and deep reggae grooves backed by long-time accompanists, the heralded Roots Radics band. The Radics offer their own set featuring Davis reggae and dancehall vocalist Brady Shammar.

Growing up in Kingston, Lascelle “Wiss” Bulgin, Albert “Apple Gabriel” Craig and Cecil “Skeleton” Spence all overcame childhood polio, after meeting at the Mona Rehabilitation Clinic. Drawing on their Rastafarian faith for inspiration, they formed one of the most successful roots reggae groups of the 1970s. In the ‘80s Israel Vibration relocated to New York, members pursued solo careers, and reunited. Craig left in 1997, and Bulgin and Spence have continued as a duo, backed by Roots Radics, singing not only their hits of the past, but also newer music including songs from the 2015 album, “Play It Real.”

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Roots Radics

Since forming in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1978, Roots Radics has been the backing band of choice for some of reggae’s biggest names, beginning with singer Barrington Levy in 1979 (when the band was known as the Channel One Stars), and later with singers including Bunny Wailer, Eek-A-Mouse, Gregory Isaacs and Israel Vibration. Their inventive redirecting of reggae rhythms is credited with creating the dancehall sound of the 1980s. With Israel Vibration the band regularly tours the United States, Europe and South America.

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4th Saturday Swing Series - Lisa Gonick and the Damfino Players
Aug
25
8:00 PM20:00

4th Saturday Swing Series - Lisa Gonick and the Damfino Players

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Lisa Gonick & the Damfino Players continue 4th Saturday Swing dance series with their hot jazz, swing, and blues styles. As always, the live music at 9 p.m. is preceded by a fine swing dance lesson at 8 p.m.taught by Karen Lile and Michael Arntz.  

The Damfino Players are a rare but wonderful treat; this is their first visit since last October’s crowd-pleasing debut.  Singer Lisa Gonick is a longtime Ashkenaz performer, formerly with SwingThing (her singing partner in that group, Cheryl McBride, will join Damfino Players for a few songs tonight). Damfinos guitarist and ukulele player Cliff Moser is also a SwingThing alum; in fact, he and Gonick have been partners in all sorts of projects over the last 16 years. Their current band allows for a more intimate and diverse feel. Tonight they offer a mix of swing, blues, and New Orleans-style hot jazz, along with hokum, novelty tunes and ballads. As they explain, “Think Ukulele Ike with a sweet late ’30s jazz guitar feel.” Their song list includes “Honeysuckle Rose,” “ Stompin’ at the Savoy” and “Blue Skies.” 

 Gonick says, “We love dancers so even when it’s just the two of us, we try to make it so you can’t stop movin’ your feet.” In addition to Gonick on ukulele and vocals, and Moser on hot guitar, the Damfinos are banjo player and guitarist Jeff Green, reeds player Jamison Smeltz, bassist Vic Wong, and pianist Virginia Tichenor.

For updates and more information check out: http://swingatashkenaz.comteams.com

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Aug
26
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

SoulSanctuary_portrait2.jpg

Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

View Event →
Aug
26
6:00 PM18:00

Talking About Racism: Unmasking the Elephant in the Room

Doors at 5:30 pm; Event at 6:00 pm in the Back Room

Tickets are $5 - $150 sliding scale
Attend 3 workshops for $40
Attend 2 workshops for $25

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The Talking about Racism: Unmasking the Elephant in the Room - A series of six interactive and progressive workshops exploring racism in contemporary American society.

American racism is at the foundation of our partisan political system and is the factor most responsible for the election and popularity of our current president.   Systemically embedded in the original fabric of the “promised” democratic freedoms, racism has morphed from the overt de jure discrimination of enslavement and Jim Crow into a sophisticated state and federal apparatus that uses brutality, imprisonment and legislation to keep its “colored” populations under control.  The rise and “official” sanction of White nationalism, the backlash that is terrorizing immigrants and contracting U.S. immigration policies, the growing inequalities in wealth, political representation, educational opportunities, and access to employment, healthcare and housing between people of color and whites indicates a rising wave of regression and repression that undermines democratic ideals and diminishes the freedom of all.  America is not in a “post-racial” stage of development and the election of Barack Obama was not the “triumph” of a colorblind American culture.

 Science has destroyed the biological myth of race.  As an American society, we continue to allow racism to divide us to our peril. The climate crisis, the rise of the business oligarchs and the proliferation of technology all predict a future where cooperation and community are critical.  These workshops will explore the concepts underlying the idea and reality of race and racism in America. The political and historic footprint of racism will be traced and we will look at the policies and practices that have kept racism alive and well in American society.  We will address our own attitudes, implicit biases and family stories.  We will focus on what it means to become anti-racist and explore conversational approaches to talking about race with our neighbors and friends.  These workshops are open to people of all backgrounds.

Each workshop will be experiential and complete in its entirety.  The series is intended to build on the knowledge base of each segment but participants can come to workshops sequentially or to individual sessions.

Timeslot – 3 hours

Session One – The development of the Atlantic Slave Trade and the notion of race – the making of a myth – racism as a tool of labor management, the invention of Whiteness – 

Implicit Bias and the development of racialized identity

What is race talk – dynamics and characteristics of

Why don’t we talk about race – protocols, avoidance strategies?

Session Two – Master Narrative vs Back Story – how are perceptions shaped?

Family stories

Vulnerability

Micro-aggressions – identify, use and function – Practice

Session Three –Color Blind is Color Mute – the myth of meritocracy – who is an immigrant?

Stereotypes and Power Evasion

Equity vs Equality – Systemic Inequities

Session Four – The “new racism” – Exploring the idea of a “Post racial” America

White rage – Voter suppression, mass incarceration/the re-segregation of schools

Issues for Black/POC participants – Issues for White participants

Community Building

Session Five: Guidelines, Conditions and Solutions for Honest Racial Dialogues

Having Difficult Discussions, Processing new information, self-compassion

Talking to children about racism

Session Six: Building Lasting Bridges – Where are we now and where can we go?

Identifying and Targeting Racism

In our family circles

In our institutions and affiliations

How we invest and spend our money

Practicing what we preach – Family circles – next steps

Wrap us - Evaluation

 

 

 

 

           

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Ann-Ellice Parker is a death educator and counselor. She is the owner of Seasons of Change, an end of life training and consulting company. She worked for 25 years as a health educator specializing in reproductive health and HIV prevention education. She brings a lifetime of political activism to her current anti-racism work. She is the proud grandmother of two, who believes that “We who believe in freedom cannot rest”.

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Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Chhandam School of Kathak
Aug
26
7:00 PM19:00

Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Chhandam School of Kathak

Doors at 6:30 pm; Show at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

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Today we focus on the classical Kathak dance tradition of North India, presented The Chhandam School of Kathak. The school is the educational arm of the world-famous Chitresh Das Dance Company, and features both professional and student dancers in costume. The class academy is dedicated to deep cultural education through the Kathak tradition. Founded in Northern California in 1980, it is the largest classical Indian dance institution in North America. In addition, it has major affiliate centers run by Pandit Das’ disciples in India, Boston, Los Angeles and Toronto. 

Chhandam emphasizes Chitresh Das’ renowned holistic pedagogy and formalized curriculum for Kathak that has influenced dancers and artists worldwide. Students of all ages undergo extensive training in technique, rhythmical math (taal), improvisation, storytelling, classical Indian music, Indian history, philosophy, and etiquette. Through this training, students develop discipline, awareness, focus, respect, character, and overall life training. 

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Wild Catahoulas Feat. Marc Marcin plus Dance Lesson with Mike Ferketich
Aug
28
8:00 PM20:00

Wild Catahoulas Feat. Marc Marcin plus Dance Lesson with Mike Ferketich

Doors at 7:30 pm ; Dance Lesson with Mike Ferketich at 8:00 pm ; Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Cajun and zydeco band Wild Catahoulas takes its name from the official state dog of Louisiana, which, fiddler Gus Garelick says, is “hard working and bilingual.” Garelick could also be referring to this band, which spun off from Ashkenaz regulars Cajun Coyotes and includes two of the North Bay’s best singers, Allegra Broughton and Sam Page (of rock-folk band Solid Air), on guitar and bass respectively. They are joined by drummer Don Connolly. The Wild Catahoulas mix sweet Cajun waltzes and two-steps with more energized zydeco and New Orleans R&B, traditional favorites, and band originals that turn every show into an instant Mardi Gras party. Garelick has fiddled with such fellow high-energy bands as Sonoma Swamp Dogs and Queen Ida, and his bandmates come with their own credentials. Mark Marcin started playing guitar when he was twelve years old. After college he set aside the guitar to pursue a career as a painter. In the early 90's Mark moved to Lafayette, Louisiana where he taught painting and drawing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. During this time, Mark fell in love with Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music. After leaving Lousiana, Mark returned to his musical routes and learned to play the accordion and fiddle. He returns to Louisiana frequently to re-absorb the music and culture, and ver the years has studied accordion with Ray Abshire, Dexter Ardoin, Jimmy Breaux, Jeffery Broussard, Jesse Lége, Ed Poullard, Dirk Powell, Steve Riley and Wilson Savoy. Mark also performs regularly at Ashkenaz with his own band, the Midnite Ramblers, and as a guest with Andrew Carriere and the Cajun Allstars and The Aux Cajunals

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Very Jerry 8: All-Star Tribute to Jerry Garcia hosted by Stu Allen
Aug
29
8:30 PM20:30

Very Jerry 8: All-Star Tribute to Jerry Garcia hosted by Stu Allen

Doors open at 8 pm / Event at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $25 Day of Show / $20 Advance / $50-$500 Sliding Scale for VIP Dinner and Pre-Show (Artist TBA)

Buy Tickets Here

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A great idea that has become an Ashkenaz tradition, the eighth annual Ashkenaz celebration of Jerry Garcia’s birthday, “Very Jerry 8,” features an array of the Bay’s best Dead/Jerry interpreters and improvisers, and some surprise guests joining in, hosted by Stu Allen. “Very Jerry 8” is a Community Benefit Night to raise funds for Ashkenaz, with some of our favorite musicians bringing their talents to help one of their favorite music gathering spots. Information on how you can participate in “Skeletons from the Closet: A Silent Auction for Deadheads” is below.

Jerome John Garcia would have turned 76 on August 1. Although his body is gone, the Grateful Dead guitarist’s spirit and music have never been more alive. That spirit is the heart of tonight’s tribute, celebrating Garcia the composer and performer, as soloists, duos, and bands perform separately and in kaleidoscopic combinations, acoustic and electric, and both at once, in this community benefit for Ashkenaz.

Although Jerry Garcia never played at Ashkenaz, his music has a long history with the venue. Since the ’90s Ashkenaz has hosted Grateful Dead Nights, featuring a plethora of musicians who worked with him over the decades, as well as bands that pay homage to the music of Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, and scores of acts who follow in their footsteps.

The “Very Jerry” “Skeletons from the Closet: A Silent Auction for Deadheads” helped raise $10k for green room renovation in 2016, and we're excited to bring it back for this year's benefit: 

Calling all Deadheads – we need your stash! Perhaps there is some nugget or treasure you are ready to part with in support of Ashkenaz? Books, LPs, concert posters, and other gems and paraphernalia are welcome! Or, perhaps you are a musician who can offer a service for auction, or know a business owner you can approach about a gift certificate? Items can be dropped off at any Grateful Dead Night between now and August 29, or contact Ashkenaz to arrange an alternate dropoff or pickup. Donations are tax-deductible and will help keep your local Dead Night community center keepin’ on!

We are also excited to announce, for the third year, a special pre-show celebration dinner: a Soulful Summer vegetarian buffet dinner prepared and served by Club Ave 9’s Jeff “da Chef” Rosen. Come get some good eats and good seats! 

This is a Community Benefit Night to raise funds for Ashkenaz, the all-ages world dance hall. Beginning with a salute to Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday in 2011, musicians have donated their time and talents in a creative and inspiring series of tributes, every few months honoring a different musician, band, or year, and supporting the nonprofit local institution that is Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center.

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La Patronal
Aug
30
8:00 PM20:00

La Patronal

Doors at 7:30pm ; Show at 8pm

Tickets are $18 Advanced / $20 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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La Patronal presents a joyful celebration of the traditional "fiestas populares" (town fairs) that take place in little rural villages across Peru. Fiestas in which the town families gather to celebrate tradition surrounded by fireworks, dancing and magical-religious images.

La Patronal are the sons and daughters of rural band musicians, who fuse an organic background in folk culture with formal music studies to present a traditional repertory with an urban accent.

One of the members is an actor/dancer portraying the visual aspects of the traditions they explore musically. bringing their performances to life with the incorporation of visual aspects of ‘fiestas populares’, including masks and traditional dance.

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Ousseynou Kouyate with the Makru Band
Aug
31
9:00 PM21:00

Ousseynou Kouyate with the Makru Band

Thumbnail Photo taken by : Ken Pordes

Doors Open 8:30 pm / Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day Of Show

Buy Tickets Here

Singer, Historian, Master Dance Instructor, Traditional Arts Living Cultures Grant recipient Ousseynou Kouyate was born and raised in Senegal, West Africa, of a family line originating in Mali.  He is a singer, historian and master dance instructor, descending from a long line of Griots, known in their native Wolof language as Djialys (Jelis).  He and his twin brother Assane have been singing, dancing and performing professionally since the age of thirteen, and have toured throughout South and North America, Europe, Africa and Taiwan.The Kouyate twins were dancers/choreographers with the National Ballet of Senegal and the Sinomew Ballet of Senegal.  

Osseynou's work creates an image of West Africa through music and song with traditional melodious lyrics in Bambara, Mandinko, French, and Wolof. 

 

 

 

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SoVoSó
Sep
1
8:00 PM20:00

SoVoSó

Doors at 7:30pm ; Show at 8pm

$15 in advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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SoVoSó is a highly imaginative a cappella ensemble that sings a unique, rhythmic mix of jazz, gospel, world and R&B music, all rendered in their trademark improvisational style.

The SoVoSó repertoire consists of original compositions and other songs that present a global perspective, from Afro-Latin idioms to traditional funk and jazz arrangements. Two SoVoSó members (Joey Blake, past member, and current member David Worm) are current members of Bobby McFerrin’s a cappella group, Voicestra, performing with him from 1993 to present.

Currently you will see David Worm, Sunshine Becker, Bryan Dyer and Zoe Ellis in this vocal band line-up, along with other great singers such as Nicolas Bearde, Ashling Cole and Vernon Bush. The SoVoSó family of singers continues to expand as this one of a kind musical project grows and flourishes.

As SoVoSó (“from the Soul to the Voice to the Song”), the ensemble has continued to pioneer new horizons in contemporary vocal performance, bringing traditional world rhythms into the 21st century. According to the San Jose Mercury News, “The extraordinary richness and brilliance of this virtuoso vocalism lifts you into a special realm.”

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Iko YaYa
Sep
4
8:30 PM20:30

Iko YaYa

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm / Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Iko Yaya dishes out steaming New Orleans-drenched “swamp and roll” for dancing. The band is made up of longtime members of some of our favorite local groups, and it’ll be a night of “bon temps roulez” big time! The musicians got together in 2013 to play the Louisiana-influenced music that moves them, and, as Jim Scott reports, “That’s when the party started!” Tonight it’s a full plate of their favorite New Orleans-based dance music – blues and boogie, Cajun/zydeco, R&B, Second Line, and even country – all delivered with a Mardi Gras vibe. Among the dance favorites are “Mardi Gras Mambo,” “It’s All Over Now,” “Hey Pocky Way,” and “Waltz Across Texas.” 

Iko Yaya is singer-percussionist Cheryl McBride (born and raised in New Orleans, a member of SwingThing, and one of our regular dance teachers), guitarist Jim Scott (Mark St. Mary, CZ & the Bon Vivants, Jeffery Broussard), bassist-singer Ryan Houck, guitarist-percussionist Lance Houck, saxophonist Otoe Mori, trumpeter Marty Arvan, and drummer Sam Siggins (California Cajun Orchestra, Courtableu, Creole Belles).

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Balkan Dance
Sep
5
6:30 PM18:30

Balkan Dance

Doors at 6:30 pm / Balkan dance lesson at 7:00 pm / Dance at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $7

Buy Tickets Here

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This monthly event is a revival of ’70s-style Berkeley folkdancing with some international request dancing to recorded music, capturing the spirit that David Nadel was inspired by when he opened Ashkenaz in 1973 with Balkan folkdancing. One does not need a live band to experience the communal pleasure of dancing together, and the dance lessons help newcomers join in the experience.

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Bachata Nightz
Sep
6
8:00 PM20:00

Bachata Nightz

Doors at 8 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:30 pm with Kathy Reyes; Performance at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $10 Advance / $15 Day of Show / $10 Students

Buy Tickets Here

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Bachata Nightz happens the first Thursday of the month. It is led by award-winning Bachata contest master Kathy Reyes, who also teaches dance at Ashkenaz. Bachata is a form of Latin dance/music that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is now danced all over the world. Reyes teaches the dance lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by performance and dancing to recorded music spun by DJ MIGZ. 

Currently the defending Los Angeles Bachata Champion (winning first place at the L.A. Bachata Festival), Kathy Reyes is known for her unique style and interpretation of music. She discovered her talent and passion for Latin dancing in college in Los Angeles, and over the past 10 years has taken various prizes individually and in dance troupes. She leads groups and teaches here, in Los Angeles and San Diego. Teaching allows her to share her philosophy of dance: “Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart takes one to a whole different level.”

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Mykal Rose with Reggae Angels
Sep
7
9:00 PM21:00

Mykal Rose with Reggae Angels

Doors at at 8:30pm / Show at 9pm

Tickets are $25 Advance / $30 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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For thirty years, Michael Rose has been recording and performing his brand of militant, hardcore Jamaican music to the delight of reggae fans around the world. As a solo artist, with Black Uhuru, and back as a solo artist, the "Ruff" Rose has achieved great success throughout his career, even as different Jamaican musical styles have phased in and out of popularity.

Perhaps the highest profile recognition came in 1984, when Michael Rose and the other Black Uhuru members (Duckie Simpson, Puma Jones, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare) won reggae's first Grammy award for the album, Anthem. But the story doesn't begin with Black Uhuru. In 1976, Michael Rose was already a seasoned performer, having honed his skills by performing on Jamaica's hotel circuit. When an early incarnation of Black Uhuru (Ducky Simpson and Errol Nelson) approached Michael to join the group, he already had several solo singles to his credit. These include the original "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" and "Clap the Barber," both recorded for producer Niney The Observer, and "Running Around" for Winston Campbell.

Black Uhuru's first full length was released in 1977 and called Love Crisis. It was produced by King Jammy (then Prince Jammy), and the big hit of the album was "I Love King Selassie." But it was not until the Showcase album was released in 1980-with a new lineup of Michael Rose, Duckie Simpson, and Puma Jones-that Black Uhuru reached their creative peak. Heartbeat reissued the set on CD (Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, HB 18), which includes the massive 12" singles "Shine Eye Gal," "General Penitentiary," "Plastic Smile," and of course, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner." At the forefront of the recordings and live shows was the charismatic Michael Rose, who had incredible stage presence and a vocal style all his own. So popular was his trademark sound that singers like Don Carlos, Junior Reid, Yami Bolo , and others embraced it as the "Waterhouse" sound.

Throughout the first half of the 1980s, Black Uhuru continued their success with albums on Island Records-Sinsemilla, Red, Chill Out, and Anthem, along with compilations, dub albums, and live albums. They became the best-known reggae act since Bob Marley, and won the first reggae Grammy for Anthem in 1984. Even today, Island continues to capitalize on the group's success by re-compiling and re-releasing the group's Island years material.

With lead singer Michael Rose seemingly at the top of his game, he parted ways with Black Uhuru, with the intention of redefining his musical direction as a solo artist. In the early 1990s, Michael Rose suddenly appeared on the scene with new material including Jamaican singles produced by Sly & Robbie ("Monkey Business," "Visit Them," "One a We Two a We"), and three albums (Proud, Bonanza, and King of General) released in Japan.

As a solo artist, Michael regularly tours the U.S. and Europe, and has maintained his Jamaican fan base with hit singles on the island and abroad. He is a modern roots singer, and fits perfectly into today's scene. With a glorious past and a wide-open future, Michael Rose is truly a reggae superstar.

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Tradition on the Fringe with Avotcja & Modupue and Chelle Friends
Sep
8
8:00 PM20:00

Tradition on the Fringe with Avotcja & Modupue and Chelle Friends

Doors Open 7:30 pm / Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $20 Advanced / $25 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Avotcja has been published in English & Spanish in the USA, Mexico & Europe, and in more Anthologies than she remembers. She is an award winning Poet & multi-instrumentalist who has opened for Betty Carter in New York City, Peru's Susana Bacaat San Francisco’s Encuentro Popular & Cuba’s Gema y Pável, played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bobi & Luis Cespedes, John Handy, Sonido Afro Latina, Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Poets With Attitudes, Bombarengue, Nikki Giovanni, Los Angeles' Build An Ark, Dwight Trible, Diamano Coura West African Dance Co., Terry Garthwaite, Big Black, The Bay Area Blues Society & Caribeana Etc. Shared stages with Sonia Sanchez, Piri Thomas, Janice Mirikitani, Diane DiPrima, Michael Franti, Jayne Cortez, & with Jose Montoya's Royal Chicano Air Force & is a Bay Area icon with her group Avotcja & Modúpue.  Avotcja was the opening act for the legendary Poet Pat Parker the last three years of her life. She both composed & performed the film score for the Danish documentary MuNu. Her Poetry &/or music has been recorded by Piri Thomas, Famoudou Don Moyé (of The Art Ensemble Of Chicago), Bobby Matos Latin Jazz Ensemble, & performed by The Purple Moon Dance Project, and was the 1st Poetry performed by New York's Dance Mobile. She's appeared at The Lorraine Hansberry Theater in S. F., The Asian-American Jazz Festival in Chicago, as well as The Asian-American Jazz Festival in San Francisco.  She's been featured 5 times at Afro-Solo, twice at San Francisco's Carnival, The Scottish Rite Temple & Yoshi's in Oakland & San Francisco, Jose Castellar's play "Man From San Juan", Club Le Monmartre in Copenhagen Denmark, Stanford University, at San Francisco’s Brava Theater For The Arts with Cine Acción, New York's Henry Street Settlement Theater and The Women On The Way Festival in San Francisco. Avotcja a is popular Bay Area DeeJay & Radio Personality, and the founder/Director of "The Clean Scene Theater Project (AKA) Proyecto Teatral De La Escena Sobria". She continues to teach Creative Writing, Storytelling & Drama in Public Schools & thanks to the California Arts Council she was also an Artist in Residence at the Milestones Project & San Francisco Penal System. Avotcja is a proud member of DAMO (Disability Advocates Of Minorities  Organization), PEN Oakland, California Poets In The Schools,  IWWG & is an  ASCAP recording artist.

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CHELLE! and Friends commemorates the music of Mardi Gras, New Orleans, and celebrates it’s Creole people and their remarkable music. Michelle Jacques was born in New Orleans and raised in Oakland, CA.. She began this journey to find out what it means to be Creole, to understand her culture, her language and her history...and after the devastation of Katrina in 2005, her mission has evolved into her determination to keep the history and the music of New Orleans alive through concerts, children's performances, workshops and residencies.

Ask 20 people how to define the music of New Orleans and you’ll get 30 answers. It could be jazz, funk, soul, Creole, Cajun, or gospel, Caribbean, African, Zydeco, rock or the chants and stirring rhythms of Mardi Gras Indians.

New Orleans native, MICHELLE JACQUES along some "very special friends" take all of these influences and a few more, and stir it into this stewpot of musical gumbo that is sweet, spicy, aromatic and definitely intoxicating.

CHELLE! and Friends is made up of some of the most distinguished and accomplished musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. CHELLE! And Friends perform music that is vibrant and alive with the driving voices of artistic director and founder MCHELLE JACQUES, RHONDA CRANE, JAY LAMONT AND BRYAN DYER, DONNA VISCUSO on woodwinds, ERIC SWINDERMAN on guitar, KEVIN SCOTT on bass and BOB SCOTT on drums. 

 

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Community DRUMMM Circle COMP
Sep
9
2:00 PM14:00

Community DRUMMM Circle COMP

Event at 2 pm
Tickets are $10-15 Adults / $5-$10 Kids (sliding scale)

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Join DRUMMM Rhythmic Events founder Jeni Swerdlow and friends in a joyful celebration of rhythm! Group drumming can be a fun and effective way to reduce stress, connect with oneself and others, live in the moment, and build musical skills. Swerdlow’s facilitation makes drumming engaging, accessible, and meaningful for all ages and all levels. Come play! Bring a drum or play one that’s provided (first come, first served) for an additional $5. Beginners are encouraged to come early for an introduction to hand drumming and basic world grooves.

Register online at DRUMMM.com (click “Pay Now” and follow the instructions) or pay by cash/check at the door. Kids ages 2-13 qualify for reduced admission. Kids under age 2 are admitted free with a participating/supervising adult.

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Sauce Piquante
Sep
11
8:00 PM20:00

Sauce Piquante

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm / Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Sauce Piquante has been playing for Bay Area dancers since 1999, when accordionist Blair Kilpatrick started the band. The group’s high-energy dance tunes and French vocals are rooted in two musical traditions: Cajun and old-time Creole, or, as some call it, early zydeco. Sauce Piquante captures the authentic sound of southern Louisiana’s dance halls, house parties, and church dances while appealing to a contemporary audience. Along with Kilpatrick on accordion and vocals, the band includes fiddler Steve Tabak, guitarist-singer Jim Ruth, bassist-singer Kathy “KP” Price, and David Hymowitz on drums. Sauce Piquante was inspired by the late Danny Poullard, the Bay Area accordionist who suggested the group’s name. During more than two decades of Louisiana travels and music camp attendance, band members have been influenced by many other gifted musicians. They have learned from Creole masters (Bois Sec Ardoin, Delton Broussard, Canray Fontenot, Edward Poullard) and legendary Cajun accordionists (Steve Riley, Jesse Lége, Eddie LeJeune, Sheryl Cormier). The band’s debut recording “Sauce Piquante Live” got a thumbs-up in a Dirty Linen magazine review. Kilpatrick is also the author of “Accordion Dreams” (University Press of Mississippi, 2009), which documents her musical journey. She and her husband Tabak were among the musicians profiled in “Zydeco Nation,” a recent public radio documentary about the Louisiana Creole migration to Northern California.

 

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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Sep
12
9:00 PM21:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotellaunched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community. 

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way. 

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Mafaro eZimbabwe: KTO Project with Special Guest Musekiwa
Sep
15
9:00 PM21:00

Mafaro eZimbabwe: KTO Project with Special Guest Musekiwa

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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The KTO Project is collaborating with the Chinayakare Ensemble and Zimbabwean musicians and dancers to celebrate the music of the people - Chimurenga music - and to celebrate its roots in traditional mbira music played by the ancestral Shona people in Zimbabwe. 

The KTO Project will bring more than 15 musicians and dancers and a community choir together to perform a concert of ancestral songs of Zimbabwe and the popular, socially impactful music developed from the ancestral forms generations later. 

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Andrew Carriere & the Zydeco/Cajun Allstars
Sep
18
8:00 PM20:00

Andrew Carriere & the Zydeco/Cajun Allstars

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm / Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12

Buy Tickets Here

 

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You can’t get much more authentic than Andrew Carriere, especially when he’s backed by his top-notch Zydeco/Cajun Allstars. A native of Southern Louisiana, accordionist and singer Andrew Carriere brings a long family tradition into his playing. His father was the legendary Creole fiddler “Bebe” Carriere, his uncle was accordionist Eraste Carriere, and cousins Chubby, Calvin, and Roy Carrier are popular in the zydeco arena. Carriere moved to the Bay Area in the ’60s, learned accordion from the late Danny Poullard, and is featured vocalist on the California Cajun Orchestra’s “Not Lonesome Anymore” CD. He performs regularly with the Creole Belles and CZ & the Bon Vivants, and more occasionally in the Cajun Classics. 

Carriere’s Zydeco/Cajun Allstars include steel guitarist Billy Wilson, drummer David “Killer” Hymowitz, guitarist Mitch Polzak, and bassist Steven Strauss. The lineup might not seem particularly “traditional” to current followers of Cajun and zydeco, but, Wilson explains, “This is the real tradition that came out of the ’50s and ’60s honky-tonk Cajun bands, where they just had fun and played for dancers. The steel guitar was right there, and fiddles and an occasional lead guitar.” And, of course, the accordion. The repertoire is the standards and classics of Cajun and zydeco, old and new.

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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Sep
19
9:00 PM21:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community. 

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way. 

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

View Event →
Connla
Sep
20
8:00 PM20:00

Connla

Tickets are $18 Advanced / $20 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Sometimes the Irish trad cosmos lines up for something special and a new group or a solo artist appears. It is instant and hits like a musical storm. Connla.

Northern Ireland to its musical core, this quintet is scoring instant international raves due to a self-titled ep they introduced a year ago. Now comes their first full album, River Waiting. The five are Emer Mallon on harp and Conor Mallon on uilleann pipes, (brother and sister). Paul Starrett plays guitar, Ciaran Carlin is the flute player for the group, with Ciara McCafferty on vocals and bodhran. Besides being thoroughly talented musicians, each shares the fact that they have a full blend of formal and traditional training in Irish music. All are teachers, with deep educational backgrounds in music. This leads to something critical. Connla knows its way around the tunes and songs (eight of the numbers on River Waiting are originals) technically and emotionally. Most Irish trad musicians cannot read music. It is passed on in the traditional way of hearing and repeating. Connla’s formal education and years in Northern Ireland sessions add a whole new dimension.

The group is a full mix of musical knowledge, training and performance experience unheard of in a group this young. All are close friends and/or family who go way back together in the Northern musical scene. Each has won several performance awards. The resulting music is satisfyingly complex, yet directly and easily accessible. This is that rare group that is musically attractive to the experienced trad purist, as well as the music fan who knows nothing of the music. There is the mix in all of their music of great lift to the music and deep insights in the songs, all coupled with top musicianship and taste. Truth be told, it may never have been pulled off before by a group this young. Certainly not in a first album. Yesterday and tomorrow’s trad today. Here comes Connla!
 

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4th Saturday Swing Series - Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums featuring Miss Carmen Getit
Sep
22
8:00 PM20:00

4th Saturday Swing Series - Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums featuring Miss Carmen Getit

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm
Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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In a four-star CD review, DownBeat magazine wrote: “The Rhumba Bums abide by Cab Calloway’s advice: ‘Live what’s in your soul and sing your friggin’ heart out.’” Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums have been one of the West Coast’s most popular, to say nothing of most entertaining and fun, bands since composer-pianist-leader Steve Lucky assembled the Bums back in 1994 in the early days of the swing dance revival. The Rhumba Bums continue to play and sing just about the most irresistible dance tunes extant, mixing some well-known ’40s and ’50s jump blues and swing charts with rare and nearly-forgotten gems that deserve to be resurrected. The Bums’ second CD, “Some Like It Hot!,” features several band originals such as “Beat Girl,” “Maybe Later,” “The Hollywood Jump,” and “Haul Off and Love Me,” plus a live version of “Every Time I Hear that Mellow Saxophone,” featured in the movie “Be Cool.”

The Rhumba Bums include singer-guitarist Miss Carmen Getit, Matt Cowan and Doug Rowan on saxophones, drummer Brian Fishler, and bassist Lukas Vesely. The band’s trump card is Getit, who offers vocal sparring matches with Lucky and guitar playing that, whether swing, blues, or even some bebop licks, is inspired, fast, and faithful to the genre. In pre-Rhumba Bums years, Lucky discovered Getit (who had played piano before she could read and has played guitar since shortly thereafter), bought Getit her first electric guitar and introduced her to the music of T-Bone Walker, Ruth Brown, and other swing-R&B legends, and they formed a piano-guitar duo in New York City.

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Tom Rigney & Flambeau
Sep
25
8:00 PM20:00

Tom Rigney & Flambeau

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm / Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Ace fiddler Tom Rigney and his Louisiana-drenched band Flambeau can be heard in concerts from the Caribbean to Alaska, at the big festivals in the summer, and monthly at his favorite neighborhood dance palace: Ashkenaz. Tonight the band celelbrates the release of its new CD, “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later than You Think).” The unusual title song (recorded by everyone from Guy Lombardo to the Supremes) is a real surprise. According to Rigney, it’s “a great song, although I must admit when I heard it when I was a kid it made no sense at all. I listened to the Guy Lombardo version a couple of years ago and realized what a brilliant, funny, and on-the-money song it is.” In addition to old favorites and Rigney’s own compositions, some of tonight’s songs are pulled from the CD/DVD “Swamp Fever – Live at Three Stages,” whose video was part of the PBS-TV series “Music Gone Public.” Featured songs range from “Iko Iko” to “Orange Blossom Special” and “C’est la Vie.” What sets Rigney and Flambeau apart is their fresh musical takes on Louisiana Cajun and zydeco, New Orleans R&B, down-home blues, and other styles he loves to play from rock to classical, creating a celebration of life through dance rhythms. Flambeau is a tight ensemble of virtuoso musicians, with guitarist Danny Caron (Charles Brown’s bandleader; he and Rigney met when both backed up Rockin’ Sidney in the ’80s), boogie-woogie keyboardist Caroline Dahl, bassist and singer Steve Parks, and drummer Brent Rampone. Son of baseball legend Bill Rigney, Tom Rigney has long been a force in Bay Area music. He began in bluegrass-Western Swing band Back in the Saddle, then went from helping bandleader Queen Ida pioneer zydeco in the 1980s, to 15 years leading his New Orleans-drenched rock-R&B-zydeco outfit the Sundogs. At the turn of the 21st century he launched Flambeau, which has remained busy on the road ever since, releasing records mixing traditional and original fare. Not long ago, after teaming up for a few shows at Ashkenaz, Rigney and fellow fiddler Michael Doucet recorded the critically acclaimed CD “Cajun Fandango,” a hot collection of fiddle duets on Parhelion Records.

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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Sep
26
9:00 PM21:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community. 

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way. 

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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House of Hamill with Heron Valley
Sep
28
8:00 PM20:00

House of Hamill with Heron Valley

 

8:00pm - 9:10pm: House of Hamill

9:30pm - 10:40pm: Heron Valley

Tickets are $15 in Advanced / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Rose Baldino and Brian Buchanan met 10 years ago, late one night backstage at a theatre in rural Pennsylvania.  

Brian's band Enter The Haggis and Rose's group Burning Bridget Cleary were sharing a stage that evening, and the two bonded over a love of Irish fiddle tunes, Radiohead, and 4 AM whiskey. Their paths crossed a dozen times over the next decade on the road, but it wasn't until the Folk Alliance 2014conference in Kansas City that they finally became musical collaborators. Burning Bridget Cleary's guitarist and drummer had their flights canceled at the last minute, and Rose (in desperation) asked Brian to grab a guitar and join her onstage. The two performed with virtually no rehearsal for over an hour, and their connection was powerful and immediate. A few months later Brian moved from Canada to Philadelphia, and as a tribute to the first tune Rose ever taught Brian, House of Hamill was born. 

Brian and Rose are both accomplished traditional fiddle players and classical violinists, and despite being young, have over 25 years of writing and performance experience between them. Together, they write unusual new fiddle tunes and exciting, unpredictable original songs while also breathing new life into traditional and contemporary songs. Both are confident and unique lead vocalists, and the blend of their two voices in harmony is hypnotic and irresistible. 

Whether House of Hamill is playing songs from their debut album "Wide Awake" (September 2016) or stomping through a set of original jigs and reels from their follow-up "March Through Storms" (2018), their chemistry onstage is always engaging and often hilarious. Spend an hour listening and you'll leave with tired feet, a huge smile, and a new appreciation for the versatility of folk instruments in a modern context. House of Hamill is on the bleeding edge of a new generation of traditional musicians.

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Heron Valley are an energetic, young folk band from Scotland who have serious enthusiasm for the music they play. Their roots lie in Scottish and Irish traditional music, while taking influence from various Folk, Country and Bluegrass styles. The six-piece, energy fuelled group comprises:

  • Alex Mackechnie - Fiddle / Accordion / Guitar
  • Nick Hamilton - Drums / Banjo
  • Abigail Pryde - Vocals / Guitar
  • Euan McNab - Bagpipes / Whistles / Guitar
  • Arlene Mackechnie - Piano
  • Callum Cronin - Bass Guitar

 

 

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Berkeley Old Time Music Convention Dance Party!
Sep
29
7:30 PM19:30

Berkeley Old Time Music Convention Dance Party!

7:30pm dance lesson
8:00 pm show (see below)

$18 Advance/$20 Day of Show

Purchase Tickets to this Event

Purchase 3-Day BOTMC Pass

 2017 BOTMC Dance Party at Ashkenaz

2017 BOTMC Dance Party at Ashkenaz

Berkeley Old Time Music Convention’s Dance night features three great bands (Marley's Ghost, Bryant & Brown, and Hotdish plus two callers (Larry Edelman and Jordan Ruyle) who love to introduce the uninitiated to the joy of a square dance! The callers teach all dances from scratch and call the moves all the way through. No need to bring a partner, although you can if you want, and same-sex couples fit in fine. All ages are welcome at all BOTMC dances. And there is jamming in the back room led by BOTC performers. 

 

Square Dance Calling Workshop  with Larry Edelman in the back studio preceding the event Exact time TBA! 

7:30-8:00   Honky Tonk Dancing lesson with Rina Rossi
8:00   Marley’s Ghost - Honky Tonk set
9:00  SQUARE DANCING with callers Larry Edelman and Jordan Ruyle
9:00  Bryant & Brown
10:30   Hotdish

ALSO:
9:00 - 11:00  jamming in the back studio, hosted by BOTMC performers
Instrument check will be available.

The history of BOTMC is steeped in mirth. The first convention, held in Provo Park (now Martin Luther King Park), was listed as the “35th annual.” It was followed a year later by “the 17th annual.”  And of course they haven’t happened every year until the 21st century, so your guess about this year’s event is as good as the organizers’. What counts is the amazing quality of musicians from all over, and at Ashkenaz the best dancing of the whole festival, which runs Sept. 26-30 (Ashkenaz also hosts Sunday’s family square dance).  There are workshops, lectures and endless music at various other venues from the Freight to UC Berkeley. Information on all of the BOTMC events is at www.berkeleyoldtimemusic.org.

 BRYANT & BROWN

BRYANT & BROWN

Bryant & Brown features the playing of two old-time music masters, Mike Bryant and Paul Brown. This extraordinary foursome presents old-time music traditions of North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and other southern U.S. states with depth and expertise reflecting long experience. Mike and Marcia Bryant of Tennessee have played for decades at home, and at dances, fiddlers’ conventions and festivals. Mike is revered as a fiddler of style, strength and grace, with a repertoire spanning both well-known and obscure tunes. Marcia is widely respected for her super-solid guitar and bass backup. Paul Brown & Terri McMurray make North Carolina their home, and they too have performed both locally and around the U.S. for many years. Paul is probably best known as an NPR newscaster (now retired, although he still does special projects for NPR.) More to the point, he is a respected banjo and fiddle player whose unique sound on both instruments reflects his own imagination and his many years playing with senior musicians including Benton Flippen and Tommy Jarrell. Terri is a prize winning banjo player and a fine singer. These two couples, who love to make music together, bring you the old-time music sound with an easy, down home friendliness in every performance. http://paulbrown.us.com http://www.oldtimeherald.org/archive/back_issues/volume-11/11-9/bryant.html

Hotdish is a all-star pickup band of old-time players from all over the country, with fiddlers Aaron Olwell and Sonya Badigian (Virginia), banjo player Aaron Tacke (Minneapolis), guitarist Ryan Nickerson (Johnson City, Tennessee), and bassist Nokosee Fields (a native of Oklahoma, now living in Asheville). Aaron Olwell won first place fiddle at Clifftop (not coincidentally, two of the BOTMC organizing group were judges!) and plays many other styles of music including Irish and New Orleans-style jazz, on fiddle, flute and clarinet. Sonya focuses mainly on Missouri and Kentucky fiddle styles. Aaron Tacke first learned to play clawhammer banjo, but was inspired to learn three-finger style after hearing Kyle Creed. He’s played with the Bootlickers and currently is in Steam Machine and the Minneapolis country band Hello Heartache. Ryan Nickerson specializes in early styles of old-time backup guitar and country blues. Nokosee Fields was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He moved from playing classical music to various forms of traditional American music, including old-time fiddling, and tours with the Americana band Western Centuries and the old-time band Steam Machine. He has taught at the Augusta Heritage Center and has been involved with Dancing with the Spirit—an Alaska-based youth and community music program that aims to re-inspire fiddle and dance traditions in indigenous communities throughout the region.

Perennial favorites at the Strawberry Music Festival, Marley’s Ghost is celebrating its 30th anniversary. This genre-hopping band consists of singer/multi-instrumentalists Dan Wheetman, Jon Wicox, Mike Phelan, Ed Littlefield Jr., Jerry Fletcher and Bob Nichols, and the instruments include guitar, pedal steel, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, accordion, keyboard, bass and drums. Occasionally Ed will break out the Scottish bagpipes but at the BOTMC, they’ll focus on Western Swing and honky-tonk, with some rhythm and blues thrown into the mix. You might even hear an Uncle Dave Macon song reinvented as a reggae rave! http://www.marleysghost.com

 HONKY TONK DANCE PARTY WITH MARLEY'S GHOST!

HONKY TONK DANCE PARTY WITH MARLEY'S GHOST!

SQUARE DANCE CALLERS:

 SQUARE DANCE CALLER LARRY EDELMAN

SQUARE DANCE CALLER LARRY EDELMAN

Jordan Ruyle is one of the founders of the twice-monthly Friday square dances at the Niebyl Procter Library in Oakland and is an accomplished clawhammer banjo player and fiddler. He’s called dances up and down the West Coast, including at CBA Father’s Day Festival (Grass Valley); Dare To Be Square; Portland Old Time Gathering; LA Old Time Social, Oakland Museum, BOTMC, Autry Museum, New L.A. Folk Festival, San Francisco Old Time & Bluegrass Festival, etc.

Larry Edelman The BOTMC is honored to welcome reknowned dance caller Larry Edelman to the BOTMC. For more than 40 years, he has been delighting both novice and veteran dancers with his humor, enthusiasm, skillful teaching, knowledge of dance history, and colorful calling. Larry has taught hundreds of workshops at camps throughout the U.S. and in Europe, including the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Ashokan, Augusta, Pinewoods, Lady of the Lake, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, and many more. He’s also a musician, a video producer (currently working on a film about the Highwoods String Band) and a scholar of dance; since moving to Colorado, he has been studying and collecting traditional music and dances from the southwest and produced a documentary of an elder southwestern singer and fiddler, Eva Nuanez: Memories of My Musical Life (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BecXHAMsXM).

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Berkeley Old Time Music Convention Family Square Dance with Skillet Licorice
Sep
30
3:00 PM15:00

Berkeley Old Time Music Convention Family Square Dance with Skillet Licorice

Doors at 2:30 pm; Dance at 3 pm
Tickets are $8 Adults / $6 Kids

Purchase Tickets to Family Square Dance

 

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Ashkenaz is proud to continue to host the The Berkeley Old Time Music Convention’s Family Square Dance! 

(See the full BOTMC schedule here) 

It is has become a wonderful tradition; a great way for the whole gang to have fun dancing together in a casual setting. No experience is necessary, and all ages are welcome.
 

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Caller Larry Edelman teaches the dances from scratch and prompts the moves all the way through, with some dances that even babes in arms can do!

Foot-stomping old time music is provided by Skillet Licorice, with special guest fiddlers from Skillet Licorice fiddler Elise Engelberg's kid fiddler workshop participants! 

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Balkan Dance
Oct
3
6:00 PM18:00

Balkan Dance

Doors at 6:30 pm / Balkan dance lesson at 7:00 pm / Dance at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $7

Buy Tickets Here

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This monthly event is a revival of ’70s-style Berkeley folkdancing with some international request dancing to recorded music, capturing the spirit that David Nadel was inspired by when he opened Ashkenaz in 1973 with Balkan folkdancing. One does not need a live band to experience the communal pleasure of dancing together, and the dance lessons help newcomers join in the experience.

 

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Bachata Nightz plus Dance Lesson with Kathy Reyes
Oct
4
8:30 PM20:30

Bachata Nightz plus Dance Lesson with Kathy Reyes

Doors at 8 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:30 pm with Kathy Reyes; Performance at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $10 Advance / $15 at the Door / $10 Students

Buy Tickets Here

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Bachata Nightz happens the first Thursday of the month. It is led by award-winning Bachata contest master Kathy Reyes, who also teaches dance at Ashkenaz. Bachata is a form of Latin dance/music that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is now danced all over the world. Reyes teaches the dance lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by performance and dancing to recorded music spun by DJ MIGZ. 

Currently the defending Los Angeles Bachata Champion (winning first place at the L.A. Bachata Festival), Kathy Reyes is known for her unique style and interpretation of music. She discovered her talent and passion for Latin dancing in college in Los Angeles, and over the past 10 years has taken various prizes individually and in dance troupes. She leads groups and teaches here, in Los Angeles and San Diego. Teaching allows her to share her philosophy of dance: “Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart takes one to a whole different level.”

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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Oct
5
9:00 PM21:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9 pm

Tickets $20 Day of Show / $18 Advance / 
$18 Students

Buy Tickets Here

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community. 

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way. 

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Sambadá
Oct
6
9:00 PM21:00

Sambadá

Doors Open 8:30 pm / Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Dubbed the West Coast’s hottest Brazilian band by promoters, journalists and fans, SambaDá musically unites the Americas. Based in the rich musical traditions of Brazil, SambaDá also references salsa and cumbia, and blends them playfully with funk and reggae beats. Brazilian natives Papiba Godinho and Dandha da Hora bring profound knowledge and respect for Brazilian music, and together with the entire band, they present a unique musical sound with a universal appeal.

SambaDá was formed in 1998 in Santa Cruz, California, by capoeira master Papiba Godinho, saxophonist Anne Stafford, and drummer Gary Kehoe and has gone on to conquer clubs and festivals across the country with its explosive Carnival-like performances. The band is known for its high-energy percussion, danceable grooves and visually dynamic show.

When singer and dancer Dandha da Hora arrived in Santa Cruz from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and joined SambaDá in 2005, she brought the power of her Afro-Brazilian cultural heritage to the band. Dandha has been a performing member of the renowned group Ilê Aiyê of Brazil since she was 6 years old. Ilê Aiyê is one of the most beloved and important Afro Blocos from Bahia, Brazil. It is known all over the world for its music and dance performance and its social activism, fighting racism and promoting education, culture and tradition. Honoring Ilê Aiyê’s legacy as well as their own commitment to a more just world, SambaDá works and plays for social justice, peace and the respect of all cultures and peoples.

Also in 2005, SambaDá crossed paths with Grammy-nominated music producer Greg Landau to create the 2007 release “Salve a Bahia”. With “Salve”, the band created a new sound that not only paid homage to folkloric music but also captured the spirit and musical background of each band member and added a modern, funky edge. The recording project and the bands’ live shows also grew from the collaboration with two more talents from Bahia, Brazil, percussionists Marcio Peeter and Wagner Profeta. Marcio and Wagner bring their deep percussive knowledge and groove to the studio albums, as well as to the stage.

Following the success of “Salve a Bahia”, the band collaborated on a second album with Greg Landau, the album “Gente” which was released in the spring of 2010. “Gente” vibrates with the inspiration of the band’s first tour to Brazil in July 2009, and reflects their desire to share their dedication to Brazilian music, with some unique California flavor, with audiences everywhere.

2013 was a great year for SambaDá, as they welcomed 3 new members to the band, Etienne Franc (Chris Rene, OPM, Check in the Dark) on bass, and Senegalese drum master Ibou Ngom (Danjuma, Koumbemba) and Abel Damasceno from Bahia Brazil (Batala San Francisco) on percussion. They had a busy year touring, including headlining the Houston International Festival and playing New Orleans for the first time in April, and returning to Philadelphia and New York City, where they played SOB’s to a packed house at the end of September.

2014 finds the group launching a brand-new album, alongside busy touring schedule. Inspired by recent collaborations and adventures, SambaDá has been busy exploring new dimensions of the music they love, which they are eager to share with fans old and new!

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Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Oct
10
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

Buy Tickets Here

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Baba Ken and West African Highlife Band
Oct
13
9:00 PM21:00

Baba Ken and West African Highlife Band

Doors Open 8:30 pm / Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Babá Ken Okulolo is a beloved SF Bay Area-based Nigerian bandleader, vocalist, bassist, teacher and multi-instrumentalist, one of the few popular African musicians of today whose roots extend deep into his country’s musical history.

He now leads several distinct African bands and teaches students of all ages. His lively performances, recordings, drum circles, and classes spread an uplifting message and bring the joy of African music to every audience.

Babá Ken was first seen in the U.S. as bassist on King Sunny Ade’s world tours. He is known for his work with Nigeria’s legendary Afrobeat creator Fela Anikulapo Kuti, highlife master Dr. Victor Olaiya, and the seminal Afro-rock group Monomono.

He has countless Nigerian and American recording dates to his credit, and the Nigerian Journalists' Association five times voted him the country's top bassist. He founded the international super-group Babá Ken & KOTOJA, famed for its bubbling brew of Afrobeat, highlife, juju, and jazz, and which inspired the start-up of Putumayo World Music.

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Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Oct
17
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

Buy Tickets Here

stu1.jpg

A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Kizomba Nightz
Oct
18
8:00 PM20:00

Kizomba Nightz

Doors at 7:30 pm; Intro to Kizomba Dance Lesson at 8 pm; Open Level Semba at 8:45 pm; Open Practica at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $15 Gen Adm / $12 Students

Buy Tickets Here

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Kizomba is a popular genre of music and partnered dance from Angola. Its is known to be smooth and slow, with grounded movements, danced in a close partner connection. The origin of Kizomba dance comes from Semba, a traditional type of dance and music from Angola known for its energetic movements.


For any questions please contact Kathy Reyes at
kathyreyesdance@yahoo.com

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Tempest 30th Anniversary Show
Oct
20
8:30 PM20:30

Tempest 30th Anniversary Show

Doors Open 8:00 pm/ Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $22 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Since forming in 1988, Tempest has delivered a globally-renowned hybrid of high-energy Folk Rock fusing Irish reels, Scottish ballads, Norwegian influences and other world music elements. The last 26 years have seen the San Francisco Bay Area based act release fifteen critically acclaimed CDs and play more than 2,000 gigs. It's also enjoyed an evolving line-up that's enabled musicianship and creativity to rise with each new member. 

Hailing from Oslo, Norway, founding member and lead singer/electric mandolinist, Lief Sorbye, is recognized as a driving force in the modern folk-rock movement. He started Tempest after years of touring and recording on the folk circuit. San Francisco fiddler Kathy Buys brings her international award winning playing to the Tempest stage. Her experience performing world-fusion music with high energy dance bands combined with many years of playing Irish traditional music in America and Ireland makes her a perfect fit for Tempest. The newest member is Josh Fossgreen, an exceptional young talent whose innovative bass textures add a rich dimension to the Tempest soundscape. Born in Colorado and brought up in small town Missouri, Gregory Jones is the latest in a long line of Tempest guitar greats! His fiery licks and hard-rocking approach to the instrument, combined with his experience and understanding of Celtic music is a fast favorite with fans, new and old alike! Cuban-born drummer Adolfo Lazo, an original Tempest member, colors the band's sound with inventive rhythms, and rock-steady drumming. 

Signed to Sony-distributed Magna Carta Records, Tempest's releases are acclaimed worldwide. The group's latest studio CD, The Tracks We Leave, may be the bands most exciting work to date, as their unique blend of world music elements showcases inventive new original and traditional material. 
Tempest is regularly featured at prestigious festivals including The Philadelphia Folk Festival, Denmark's Skagen Festival, Britain's Cropredy Festival and The Winnipeg Folk Festival in Canada. The band is also a mainstay at countless American Celtic festivals.

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Bulgarika
Oct
21
7:00 PM19:00

Bulgarika

Doors Open 6:30pm / Show at 7:00pm

Tickets are $12 Advanced / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

Bulgarika is a group of four master musicians with decades of performing experience. They are all steeped in Bulgarian music and rhythms from a young age. In their performances they draw on formal and informal training, as well as their experience as teachers. The band maintains extensive contact with other Balkan natives, from the Black Sea to the Adriatic, and bring for your enjoyment the very best of the Bulgarian folk-music tradition.

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Donka Koleva (vocals), an internationally prominent singer, is a native of the town of Rudozemin in the Rodope region of Thrace. She graduated from the National School of Folk Artsin Shiroka Luka, Bulgaria, and performed for three years with Sliven Folk Dance and Music Ensemble. She started her singing career with the band Kabilé in 1982 and in 1986 became Director of the Folk Song Chorus of Sopot. Since then she has been a featured soloist on Bulgarian national radio and television, has participated in numerous singing competitions in Bulgaria and Europe and has been featured on multiple recordings. In 1997 her recording of "Javore" was named Song of the Year in the Bulgarian national competition. Since immigrating to the U.S. she has taught and performed widely across N. America and Canada, both privately and at camps, festivals and other events. In 2005 Donka contributed to the soundtrack for the film "Everything is Illuminated". In addition to her vocal talents Donka serves as Bulgarika's manager and has organized 14 national tours for the bands Kabilé, Bulgarika and for the Kolev Family Ensemble.

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Nikolay Kolev (gadulka), a native of the Thracian Rose Valley village of Karavelovo, has been playing gadulka since age 10. After graduating from the National School of Folk Arts in Shiroka Luka, Bulgaria, he performed for three years with the Sliven Folk Dance and Music Ensemble. In 1984 he founded the orchestra "Sopot", in 1985 the wedding-music ensemble "Rozova Dolina" and in 1992 the prize-winning ensemble "Balkanski Glasove". In 1994 and 1995 the latter group took first prizes at the Varna Festival. Nikolay has accompanied many well-known singers including Vulkana Stojanova, Roumen Rodopski and Todor Kozhuharov. He has also taught many students at a number of Balkan camps in the U.S. In 1999, Nikolay was the first Bulgarian to be recognized by the Slavic Heritage Council of America for his outstanding contributions to music.

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Stoyan Kostov (vocals, tambura), has been playing the Bulgarian tambura for over 40 years. He graduated from the National Music School "Filip Koutev" and the Bulgarian National Conservatory. Stoyan performed with Ensemble Trakiya and played tambura with Harmanliska Troika, and guitar with the Ograzhden ensemble in Sandanski, where he also directed the "N. Vaptsarov" Folk Ensemble. Stoyan lives in Pittsburgh PA.

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Michael Ginsburg (tapan) began teaching Balkan folk-dance in 1964 in New York City and now teaches a weekly dance class there. He plays tapan with Cherven Traktor, a band that plays Bulgarian folk music on traditional instruments. He also plays trumpet with Kavala Brass Band, a band specializing in the Brass music of Aegean Macedonia. He is a founding member and lead trumpeter of Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, formed in 1983. In 1987 they were the first foreign band to appear at the world-famous Brass Band festival in Guca, Serbia. Michael additionally serves as the head of the Program Committee of the Golden Festival in Brooklyn, New York, an annual event attracting thousands of participants and featuring dozens of musical groups.

 

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Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Oct
24
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

Buy Tickets Here

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Pan-Celtic Ceilidh Dance plus Dance Lesson
Oct
25
8:00 PM20:00

Pan-Celtic Ceilidh Dance plus Dance Lesson

Doors at 7:30 pm; 8pm Dance Lesson,
followed by Ceilidh dance and live music

Tickets are $8 Advance / $10 at the Door

Buy Tickets Here

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Ashkenaz is proud to launch the first of the bi-monthly Pan-Celtic Ceilidh dance! The Ceilidh is a tradition of music, dance and storytelling in Scottish and Irish traditions. In Ashkenaz inclusive tradition, this Ceilidh will combine easy dances everyone can do in many traditions including English Ceilidh, English Country, Contra, Scottish and Irish Ceilidh. This first in the series will feature teacher, DJ, host, and caller Alan Kline, and International Folk Dance music ensemble led by Jim Oakden.

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Mamadou Kelly
Oct
26
8:00 PM20:00

Mamadou Kelly

Doors Open 7:30 pm / Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $18 Advanced / $20 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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MAMADOU KELLY hails from Goundam near Timbuktu in the heartland of Mali’s Niger River Delta. Born in 1969, KELLY first picked up the guitar at 17 and traveled up the river to the town of Niafunke to learn from the great Ali Farka Toure, legendary master of Mali’s acclaimed “desert blues” tradition. After Farka Toure’s death in 2006 KELLY went on to become a key member of Alkibar, the group formed by Afel Bocoum, a Niafunke contemporary of Ali Farka Toure.

In 2013, KELLY released his first solo album with the well-received “Adibar”. Returning in October 2015 with “Djamila”, KELLY established himself as a formidable performer and composer full of subtle music - one of Mali's emerging contemporary masters. Backed by veteran sidemen collectively known as BanKaiNa, the band cooks refined rhythms into profound grooves.

Kelly has toured North American several times: in 2011 as part of the Acoustic Africa tour, in 2013 as part of the Festival au Desert - Caravan for Peace tour. He is the leader of the Ali Farka Toure Tribute Band and last was in the USA in May of 2017. Among the venues where Kelly has performed are: New York’s Lincoln Center, Chicago’s World Music Festival, the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, Sante Fe’s Lensic Performing Arts Center, Montreal’s Festival Nuits d’Afrique, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC and many other celebrated venues.  In the summer of 2016, KELLY returned for a US tour of his own appearing at concert halls across the US from New York to Los Angeles. His third album “Politiki” was released in 2017 and has received strong reviews.

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Oct
28
6:00 PM18:00

Talking About Racism: Unmasking the Elephant in the Room

Doors at 5:30 pm; Event at 6:00 pm in the Back Room

Tickets are $5 - $150 sliding scale
Attend 2 workshops for $25

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The Talking about Racism: Unmasking the Elephant in the Room - A series of six interactive and progressive workshops exploring racism in contemporary American society.

American racism is at the foundation of our partisan political system and is the factor most responsible for the election and popularity of our current president.   Systemically embedded in the original fabric of the “promised” democratic freedoms, racism has morphed from the overt de jure discrimination of enslavement and Jim Crow into a sophisticated state and federal apparatus that uses brutality, imprisonment and legislation to keep its “colored” populations under control.  The rise and “official” sanction of White nationalism, the backlash that is terrorizing immigrants and contracting U.S. immigration policies, the growing inequalities in wealth, political representation, educational opportunities, and access to employment, healthcare and housing between people of color and whites indicates a rising wave of regression and repression that undermines democratic ideals and diminishes the freedom of all.  America is not in a “post-racial” stage of development and the election of Barack Obama was not the “triumph” of a colorblind American culture.

 Science has destroyed the biological myth of race.  As an American society, we continue to allow racism to divide us to our peril. The climate crisis, the rise of the business oligarchs and the proliferation of technology all predict a future where cooperation and community are critical.  These workshops will explore the concepts underlying the idea and reality of race and racism in America. The political and historic footprint of racism will be traced and we will look at the policies and practices that have kept racism alive and well in American society.  We will address our own attitudes, implicit biases and family stories.  We will focus on what it means to become anti-racist and explore conversational approaches to talking about race with our neighbors and friends.  These workshops are open to people of all backgrounds.

Each workshop will be experiential and complete in its entirety.  The series is intended to build on the knowledge base of each segment but participants can come to workshops sequentially or to individual sessions.

Timeslot – 3 hours

Session One – The development of the Atlantic Slave Trade and the notion of race – the making of a myth – racism as a tool of labor management, the invention of Whiteness – 

Implicit Bias and the development of racialized identity

What is race talk – dynamics and characteristics of

Why don’t we talk about race – protocols, avoidance strategies?

Session Two – Master Narrative vs Back Story – how are perceptions shaped?

Family stories

Vulnerability

Micro-aggressions – identify, use and function – Practice

Session Three –Color Blind is Color Mute – the myth of meritocracy – who is an immigrant?

Stereotypes and Power Evasion

Equity vs Equality – Systemic Inequities

Session Four – The “new racism” – Exploring the idea of a “Post racial” America

White rage – Voter suppression, mass incarceration/the re-segregation of schools

Issues for Black/POC participants – Issues for White participants

Community Building

Session Five: Guidelines, Conditions and Solutions for Honest Racial Dialogues

Having Difficult Discussions, Processing new information, self-compassion

Talking to children about racism

Session Six: Building Lasting Bridges – Where are we now and where can we go?

Identifying and Targeting Racism

In our family circles

In our institutions and affiliations

How we invest and spend our money

Practicing what we preach – Family circles – next steps

Wrap us - Evaluation

 

 

 

 

           

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Ann-Ellice Parker is a death educator and counselor. She is the owner of Seasons of Change, an end of life training and consulting company. She worked for 25 years as a health educator specializing in reproductive health and HIV prevention education. She brings a lifetime of political activism to her current anti-racism work. She is the proud grandmother of two, who believes that “We who believe in freedom cannot rest”.

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Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Te Mana O Te Ra
Oct
28
7:00 PM19:00

Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Te Mana O Te Ra

Doors at 6:30 pm / Performance at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advanced / $15 Day of Show
Buy Tickets on Eventbrite

Established in 1997, Te Mana O Te Ra has a mission to share and teach the genres of Tahiti, perpetuating culture in the most authentic way possible and educating not only themselves but many people worldwide. Members of this company have competed far and wide, performed in dance festivals, local activities, and at Golden State Warriors and SF Giants games. The name means “energy of the sun.” for the force that provides for us, gives us life, strength and unity—to be family.

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Vadalma Album Release
Nov
10
8:00 PM20:00

Vadalma Album Release

Doors Open 7:30 pm / Show at 8:00

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Vadalma (“Wild Apple”) creates vibrant, intimate arrangements of Hungarian village folk songs.

Featuring the rich singing traditions of Transylvania, Moldavia, Transdanubia, and other areas of the Carpathian Basin, Vadalma frames these beautiful melodies, rhythms, and lyrics with both traditional and original accompaniment, bringing a new face to this repertoire.

Zina Bozzay - voice, ütőgardon

Matthew Szemela - violin

Misha Khalikulov - cello

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Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Harsanari
Nov
25
7:00 PM19:00

Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Harsanari

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Doors at 6:30pm, Performance at 7pm
$12 Advance/$15 Day of Show
Buy Tickets on Eventbrite

Harsanari is a San Francisco-based company founded in 1995 to teach and perform Indonesian dance and to educate the American public about Indonesian dance and culture.

Since 1997, under the leadership of Michael Ogi, Harsanari has specialized in dances from Sunda, West Java, Indonesia. From classical masked dances and dramas that enact the great Hindu epics the Mahabharata and the Ramayana to the contemporary folk dance forms that incorporate martial arts movements, Sundanese dance is rich and complex. It shows the influence of the many groups that have traded and settled in the area over the centuries, but remains uniquely distinctive, with its dynamic syncopated drumming patterns, quick wrist flicks, sensual hip movements, and fast shoulder and torso isolations.

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Dec
30
6:00 PM18:00

Talking About Racism: Unmasking the Elephant in the Room

Doors at 5:30 pm; Event at 6:00 pm in the Back Room

Tickets are $5 - $150 sliding scale
 

black-whites-together-arms-hands.jpg

The Talking about Racism: Unmasking the Elephant in the Room - A series of six interactive and progressive workshops exploring racism in contemporary American society.

American racism is at the foundation of our partisan political system and is the factor most responsible for the election and popularity of our current president.   Systemically embedded in the original fabric of the “promised” democratic freedoms, racism has morphed from the overt de jure discrimination of enslavement and Jim Crow into a sophisticated state and federal apparatus that uses brutality, imprisonment and legislation to keep its “colored” populations under control.  The rise and “official” sanction of White nationalism, the backlash that is terrorizing immigrants and contracting U.S. immigration policies, the growing inequalities in wealth, political representation, educational opportunities, and access to employment, healthcare and housing between people of color and whites indicates a rising wave of regression and repression that undermines democratic ideals and diminishes the freedom of all.  America is not in a “post-racial” stage of development and the election of Barack Obama was not the “triumph” of a colorblind American culture.

 Science has destroyed the biological myth of race.  As an American society, we continue to allow racism to divide us to our peril. The climate crisis, the rise of the business oligarchs and the proliferation of technology all predict a future where cooperation and community are critical.  These workshops will explore the concepts underlying the idea and reality of race and racism in America. The political and historic footprint of racism will be traced and we will look at the policies and practices that have kept racism alive and well in American society.  We will address our own attitudes, implicit biases and family stories.  We will focus on what it means to become anti-racist and explore conversational approaches to talking about race with our neighbors and friends.  These workshops are open to people of all backgrounds.

Each workshop will be experiential and complete in its entirety.  The series is intended to build on the knowledge base of each segment but participants can come to workshops sequentially or to individual sessions.

Timeslot – 3 hours

Session One – The development of the Atlantic Slave Trade and the notion of race – the making of a myth – racism as a tool of labor management, the invention of Whiteness – 

Implicit Bias and the development of racialized identity

What is race talk – dynamics and characteristics of

Why don’t we talk about race – protocols, avoidance strategies?

Session Two – Master Narrative vs Back Story – how are perceptions shaped?

Family stories

Vulnerability

Micro-aggressions – identify, use and function – Practice

Session Three –Color Blind is Color Mute – the myth of meritocracy – who is an immigrant?

Stereotypes and Power Evasion

Equity vs Equality – Systemic Inequities

Session Four – The “new racism” – Exploring the idea of a “Post racial” America

White rage – Voter suppression, mass incarceration/the re-segregation of schools

Issues for Black/POC participants – Issues for White participants

Community Building

Session Five: Guidelines, Conditions and Solutions for Honest Racial Dialogues

Having Difficult Discussions, Processing new information, self-compassion

Talking to children about racism

Session Six: Building Lasting Bridges – Where are we now and where can we go?

Identifying and Targeting Racism

In our family circles

In our institutions and affiliations

How we invest and spend our money

Practicing what we preach – Family circles – next steps

Wrap us - Evaluation

 

 

 

 

           

photo.jpg

Ann-Ellice Parker is a death educator and counselor. She is the owner of Seasons of Change, an end of life training and consulting company. She worked for 25 years as a health educator specializing in reproductive health and HIV prevention education. She brings a lifetime of political activism to her current anti-racism work. She is the proud grandmother of two, who believes that “We who believe in freedom cannot rest”.

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Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Jul
18
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson at 8pm with Kevin & Ann Hutchinson
Jul
17
9:00 AM09:00

Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson at 8pm with Kevin & Ann Hutchinson

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm with Kevin & Ann Hutchinson
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

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He may have been crowned Emperor of the 2011 Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, but violinist-fiddler-composer and singer Tom Rigney and his band Flambeau have always been royalty at Ashkenaz. When not globetrotting – last year they covered ground from Alaska to Alviso Slough to a Caribbean New Year’s cruise – they hold court here almost monthly, playing Rigney’s own tunes and their usual high-energy mix of Louisiana Cajun, zydeco, New Orleans R&B, and down-home blues favorites. Some songs are pulled from the recent CD/DVD recorded at the Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom, “Swamp Fever – Live at Three Stages,” whose video was part of the 2015 PBS series “Music Gone Public.” Featured songs range from “Iko Iko” to “Orange Blossom Special” and “C’est la Vie.” 

What sets Rigney and Flambeau apart is Rigney’s fresh musical takes on Cajun and zydeco, and other styles he loves to play from rock to classical, creating a celebration of life through dance rhythms. Flambeau is a tight ensemble of virtuoso musicians, with guitarist Danny Caron (Charles Brown’s bandleader; he and Rigney met when both backed up Rockin’ Sidney in the ’80s), boogie-woogie keyboardist Caroline Dahl, bassist and singer Steve Parks, and drummer Brent Rampone.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Jul
15
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Caribbean Allstars
Jul
14
9:00 PM21:00

Caribbean Allstars

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

 

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The Caribbean Allstars are pioneers in the Bay Area reggae scene and longtime regulars at Ashkenaz. The ensemble, whose geographical roots range from Jamaica and South America to West Africa and the U.S., began joining together their musical forces and international backgrounds during the early 1970s. Out of such predecessors as Obeah and the Sons of Creation, the Caribbean Allstars were formed and became the founding fathers of Bay Area roots reggae. Although many musicians have come through the band since its founding, it has long been guided by its director, Trinidad-born drummer Hugh “Sweetfoot” Maynard.

The Caribbean Allstars not only play Jamaican reggae with a traditional electric bass-drums-guitars-keyboards lineup, but also add steel drums to bring in South Caribbean calypso and soca styles of Trinidad and Tobago, producing rhythms that drive listeners to the dance floor. Over the years the band has performed with an array of talent sitting in, including Taj Mahal, Narada Michael Walden, and Carlos Santana. Santana played on their second album and introduced them as “my favorite band” at the 1987 Bay Area Music Awards (Bammies). The Allstars were featured on Ashkenaz’s 30th anniversary CD and have for many years been one of the core bands of the extended Ashkenaz world music and dance community.

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Runa
Jul
13
9:00 PM21:00

Runa

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 Day of Show

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Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups,” RUNA has been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music into the Americana and roots music formats since their formation in 2008. Interweaving the haunting melodies exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music. 

The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and three Independent Music Awards including Best LIVE Album, Best World/Traditional Song and Best Bluegrass Song. 
“Timeless and flawless...” – Jim Allford, PA Music Scene


RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Zach White of Missouri on mandolin, vocals, banjo, and flat-picking guitar, and Maggie White of Kentucky on the fiddle. 
RUNA recently released their fifth album, RUNA: LIVE, which was recorded at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD on Thursday, March 17th, 2016. Receiving lavish praise on both sides of the Atlantic, the album has been hailed as “an incredible masterpiece” - Marcene Bronson, The Celtic Crier

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Comedy at Ashkenaz! Benefit for RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services)
Jul
12
8:00 PM20:00

Comedy at Ashkenaz! Benefit for RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services)

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Buy Tickets Here

Tickets are $15 - $100 Sliding Scale

This month's Comedy at Ashkenaz! line up features Ngaio Bealum, Victor Pacheco, Francesca Fiorentini, and Lisa Geduldig.

This month's Comedy at Ashkenaz! show will be a benefit for RAICES. The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas. RAICES is the largest immigration non-profit in Texas with offices in Austin, Corpus, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

Stop Separating Families! Families Belong Together!

Geduldig, who is bilingual and has lived in Mexico, has been doing media outreach for recent local immigration protests in her capacity as a publicist and concerned citizen. She and Ashkenaz turned the launch of the Comedy at Ashkenaz comedy series last October into a last minute benefit for North Bay fire relief and raised $1200 for the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Geduldig has raised 10s of 1000s of dollars for various organizations through her annual event, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant since its inception in 1993. And Ashkenaz has been a vital community venue, which has held many a benefit since being founded in 1973 by a dedicated human rights activist, the late David Nadel.

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Ngaio Bealum is an American comedian, musician, writer, actor, activist, juggler and publisher. He co-hosted Cannabis Planet and published West Coast Cannabis Magazine.  He writes a column in Sacramento News & Review, answering questions from readers about marijuana and its politics.
Ngaio was born in San Francisco to hippie parents, leading to jokes about how he got his name. He is well known for his many film and television appearances as well as for being a regular host of High Times events, and more recently for being a frequent guest on Getting Doug With High hosted by fellow comedian Doug Benson. He recorded a CD called Weed and Sex. Former member of the Award Winning Hip Hop band Most Chill Slackmob, and 1994 People's Choice Award winner of the International Jugglers Association Fest.

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Victor Pacheco is a large, yet highly energetic comedian with the unique talent of romanticizing the complexity of being an educator in today's unforgiving society. Victor’s quick wit, commanding one-liners and warm personality have made him a favorite at comedy clubs, casinos and colleges across the West Coast and is a regular at Tommy T’s Comedy Club and Laughs Unlimited Comedy Club. Victor is first generation Mexican-American; his family hails from Michoacan, Mexico.

Francesca Fiorentini recently stepped down from being a long-time host and producer of Newsbroke on AJ+ when they moved to Washington, DC. She was behind such viral hits like White Fragility in the Workplace. She is also a correspondent with Explorer on the National Geographic Channel. As a stand up comic, she has been featured at SF Sketchfest, the Comedy Comedy Festival in LA, and in seedy bars throughout the Bay Area. Francesca currently co-hosts the monthly comedy show, Verdi Wild Things, at The Verdi Club in SF. She is also a political activist and has lived in Argentina.

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Lisa Geduldig is a local comedian and comedy producer who’s the creator, producer, and MC of a variety of comedy shows including Kung Pao Kosher Comedy™ - Jewish comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant (which celebrates its 25th Anniversary last December); Comedy Returns to El Rio! (which just celebrated its 10th Anniversary in May). She moonlights as a bilingual (Spanish-English) publicist.

RAICES (The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) is a non-profit organization that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas. Founded in 1986, RAICES has grown to be the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. With offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, RAICES is a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world. In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client. RAICES’ advocacy and commitment to change are driven by the clients and families they serve every day as their attorneys and legal assistants provide legal advocacy and representation in an immigration system that breaks apart families and leaves millions without pathways to legal status. Parents separated from their children at the border (and other immigrants placed in detention) can't get released from ICE custody to reunite with their families until they pay the full amount of their immigration bond. Bonds are set at a MINIMUM of $1500 and are usually in the range of $5-10,000, even for asylum seekers without any criminal history. Unlike in the criminal system, bail bond companies either do not help people in immigration proceedings or impose very strict requirements, like private ankle monitors (which families have to pay to "rent"). Donations to RAICES directly support legal services for detained separated parents and the direct funding for bonds to get parents released. Through the monies raised, they can now reach many more families, reunite parents with their children, and pay bonds to get parents released.  www.raicestexas.org

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Stu Allen and Mars Hotel
Jul
11
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $15

Stu Allen 9.jpg

A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Accordion Fest with Dance Lesson at 8pm with Cheryl McBride
Jul
10
8:00 PM20:00

Accordion Fest with Dance Lesson at 8pm with Cheryl McBride

A unique nonstop evening of waltzes, 2 steps, and shuffles with a "nouveau" feel. featuring the quintessential instrument of Zydeco and Cajun music - the ACCORDION!

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8pm; Show at 8:30

Tickets are $12 Advance /
$15 Day of Show

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Join us for a celebration of the quintessential instrument of Zydeco and Cajun music, the ACCORDION!  

In the Louisiana tradition of "lagniappe" (a little something extra) we will be welcoming accordionists Max Lopez, Andre Nigoghossian, Andrew Carriere, Mark Marcin and Maureen Karpan to the stage with some hard driving music for your dancing pleasure. When they are not up front on the "squeezebox" you will be enjoying their musical talents on bass and guitar as well. They will be joined by rhythm section Sam Siggins, Debi Krilanovich and Jim Scott.  A unique nonstop evening of waltzes, 2 steps, and shuffles with a "nouveau" feel. You don't want to miss this one!!

FEATURING:

Andrew Carriere (California Cajun Orchestra, Creole Belles, CZ & the Bon Vivants, Cajun All-Star Band)

Maureen Karpan (Frog Legs, Creole Belles, Cortableu)

Mark Marcin (Midnight Ramblers)

Max Lopez (Black & Tan Creole Band, Ashkenaz soundman!)

Andre Nigoghossian (I*ko Ya Ya)

Jim Scott (Mark St. Mary, Jeffery Broussard, I*ko Ya Ya, CZ & the Bon Vivants)

Sam Siggins (California Cajun Orchestra, Cortableu, I*ko Ya Ya)

Debi Krilanovich (Blues Box Bayou Band)

 

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Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Naina Shastri
Jul
8
7:00 PM19:00

Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Naina Shastri

Doors at 6:30 pm; Show at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance /
$15 Day of Show

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Madanika - Story of the Stone Girls: 
It is based on the poems written by the post independence literary exponent from Karnataka, one of the Southern States of India, Shri D V Gundappa or DVG as he is most popularly known there! DVG, was inspired by the stone carvings of dancing damsels in the Temples of Belur and Halebidu. He then composed a poem on each of them, describing their beauty. These poems are collectively titled "Antahapura Geethegalu" or "Songs from the Inner Chambers"!
The temples of Belur and Halebidu were built during the reign of Emperor Vishnuvardhana, of the Hoysala Dynasty around the 11th and 12th Century. The Emperor's main queen, Rani Shantala is supposed to have commissioned the building of these temples. She was herself an amazing dancer, musician and mathematician! The temples of Belur and Halebidu are UNESCO protected heritage sites and are a marvel of architecture and engineering!

Mrs. Naina Shastri, Artistic Director of Ushajali School of Dance, Instructor of Bharatanatyam at the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance, has been learning this art form since she was 8yrs old. She had her initial training under the guidance of Guru Vidwan Shri K Rama Murthy Rao of Mysore, India. She has a "Vidwat" degree in Bharatanatyam, from the Karnataka State Secondary Board of Education and is a Certified Teacher with the Akhila Bharatiya Gandharva MahaVidyalaya, Mumbai. She has been a RAW resident artist at SAFEhouse for the Arts, SF and Artist-in-residence at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Oakland. Currently, she serves as a Member of the San Ramon City's Arts Advisory Council. She is the founder of Namaha Foundation for the Arts, A Tri Valley Based Arts organization and co founder of Kalasangha-East Bay Artists Exchange.
Students of Ushanjali regularly perform at various Community and City organized events. The school was one of the groups that performed in this year's San Francisco International Arts Festival, SFIAF 2018.
Website: www.ushanjali.com

 

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Jul
8
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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7th Street Band
Jul
7
9:00 PM21:00

7th Street Band

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

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Berkeley’s 7th Street Band has made its name backing some of the greats and new voices of reggae and running its own studio. While 7th Street Band has been hitting the West Coast stages for over a decade, drummer Edi Arnold and keyboardist Benjamin Goff, friends since high school, have played together since 1992. Edi, as founding member and Ben, as his right hand man have been the foundation and executive producers of all 7th Street works.

7th Street Band has been called one of the Bay Area’s best-kept musical secrets and has backed many top touring vocalists, including Sanchez, Gappy Ranks, Glenn Washington, Konshens, Louie Culture and Million Stylez. Other artists 7th Street has worked with include Arkaingelle, Mega Banton,Norris Man, Danny I, Army, Rocker T, Wadi Gad, Tuff Lion, Messenjah Selah, Earl Zero, Winstrong, and Luv Fyah. Mony Lujan of Dubwize, on bass since 2010, rounds out the trio that makes up the heart of 7th St. Band. 

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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Jul
6
9:00 PM21:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9 pm

Tickets $20 Day of / $18 Advance / 
$18 Students

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A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz’s Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead’s vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community. 

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia’s music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals’ tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead’s commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way. 

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

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Bachata Nightz plus Dance Lesson with Kathy Reyes
Jul
5
8:00 PM20:00

Bachata Nightz plus Dance Lesson with Kathy Reyes

Doors at 8 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:30 pm with Kathy Reyes; Performance at 9:30 pm

Tickets are $10 Advance / $15 at the Door / $10 Students

Bachata Nightz happens the first Thursday of the month. It is led by award-winning Bachata contest master Kathy Reyes, who also teaches dance at Ashkenaz. Bachata is a form of Latin dance/music that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is now danced all over the world. Reyes teaches the dance lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by performance and dancing to recorded music spun by DJ MIGZ. 

Currently the defending Los Angeles Bachata Champion (winning first place at the L.A. Bachata Festival), Kathy Reyes is known for her unique style and interpretation of music. She discovered her talent and passion for Latin dancing in college in Los Angeles, and over the past 10 years has taken various prizes individually and in dance troupes. She leads groups and teaches here, in Los Angeles and San Diego. Teaching allows her to share her philosophy of dance: “Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart takes one to a whole different level.”

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MotorDude Zydeco plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Jul
3
8:00 PM20:00

MotorDude Zydeco plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm with Ted Sherrod
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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Winner of everyone’s vote as one of the Bay’s hottest dance bands, MotorDude Zydeco purveys a high-energy hybrid of Cajun and zydeco styles. The group is powered by the hardest-working man in the local Cajun/zydeco scene, multi-instrumentalist Billy Wilson – who plays accordion for MDZ – along with singer/rubboard player Lloyd Meadows, guitarist Ian Lamson, drummer and singer Willy Jordan, and bassist Dennis Calloway. Launched in 1989 by veterans of other zydeco and dance bands, MDZ takes its name from Motor Dude, a horse owned by the late, great accordion player and zydeco pioneer Boozoo Chavis.

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Balkan/Greek Post-Camp Gathering Dance Party with Edessa
Jul
1
6:00 PM18:00

Balkan/Greek Post-Camp Gathering Dance Party with Edessa

Doors at 5:30 pm; Show at 6:00 pm

Tickets are $12

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For many years one of the Bay Area’s premier Balkan dance bands, Édessa is comprised of musicians who have devoted decades to the study and performance of the rich cultural expressions of the southern Balkans. They play with a deep understanding of the connection between dance and music. Using both traditional and modern instruments, they perform in a variety of styles, featuring long sets that interweave melodies, improvisation and a beat with dancers in mind. The music comes from Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Armenia, and Turkey, and Balkan Roma (Gypsy). The group and its members have long participated in and taught at Balkan camps across the country, and Édessa was the first band to take Balkan music to Japan. 

Édessa is George Chittenden on clarinet, gaida (bagpipe), zurna (shawm), and guitar; Lise Liepman on santouri (hammered dulcimer) and accordion; violinist Ari Langer and percussionist Sean Tergis.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Jul
1
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

SoulSanctuary_square.jpg

Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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Iko Yaya plus Dance Lesson with Dana DeSimone
Jun
30
8:00 PM20:00

Iko Yaya plus Dance Lesson with Dana DeSimone

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson at 8:00 pm with Dana DeSimone
Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 at the Door

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I*ko Ya Ya dishes out steaming New Orleans-drenched “swamp and roll” for your dancing pleasure! The band is made up of longtime members of some of our favorite local groups, and it’ll be a night of big time “bon temps roulez”! The party started in 2013 when the original lineup got together to play the Louisiana-influenced music that moves them. Tonight it’s a full plate of their favorite New Orleans-based dance music – blues and boogie, Cajun/zydeco, R&B, Second Line, and even a little country – all delivered with a Mardi Gras vibe. Among the dance favorites are “We Make a Good Gumbo,” “It’s All Over Now,” “Hey Pocky Way,” and “Waltz Across Texas.” I*ko Ya Ya is singer-percussionist Cheryl McBride (born and raised in New Orleans, a member of SwingThing, and one of our regular dance teachers), guitarist Jim Scott (Mark St. Mary, CZ & the Bon Vivants, Jeffery Broussard), bassist-singer Lance Houck, drummer Sam Siggins (California Cajun Orchestra, Courtableu, Creole Belles), saxophonist Otoe Mori, and trumpeter Marty Arvan.

Hello, World!

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Rahan Boxley Band with Special Guests
Jun
29
9:00 PM21:00

Rahan Boxley Band with Special Guests

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 at the Door

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Singer and multi-instrumentalist Rahan Boxley hosts an evening of fresh dance music that ranges from traditional Congolese to American R&B, reggae, house, funk, capoeira, and Afro stylings.
 

Rahan Boxley, born in Cleveland, Ohio, now based in the San Francisco, Bay Area of California, is a multidisciplinary artist, percussionist, capoeirista and visual artist that sings and dances, breathing life into space. A performer since the age of 4 years old, Rahan has shared the stage with legendary folk artist Joan Baez, Brazilian master percussionist Gabi Guedes, and Hip Hop group Jurrasic Five to name a few. With performances that have spanned Canada, the US, and Brazil, Rahan brings a fresh energy, influenced by traditional and Soukous Congolese music, roots reggae, Afro-Brazilian samba, R&B and deep house music. When showcasing his talents live, Rahan serves a unique contemporary Afro-World fusion entree, layered with one of a kind soul-cadence for you to partake in. He is considered by his Northern Californian fanbase one of premiere genre-bending powerhouse performers and songwriters of the future. Seeing Rahan Boxley live is an unforgettable experience.

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Pan-Celtic Ceilidh Dance plus Dance Lesson
Jun
28
8:00 PM20:00

Pan-Celtic Ceilidh Dance plus Dance Lesson

Doors at 7:30 pm; 8pm Dance Lesson,
followed by Ceilidh dance and live music

Tickets are $8 Advance / $10 at the Door

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Ashkenaz is proud to launch the first of our bi-monthly Pan-Celtic Ceilidh dances! The Ceilidh is a tradition of music, dance, and storytelling in Celtic traditions. In Ashkenaz's inclusive tradition, this first Ceilidh will combine easy dances everyone can do in many styles including   Irish Ceilidh, Contra, English Country Dance & Ceilidh, and Waltzes & other couple dances. T he August Ceilidh will  include Scottish traditions.

Featuring host and caller Alan Kline, and an Energetic and Versatile band including multi-instrumentalists Jim Oakden, Shira Kammen, and Noel Cragg

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Balkan Folkdance
Jun
27
8:00 PM20:00

Balkan Folkdance

Doors at 6:30 pm; Dance Lesson with Miriam Berg and Nadav Nur at 7:00 pm;

Dance at 8pm

Tickets are $7

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This monthly event is a revival of ’70s-style Berkeley folk dancing with some international request dancing to recorded music, capturing the spirit that David Nadel was inspired by when he opened Ashkenaz in 1973 with Balkan folkdancing. One does not need a live band to experience the communal pleasure of dancing together, and the dance lessons help newcomers join in the experience.

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The Cajun Country Revival: Jesse Lege, Joel Savoy & the Foghorn String Band with Dance Lessons with Cheryl McBride
Jun
26
8:00 PM20:00

The Cajun Country Revival: Jesse Lege, Joel Savoy & the Foghorn String Band with Dance Lessons with Cheryl McBride

Doors at 7:30 pm; Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride at 8:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 at the Door

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Spanning generations from across the nation the Cajun Country Revival is a veritable supergroup of American roots musicians. Comprised of Cajun musicians Jesse Lége and Joel Savoy and Portland Oregon’s Foghorn Stringband, this group presents a music that seems to embody all of the things that make life wonderful and together they’ve delighted audiences around the world celebrating rather than “performing" the music that brought them together: Cajun music and early Country music. Son of Cajun music royalty Marc and Ann and the founder of the Louisiana-based label Valcour Records, Joel Savoy is a GRAMMY winner for his production work with The Band Courtbouillon and a nine-time GRAMMY nominee, as well as a two-time winner of the Cajun French Music Association’s Fiddler of the Year Award. Having grown up literally at the feet of the Cajun great he represents his culture with an authority that few people his age can and his playing leaves no doubt that Cajun music is still very much alive. He has worked and played with the best of the best in south Louisiana as well as folks like John Fogerty, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Earle, and T-Bone Burnett. Sharing the stage with Joel for the last 15 years is the legendary Cajun powerhouse, Jesse Lége. Growing up in a rural pre-electricity home in Gueydan, LA, Jesse spoke Cajun French and learned music from relatives, neighbors, and the family's much-loved battery-powered radio. Today he is one of the most admired Cajun accordionists and vocalists in the world, known especially for his high, clear, “crying” vocals. Jesse has been playing traditional Cajun music and singing Cajun French songs for over 35 years performing with a variety of well-known musicians in various Louisiana and southeast Texas dancehalls. He is a winner of numerous CFMA awards: Traditional Band of the Year, Accordion Player of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Band of the Year, and Song of the Year. In 1998 he was inducted into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame. Completing the revival is Portland Oregon’s Foghorn Stringband, made up of Caleb Klauder (WA) and Stephen “Sammy” Lind (MN) and Reeb Willms (WA) and Nadine Landry (Québec). Credited for igniting the Old Time Renaissance in Northwest, the Foghorn Stringband continues to stand out as the shining gold standard for American Stringband music. With their 8th album, Devil in the Seat in hand, thousands of shows and over a decade of touring under their belts, it’s no surprise that this band, as proclaimed by Stuart Mason, The Fiddle Freak, "has blossomed into a full-blown force of nature that threatens world domination." Through all of this, they’ve never let the music grow cold; instead Foghorn has been steadily proving that American Roots music is a never-ending well of inspiration.

 

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Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance and Drum
Jun
24
7:00 PM19:00

Ethnic Dance at Ashkenaz Presents Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance and Drum

Doors at 6:30 pm; Show at 7:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

 

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Tezkatlipoka’s mission is to share and promote indigenous Meso American culture through Aztec dance and drumming. Tezkatlipoka strives to maintain a high level of integrity in both teaching and presenting Aztec dancing and drumming that is true to form so that it can be preserved in all its beauty and strength for future generations to come. The group’s philosophy centers on preserving the sacred traditions left behind by our ancestors while sharing and exchanging cultural knowledge as a way to foster a sense of unity between all peoples of the Earth.

 

 

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Jun
24
6:00 PM18:00

Talking About Racism: Unmasking the Elephant in the Room

Doors at 5:30 pm; Event at 6:00 pm in the Back Room

Tickets are $15
Attend all four workshops for $50
Attend 3 workshops for $40
Attend 2 workshops for $25

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The Talking about Racism: Unmasking the Elephant in the Room - A series of six interactive and progressive workshops exploring racism in contemporary American society.

These workshops are designed to stand alone as singular presentations, as well as building upon info shared. A single workshop is valuable, the series is constructed to shift the paradigms of our current racial identities.  This is an in-depth exploration of racism as manifested in present day U.S. society.

JUNE WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION:
We will further explore the legacy of chattel slavery and its impact on the institutions, politics and cultural fabric of America. How do individual attitudes and actions contribute to or disrupt centuries old patterns of systemic discrimination and inequity?  How can we develop a common vocabulary and protocols to identify and disconnect from White supremacist doctrine and practice?  What are ways to develop alliances and mutually supportive networks to dismantle racism and to address state sanctioned police violence against Black and all people of color?  Come out to discover ways you can be the change you want to see!

SERIES DESCRIPTION:
American racism is at the foundation of our partisan political system and is the factor most responsible for the election and popularity of our current president.   Systemically embedded in the original fabric of the “promised” democratic freedoms, racism has morphed from the overt de jure discrimination of enslavement and Jim Crow into a sophisticated state and federal apparatus that uses brutality, imprisonment and legislation to keep its “colored” populations under control.  The rise and “official” sanction of White nationalism, the backlash that is terrorizing immigrants and contracting U.S. immigration policies, the growing inequalities in wealth, political representation, educational opportunities, and access to employment, healthcare and housing between people of color and whites indicates a rising wave of regression and repression that undermines democratic ideals and diminishes the freedom of all.  America is not in a “post-racial” stage of development and the election of Barack Obama was not the “triumph” of a colorblind American culture.

 Science has destroyed the biological myth of race.  As an American society, we continue to allow racism to divide us to our peril. The climate crisis, the rise of the business oligarchs and the proliferation of technology all predict a future where cooperation and community are critical.  These workshops will explore the concepts underlying the idea and reality of race and racism in America. The political and historic footprint of racism will be traced and we will look at the policies and practices that have kept racism alive and well in American society.  We will address our own attitudes, implicit biases and family stories.  We will focus on what it means to become anti-racist and explore conversational approaches to talking about race with our neighbors and friends.  These workshops are open to people of all backgrounds.

Each workshop will be experiential and complete in its entirety.  The series is intended to build on the knowledge base of each segment but participants can come to workshops sequentially or to individual sessions.

Timeslot – 3 hours

Session One – The development of the Atlantic Slave Trade and the notion of race – the making of a myth – racism as a tool of labor management, the invention of Whiteness – 

Implicit Bias and the development of racialized identity

What is race talk – dynamics and characteristics of

Why don’t we talk about race – protocols, avoidance strategies?

Session Two – Master Narrative vs Back Story – how are perceptions shaped?

Family stories

Vulnerability

Micro-aggressions – identify, use and function – Practice

Session Three –Color Blind is Color Mute – the myth of meritocracy – who is an immigrant?

Stereotypes and Power Evasion

Equity vs Equality – Systemic Inequities

Session Four – The “new racism” – Exploring the idea of a “Post racial” America

White rage – Voter suppression, mass incarceration/the re-segregation of schools

Issues for Black/POC participants – Issues for White participants

Community Building

Session Five: Guidelines, Conditions and Solutions for Honest Racial Dialogues

Having Difficult Discussions, Processing new information, self-compassion

Talking to children about racism

Session Six: Building Lasting Bridges – Where are we now and where can we go?

Identifying and Targeting Racism

In our family circles

In our institutions and affiliations

How we invest and spend our money

Practicing what we preach – Family circles – next steps

Wrap us - Evaluation

 

 

 

 

           

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Ann-Ellice Parker is a death educator and counselor. She is the owner of Seasons of Change, an end of life training and consulting company. She worked for 25 years as a health educator specializing in reproductive health and HIV prevention education. She brings a lifetime of political activism to her current anti-racism work. She is the proud grandmother of two, who believes that “We who believe in freedom cannot rest”.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Jun
24
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

Doors at 10:30 am; Dance at 11:00 am

Family-friendly Freestyle Community Dance. Come dance freely every Sunday morning at Soul Sanctuary Dance. No admission fee / 100% volunteer produced.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance is a welcoming and inclusive all-ages community freestyle/ecstatic/shoes optional dance that supports free expression, community, physical and emotional health, and a spirit of generosity. We dance to an irresistible eclectic blend of world music, funk, house, soul, electro swing, positive hip hop, reggae, dance classics, jazz, blues, electronica, and other music to free mind, body and soul.

Organic fruit for all after the dance.
The dance is completely organized and run by volunteers.
Wheelchair accessible. No scented products please. Shoes optional.

The dance is a generosity and donation-based event. We don't charge a fee for admission. Instead, we post this message at the welcome table: "Your dance today at Soul Sanctuary Dance is a gift from those who have made donations to the dance, and from the volunteers who organize and produce the dance. We invite you to pay this generosity forward for future dancers, in whatever amount or manner you choose, so that we can continue to keep this chain of gifts alive."

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4th Saturday Swing - Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines plus Swing Lesson with Brynna and Rachel
Jun
23
8:00 PM20:00

4th Saturday Swing - Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines plus Swing Lesson with Brynna and Rachel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Swing Lessons at 8:00 pm with Swing Lesson with Brynna and Rachel
Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door

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It’s time for the hottest Crescent City Soul, from New Orleans greats Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino, and a host of other favorites, revitalized by pianist Macy Blackman and his hard-driving band the Mighty Fines. They also feature music from their new CD, “Friskin’ the Whiskers.” Originally from Delaware, Macy Blackman made his professional debut at the age of 12 and has played music most of his life, eventually moving to San Francisco. He put together the Mighty Fines in 2003. Relocated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Ken “Snakebite” Jacobs became the band’s baritone saxophonist. Nancy Wright sings and plays tenor sax (she’s worked with everyone from Elvin Bishop to B.B. King), alongside drummer Larry Vann (of Ron Thompson’s Resistors, and Elvin Bishop) and bassist Bing Nathan (Lavay Smith, Lost Weekend).
http://swingatashkenaz.comteams.com/

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Karamo Susso featuring "Black Panther" lead drummer Massamba Diop
Jun
22
9:00 PM21:00

Karamo Susso featuring "Black Panther" lead drummer Massamba Diop

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm

$15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

 

International Kora master Karamo Susso returns to Ashkenaz stage with an all-star ensemble featuring the lead drummer from the "Black Panther" movie, Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop, Ousseynou Kouyate of Sekou Senegal, Tony D on Drumset, Moussa Camara on Djembe, and Ben Isaacs on Bass.

 International Kora master Karamo Susso

International Kora master Karamo Susso

 Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop

Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop

Karamo Susso is of the best-known African performers to grace our stage, he has appeared in the past few years in numerous settings, contributing his unique spirit, from solo to such world fusions as the World Blues Band, Symphony of Koras, Soul Union, and the Manding Band. Susso was born in Gambia, raised in Mali, and is a singer and kora master. He grew up in a compound of griots, next door to Toumani Diabate. His uncle was Ballake Cissoko. Susso was playing kora and performing before he was big enough to hold the instrument. He has since gone on to perform with many of Africa’s top stars and American musicians including Taj Mahal.

 

 

Massamba Diop is perhaps the world's most renowned master of the Tama, a talking drum from West Africa, known for its ability to emulate the tonalities of human speech. He came into the limelight as lead percussionist and a founding member of Daande Lenol, the band of Senegalese super-star Baaba Maal. Over the past 30 years the group has been playing all over the world, working with many notable musical figures and releasing dozens of albums, including "Firin' in Fouta", which was nominated for a Grammy for Best World Music in 1996. Massamba himself has performed and/or recorded with the likes of Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, Harry Belafonte and Stevie Wonder, to name a few. He also appeared on Peter Gabriel's landmark release "Passion", which won a Grammy in 1990. 

ABOUT KARAMO SUSSO'S INSTRUMENT:
The kora, the 21-stringed harp lute of West Africa, originated in the ancient Kingdom of Mali more than a thousand years ago. Tradition tells that djinns brought it into this world and gave it to the griots: families whose place in the culture was to sing the epics of heroes and relate histories. The griots played kora and sang in court to praise the kings, and in the villages to carry news and to celebrate traditional ceremonies. The music is intricate, elegant, and potent. It is sweet while strong, percussive while lyrical, active while calm. Centuries of complex tradition are heard in it, as are simple truths.

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