Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Sep
25
8:00 PM20:00

Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride 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
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8 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

$5 for kids aged 5 and up, kids under 5 free

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. 

 

FREE Square Dance Calling Workshop: “Learn to Call Square Dances” with Larry Edelman in the back studio 5-6:30pm

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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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Sep
30
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

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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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

Tickets are available at the door

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! 

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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CZ & The Bon Vivants plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Oct
2
8:00 PM20:00

CZ & The Bon Vivants plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod

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

Tickets $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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A hot band of Cajun/zydeco veterans, CZ & the Bon Vivants dish out classic Cajun dance tunes and originals. Along with singer and fiddler Catherine Matovich (whose day job is playing with symphony orchestras), the Bon Vivants are Lake Charles, Louisiana, native and East Bay great Andrew Carriere on accordion, guitarist Jim Scott, bassist Elaine Herrick, and drummer Timothy Orr. Over the last few years they’ve appeared frequently on the festival and outdoor event circuit – from downtown Oakland to the Solano Stroll, the Kaiser Rooftop concert series to Bay cruises – and at many a Bay Area dance hall. And India may be the next stop. The band’s CD, “Good to the Bon,” has been used as a tool for teaching world music at the American School in New Delhi; CZ has an international fan base as a result. 

The group was born when Matovich got home after playing in Neil Diamond’s touring band and saw a concert by Cajun/zydeco fiddler Tom Rigney. “I loved working big shows, but seeing Tom’s band made me want to be in a group like that, that had so much fun playing together.” The Bon Vivants came together to play a benefit concert in 2004, “and we’ve been busy ever since,” Matovich says. Nobody could agree on a group name, so eventually they were dubbed the Cajun Babes (after the Dixie Chicks), and through democratic process came up with the current group moniker, although there is no CZ. Just high-energy Cajun and zydeco music.

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Balkan Dance
Oct
3
to Oct 4

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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Oct
7
12:30 PM12:30

Women Drummers International Presents Drum Sunday: Congolese and Cuban Drum Songs with Sue Kaye

Event at 12:30pm in the Back Studio

Tickets are $25 - $10 (sliding scale) / Under 12 yrs free
No one turned away for lack of funds

Drum Sundays are drumming workshops presented on the first Sunday of every month by one of our FANTASTIC MAESTRA DRUMMERS from Born To Drum.

Classes are open to ALL LEVELS. There will be a limited number of drums to borrow on a first come first serve basis.

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In this Drum Sunday workshop Sue Kaye will be teaching both Congolese and Cuban drum songs. She will also go over some practical technique and show some exercises to help people improve their sound on the drum. Students can bring congas, ngomas, ashikos, djembes, bells, shekeres, sticks, your voices and be ready to have a funky good time!!

About Sue Kaye:

Sue "Suki" Kaye has been studying, teaching and performing African and Caribbean styles of drumming for 42 years. She is from New York and that is where she began her journey with the drum. She has played with many bands including Azucar con Ache, Rita Lackey and Friends, Liquid Girlfriend, Jazzi Jan and more! Suki has a strong background in Congolese, Afro-Cuban, and other Caribbean rhythms. She has also been a dance accompanist, drum teacher,and an elementary and preschool teacher. She currently plays with Taller Bombalele, a local Afro-Puerto Rican folkloric dance and music ensemble, and a latin jazz ensemble called Key Elements (www.keyelementslatinjazz.com).

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Oct
7
1:30 PM13:30

Semiannual Reunion of the UC Berkeley Folk Dancers Balkan Folk Dance

1:30pm to 5pm

Tickets $7

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We're having a vegetarian potluck for our semiannual  reunion of the UC Berkeley Folk Dancers

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.

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Barry Wofsy Heart of Rock & Roll Series: Ruby's in Town
Oct
7
7:00 PM19:00

Barry Wofsy Heart of Rock & Roll Series: Ruby's in Town

Doors at 6:30pm ; Show at 7pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

Ruby's In Town will perform old school R&B covers, classic soul and a bit funk thrown in for good measure. From Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin to the Talking Heads, the Rubies are a dance band that can deliver with power vocals and tight arrangements of old favorites!

Ruby’s In Town is a sentence, a declarative statement to be more precise. And it’s also the name of a “lesbian-friendly” Bay Area super group that brings together Andrea Pritchett (formerly of Rebecca Riots), Suzanne Falter (Leave It To Diva), Janet Rachel (Out On A Clef, Alternative Measures), and Jessie Ortiz (Buddhist Squirrels) among others. Pritchett says she “loves to play music that can make people dance and forget their troubles for awhile.”

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Andrea Pritchett (lead vocals) formerly of the folk trio "Rebecca Riots" is a singer songwriter and continues to perform locally with the songwriter collective "Wildcat Canyon". A school teacher and activist, Andrea is deeply involved in the Berkeley community and loves to play music that can make people dance and forget their troubles for awhile.

Suzanne Falter (back up vocals) is the creator of an award winning one-woman show, and a veteran of the New York cabaret scene. Recently she was featured soloist with Oakland's Community Women's Orchestra, and was formerly back up singer with Leave It to Diva.

Janet Rachel (back up vocals) performed with Alternative Measures satire a cappella quartet, was a founding member of Out On A Clef a cappella quartet, Note-orious vocal jazz sextet, and was a back up vocalist with Leave It To Diva band.

Green Huse (back up vocals) is a singer-songwriter and improvisor. She is about to release her 3rd album of original songs. She is also a founding member of The Elements, an acapella improvisational quintet that performs and teaches internationally.

Nzingah (tenor sax and flute), also known as Robin Nzingah Smith, is a local musician and music educator performing throughout the Bay Area in a variety of styles from Blues to Jazz to Classical. She was a founding member of the band Azucar y Crema and now plays with Johnny Tolbert and De Thangs, Adalante Mujer and Key Elements to name a few.

Chris Cooper (guitar) is a guitarist, violinist, composer, poet and teacher who has been performing and recording in the Bay Area for many years.

Jessie Ortiz (keyboards) also plays keyboards with Buddhist Squirrels (a jazz quintet). In the past she has played with many local bands & loves to get people up and dancing. No parking, baby! No parking on the dance floor!

Judy Graboyes (drums) plays bass, drums, and latin percussion. She also plays with the Left Coast Sextet and Adelante Mujeres. Her bands have opened for Peter Tosh, Pete and Sheila Escovedo, Tower of Power, and Tuck and Patti. The Indigo Girls opened for her band, the Blazing Redheads, in 1988 in Atlanta Georgia.

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Mitch Polzak & the Royal Deuces plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Oct
9
8:00 PM20:00

Mitch Polzak & the Royal Deuces plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

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

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

Mitch Polzak and The Royal Deuces were founded in California in 1999, and have been entertaining audiences worldwide with their highly original sound and show ever since. The three-piece band, fronted by Polzak on Guitar and vocals, play a wide representation of American Roots Music from Rockabilly to Honky Tonk. Polzak’s showmanship, as well as his diverse background in multiple genres (including Cajun, Bluegrass and Surf), contributes to what sets his sound and show apart from other bands.

Mitch is known for his ability to engage, connect with and entertain an audience. He is currently the Mayor of his small town, Port Costa, California; so in addition to commanding respect as a musician and performer, he’s also a revered elected public official in his current hometown!

Mitch Polzak plays about 200 shows a year, and is completely committed to his career path as a working musician, with the goal of taking his show to larger audiences around the world this year. He’s known for his energetic shows, which he creates without a set list, basing them on audience reactions and building energy in the room. He gives each show 100 percent, and is also known to perform for several hours straight without breaks.

Mitch Polzak and the Royal Deuces is made up of a variety of experienced veteran musicians. His core players are Hank Maninger (bass) and Les James (drums). Mitch says, “The idea of a three piece band excites me, as every member has to pull their weight…” He plays so many gigs that in addition to his core players, he also has back up players: Joe Kyle Jr., Ken Owen, Jimmy Touzel and Timothy Orr-- for the occasions that he needs them.

Mitch Polzak & The Royal Deuces have played so far in the U.S., Spain, Holland, Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic; and he looks forward to taking his music to more parts of the world. He just finished his new release, Two Sides to Every Story, which he’s ready to share with audiences. The release is unique, being a dual CD, one disc has vocals and the other all instrumentals. 

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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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Comedy Night at Ashkenaz! One-Year Anniversary All-Star Show and Party!
Oct
11
8:00 PM20:00

Comedy Night at Ashkenaz! One-Year Anniversary All-Star Show and Party!

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

Tickets are $15 - $25 Sliding Scale
Buy Tickets here

Comedy at Ashkenaz
one-year Anniversary All-Star Show!

Bay Area comedian and comedy producer, Lisa Geduldig (of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy), and Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center joined forces one year ago to bring the East Bay a new monthly comedy series, Comedy at Ashkenaz!

On Thursday, October 11, Comedy at Ashkenaz celebrates its 1st Anniversary with an ALL-STAR comedy line up and a party with food after the show!

Together, we’ve celebrated Black History Month, International Women’s Day/Women’s History Month, and Gay Pride, we’ve raised money for two organizations and causes (the Redwood Empire Food Bank which provided food to shelters in Sonoma County for residents displaced by the North Bay fires and RAICES: The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services).

The 1 st Anniversary show features a line-up of Bay Area hard-hitting comedians: Diane Amos, Marga Gomez, Karen Ripley, Ngaio Bealum, Carla Clayy, and Lisa Geduldig.


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Diane Amos is a San Francisco-based actress, improv artist, and comedian who is known as The Pine Sol Lady for having starred in their national commercials for over 20 years. She has appeared in numerous films including Nine Months, Copycat, Angels in the Outfield, EDTV, Twisted, and Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.

Diane was a semi-finalist in Star Search, has been on A&E’s Evening at The Improv, Lifetime’s Girls’ Night Out, and Comedy Central’s Women Aloud. She has also been a winner on the game shows: Wheel of Fortune, $25,000 Pyramid, and Super Password. She was raised in SF by two lesbian mothers and attended Washington High School in the Richmond District, where took an improvisational comedy class…and the rest is history.

Marga Gomez is currently appearing in her critically acclaimed show Latin Standards at the Marsh in Berkeley. She is a GLAAD Award winner and was named “Best Bay Area Comedian” by the SF Weekly, Bay Area Reporter and The SF Bay Guardian. Robin Williams called her “Amazing…a lesbian Lenny Bruce.”

Armistead Maupin called her “astonishing.” Gomez’s comedy has been featured on HBO, LOGO, Showtime, Comedy Central and PBS. She has been a guest on leading comedy podcasts Marc Maron’s “WTF: The Keith and The Girl Show,” and Kevin Allison’s “Risk”. Her comic style has been described as “deliciously cheeky and incendiary” by the New York Times and “salaciously surreal” by the San Francisco Chronicle. She is a regular performer on Olivia Cruises and has been featured at numerous comedy festivals including SF Sketchfest, Montreal’s Just For Laughs, South Beach Comedy Festival, Vancouver Comedy Festival, and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is also the author/performer of twelve solo plays, which have been presented Off-Broadway, nationally and internationally. Gomez can be seen in season two of the Netflix series “Sense8“  Her website is  margagomez.com

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Karen Ripley, a queer comic and improv master and has been featured on LOGO TV. She is a veteran of LGBT comedy and began her comedy career in 1977 (41 years ago!) in the heyday of the LGBT comedy movement in San Francisco. She has performed at hundreds of Pride events as well as The Fringe and Diva Festivals. Ripley recently premiered her one-woman show, Oh No, There’s Men On The Land to rave reviews at The Marsh Berkeley. She is currently working on her next show, Memories of Resistance. www.karenripley.com

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Ngaio Bealum uses his great storytelling ability, razor sharp wit, and engaging stage presence to leave audiences howling with laughter. He has earned a 5-star rating on Ticketmaster.com and has appeared on ABC, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, and many other TV programs. He has opened for Dave Chappelle and Weird Al (but not at the same time) and is also a regular guest on The Doug Benson Podcasts. Ngaio is constantly on the road and has headlined comedy clubs and performed at music and arts festivals all over the country. 

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Carla Clayy is a native San Franciscan who has spent the last several years making people laugh all over the country. She has shared the stage with Paula Poundstone, Joy Behar, and Robin Williams. Carla is a regular at The Punchline, Cobb’s, and comedy clubs in such hotspots as Modesto and Chico.

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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 10 th Anniversary in May). She moonlights as a bilingual (Spanish- English) publicist.

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Piwai plus Adrian West Band
Oct
12
8:30 PM20:30

Piwai plus Adrian West Band

Doors at 8pm ; Show at 8:30pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

Piwai combines the sounds of her Zimbabwean homeland with her original songs about Africa, struggles both political and personal, love and hope. In her music Piwai describes her musical journey, the challenges she faces in the American music industry, and how her dreams told her to follow the mbira. In early 2012, Piwai recorded her first album, “African Turquoise,” in collaboration with James Buzuzi of Bongo Love. It fuses jazz and traditional African rhythms, including mbira and percussion from Bongo Love’s Jacob Mafuleni and John Mambira. As with her album concept, Piwai’s concerts take the listener on a journey: glimpse life through the eyes of children in war-torn Congo; walk the streets of Harare; bear witness to the slums of Soweto, India, and the favelas of Brazil; or play along the proverbial paths of Zimbabwean folklore. For Piwai, music is all-encompassing: “The sum total of my very existence and every action I make manifests in music – the rhythm of my life.”

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Piwai was surrounded by music from an early age. Her first influences include music from the Shona and Ndebele people of Zimbabwe, Suthu and Zulu tribes, and the Zimbabwean Catholic Church. She joined her first choir at the age of 10, wrote her first song at 13, and hasn’t stopped since. Piwai went on to study with renowned percussionists Yagbe Onilu and Butch Haynes, trained vocally at the Jazz School of Berkeley, and delved into the mbira – a traditional African instrument associated with profound spiritual union – with maestro Cosmas Magaya.

Adrian West

Ask him what kind of music The Adrian West Band plays and Adrian will answer "Yes." Or if he's feeling cocky, he'll answer "Good."

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The long answer: a catchy mix of original songs and instrumentals that hover between acoustic rock, classical and West-African styles. Their songs have drawn such diverse comparisons as Paul Simon and Nelly McKay, artists seldom mentioned in the same breath.

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Adrian is an exciting performer to watch. He sings in an uplifting, almost child-like voice as he moves effortlessy between guitar & violin, often using live looping to add layers of sound (and intrigue) to his songs. He's not afraid to tackle difficult topics in his songwriting; Safe Streets tells an allegory about police violence, Close Your Eyes laments the beauty bias that pervades in the mass media, and Senses implores that you enjoy your senses while you can. Despite this philosophical streak, Adrian's lyrics are infused with a sense of hope and a touch of whimsy. The band features vocal harmonies, guitar, electric violin, bass, drums, and live "looping”.

 

Adrian started playing violin at the age of four and in his teens studied classical violin at the McGill Conservatory of Music in Montreal. He later learned to play drums, guitar and developed his vocal and songwriting technique.

He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995 where as a sideman violinist he began supporting local Bay Area bands, playing some of the area's better known venues including the Fillmore, Yoshi's SF (main stage), Slim’s, The Independent and The Sweetwater.

In 2005 Adrian formed the Adrian West Band and in 2010 he released his first full-length CD Chameleons and Butterflies. Since then the band has performed at small venues and festivals all over the Bay Area.

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Step and Body Percussion Special Workshop with Antwan Davis!
Oct
13
12:00 PM12:00

Step and Body Percussion Special Workshop with Antwan Davis!

This beginner/intermediate Stepping and Body percussion class will challenge your body and mind with elemets of Greek collegiate stepping and stomp style body percussion.

You will receive the elements to make you own steps in this very interactive workshop!

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Stomp and StepAfrika Alumnus Antwan Davis is a co creator of Molodi, and featured performer at the 2016 and 2018 International Body Music Festival.

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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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International Body Music Festival MiniFest
Oct
19
8:30 PM20:30

International Body Music Festival MiniFest

Doors open 8pm / MiniFest Starts at 8:30pm

$18 Advance / $20 Day of Show / $15 Students and Seniors

Buy Tickets Here


PASS IT AROUND - a participatory interactive World Body Music mash-up


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The participatory/interactive PASS IT AROUND engages the audience in dynamic, culturally specific and collaborative Body Music styles at Ashkenaz. With IBMF house band Corposonic Trio featuring Artistic Director and Body Musician Keith Terry, bass singer Bryan Dyer, and beatboxer Steve Hogan, the event features Balinese Kecak from Dewa Berata; Stepping from Antwan Davis; South Indian Solkatu from Jim Santi Owen; Contemporary Body Music from Evie Ladin’s MoToR/dance, flamenco from Clara Rodriguez y AguaClara Flamenco, The Ranky Tanky from Rhonda Benin, and Balkan Dance from Ivan Velev and Sean Tergis.. This dynamic and experiential evening will follow the successful model Keith Terry and the IBMF have utilized in previous global Festivals in Paris, France and São Paulo, Brazil.

More info about the weekend MiniFest here: http://www.internationalbodymusicfestival.com/minifests.shtml

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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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Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson with Mike Ferketich
Oct
23
8:00 PM20:00

Tom Rigney & Flambeau plus Dance Lesson with Mike Ferketich

Doors open 7:30pm / Dance Lesson with Mike Ferketich at 8pm / Show at 8:30pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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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
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

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.

View Event →
Anglo-Celtic Ceilidh Dance plus Dance Lesson
Oct
25
8:00 PM20:00

Anglo-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 bi-monthly Pan-Celtic Ceilidh dance continues! Ceilidh means gathering in Celtic and the tradition always includes music and dance. Ashkenaz's inclusive Ceilidh combine easy dances everyone can do in many styles including Irish Ceili, Contra, Scottish Ceilidh, English County Dance & couple dances such as waltz. Every dance is taught before it's danced and people are encouraged to dance all roles with everyone on the floor.

 

This month's dance features callers Kalia Kliban and Alan Kline, and live music from The Woots (Shira Kammen,Deidre McCarthy, Jim Oakden and Charlie Hancock)

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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 America 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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Maestra Series: Susana Arenas Dance Company
Oct
27
8:00 PM20:00

Maestra Series: Susana Arenas Dance Company

Doors open 7:30pm / Show at 8pm

Tickets are $15 Advance / $20 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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ARENAS DANCE COMPANY -

AFROCUBAN FOLKLORE Founded and directed by Susana Arenas Pedroso in 2004, Arenas Dance Company’s mission is to preserve and promote the culturally-rooted and ever-evolving Cuban folkloric and popular dance traditions. Under Pedroso’s artist vision, the company has produced a string of acclaimed works that preserve tradition while embracing creative innovation and hybridity. These have been performed at venues such as Great American Music Hall, Palace of Fine Arts, Yerba Buena, and Herbst Theater; at educational institutions such as Chico State University, Laney College, and Stanford University; at cultural centers such as such as ODC Theater, La Peña, and Ashkenaz; and at celebrated festivals such as the Black Choreographers Festival, CubaCaribe Festival, SF Salsa/Rueda Festival, Yemanja Festival, and the Stanford Jazz Festival. Pedroso’s choreographic works include the celebrated Dos Aguas, presented at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in 2006 and Oya, presented the following year.

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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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Funky Gators plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Oct
30
8:00 PM20:00

Funky Gators plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod

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

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 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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Bachata Nightz plus Dance Lesson with Kathy Reyes
Nov
1
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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Nov
2
9:00 PM21:00

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel 7th Anniversary and Show 300

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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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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Joseph's Bones + Orchestra Gold
Nov
16
8:30 PM20:30

Joseph's Bones + Orchestra Gold

$15 adv/$18 door

Doors at 8pm show at 8:30pm
Tickets Here

Two of Bay Area’s most phenomenal ensembles of top-notch musicians bring the sounds of Africa and the African Diaspora in one evening.

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Joseph's Bones is 9 of the Bay Area’s best musicians drawing inspiration from the roots reggae of Bob Marley and the Wailers, the dub grooves of Augustus Pablo and the soaring horn lines the of Skatalites. This trombone reggae band is new to the scene, but old in its tradition, bringing an ecstatic spirit to deep appreciation for reggae music’s traditions.

Each of the band’s members is a serious performer in their own right, leading groups from ska to salsa, jazz and blues. The blend of influences is distilled down into a singular sound through their love of reggae.

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Orchestra Gold: Led by the ferocious Mariam Diakité from Bamako, Orchestra Gold {OG} promotes pre-digital age (OldStyle) music from Mali, West Africa.

OG hypnotizes audiences with danceable, funky, high-energy 1960's orchestra music from Mali. These roots are colored by tinges of 60’s era analog psychedelic rock and funk from West Africa.

The building blocks of OG’s music are folkloric songs, often told in parable. These songs contain inspiration, wisdom, and deep insight into the human condition. They have served to uplift Malians beyond the harsh realities of daily life. Especially in this time of social turbulence, this age-old wisdom brings us a renewed perspective on modern-day existence.

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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
 

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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

 

 

 

 

           

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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Leroy Mabrak (Mabrak showcase)
Sep
23
8:00 PM20:00

Leroy Mabrak (Mabrak showcase)

Doors at 7:30pm ; Show at 8pm

$15 Advance ; $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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The members of Mabrak are the international masters of roots, rock, reggae sound and have had hits on the British Charts with ITAL TALK/LIQUID TALK in the mid '70s. Their recordings are well known in Germany, France, and in London. You can also hear them on the Jamaica's Golden Hits, Vol 1 recording doing the gem "Oh Carolina" A Jamaican CLassic from the 1960s.

The Founder and leader Leroy Mabrak was responsible for these musical landmarks, he has also developed the Worlds first electric repeater drum and functions as a resource consultant for drum music at Stanford University. This was the first time in the history of recorded music anywhere in the world when the Talking drum was used as a lead instrument in a song.

They have won four medals for musical composition and arramgement at the World Music Championships 2003, which was held in Burbank, California.

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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Sep
23
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

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 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 with Karen Lile and Michael Arntz at 8:00 pm
Show at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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A Swing at Ashkenaz Production

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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Earl Zero and Junior Reggae
Sep
21
8:00 PM20:00

Earl Zero and Junior Reggae

Doors open 7:30pm / Show at 8pm

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

Buy Tickets Here

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Earl has been crafting his style since the 1970's, playing with Soul Syndicate, one of the top Jamaican reggae session bands, having recorded with Bob Marley as well.  Our current lineup consists of a 5-piece ensemble of Earl Zero on vocals, Luna Fuentes-Vaccaro on drums, Jon Robin Nichols on rhythm/lead guitar, Nicholas James Lyon-Wright on bass, and Michael Solomon on keys.  Earl's numerous songs may be found on Spotify, iTunes, as well as YouTube.  His latest album, Roots and Romance, is available for purchase online. 

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Junior Reggae is a Bay Area instrumental ska/dub/reggae quartet. Influences range from classic Skatalites recordings of the 1960s to the “Far East Sound” of Augustus Pablo, 1970s dub innovations of Lee “Scratch” Perry and King Tubby and contemporary time-stretching beat making strategies in hip-hop production. The band was founded by bassist and multi-instrumentalist Rob Ewing (Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, Brass Magic) along with longtime collaborator, drummer and composer Jason Levis (Joseph’s Bones, duo B). Building up from the bass and drums foundation, the duo enlisted keyboardist Steven Blum (Bells Atlas, Electric Squeezebox Orchestra) working as a trio for some time before adding the final member of the group, trumpeter Max Miller-Loran (Invisible Inc., Brass Magic). The group is currently finishing its debut album, scheduled for release in Fall 2018.

 

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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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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Sep
19
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8 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 →
Andrew Carriere & the Zydeco/Cajun Allstars plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Sep
18
8:00 PM20:00

Andrew Carriere & the Zydeco/Cajun Allstars 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

Join us for a special night as we celebrate Marcia Anderson's birthday.

Happy Birthday Marcia!!

From all of us at Ashkenaz and your fellow Cajun/Zydeco dancers

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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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Sep
16
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

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."

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Mafaro eZimbabwe: KTO Project with Special Guests Musekiwa & Chinyakare Ensemble
Sep
15
8:00 PM20:00

Mafaro eZimbabwe: KTO Project with Special Guests Musekiwa & Chinyakare Ensemble

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 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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Baraka Moon plus DJ Neptune - Celebrating the Life of Catherine Henry
Sep
14
8:00 PM20:00

Baraka Moon plus DJ Neptune - Celebrating the Life of Catherine Henry

Come celebrate the life of Catherine Henry, local yoga teacher, and rescuer over 100 feral cats, by dancing the night away with Baraka Moon.

Doors 7:30 / Show at 8pm

$15 Advance / $18 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

BARAKA MOON is a quartet of talented musicians:

Sukhawat Ali Khan (Vocals, Harmonium), Stephen Kent (Didgeridoo, Percussion, Bass, Guitar), Anastasi Mavrides (Guitar, Bass, Bkg. Vocals) and Peter Warren (Drums).

Sukhawat Ali Khan – Baraka Moon’s charismatic and passionate vocalist draws from his luminary family’s 600 year old Pakistani singing tradition with a voice that comes straight from the heart and soars to the heavens. He can also be heard squeezing and cajoling sweet ragas and shredding blues riffs from his harmonium.

Stephen Kent – A one-man-band Didgeridoo/Percussion virtuoso, he is a globally acclaimed pioneer in bringing the ancient Aboriginal instrument to the contemporary world. With a primal shout, he conjures a deep and earthy pulse that is the vibratory core of Baraka Moon’s compelling groove engine.

Peter Warren – Our Drummer/Percussionist is responsible for the irresistible and dynamic power of Baraka Moon’s full on dance beats, with grooves honed over many years performing with African musicians and dancers in the U.S. and his native Canada.

Anastasi Mavrides – Bringing his seasoned and unique guitar work to the music, Anastasi blends shimmering chordal voicings, soaring anthemic melodies and downright super-funky rhythms. He also provides lush supporting vocals to Sukhawat’s singing.

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Our Backstory

The San Francisco Bay Area has long been fertile ground for the confluence for creative spirits and artists from all over the world to gather, exhibit and explore cross-cultural and counter-cultural ideas and bring new and fresh themes into the wider world. So it was that in the last years of the 20th century the individual members that form Baraka Moon arrived on their variously convoluted journeys from their respective homelands and began to exert their influence on the Bay Area scene and open the doors of possibility, expressing their musical forces through creative projects that have inevitably culminated in the creation of Baraka Moon.

Born into a centuries old family tradition of Indian/Pakistani classical musical culture that manifested in the 2nd half of the 20th century in the renowned vocal duo, The Ali Brothers -Sukhawat’s father, the great Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and his brother Nazakat Ali Khan –Sukhawat Ali Khan grew, along with his brothers including Shafqat Ali Khan, himself a contemporary giant of Indo/Pakistani classical music, and sister Riffat Sultana, the first female vocalist in the family to gain public acclaim, Sukhawat’s career flourished when both he and his younger sister arrived in the SF Bay Area in the mid 1990’s. Together with Riffat’s husband, guitarist/MD  Richard Michos they formed The Ali Khan Band performing in the Bay Area and beyond and releasing 2 recordings on the SF based label, City of Tribes (which also featured much of Stephen Kent’s 1990’s catalog) Changing their name to Shabaz the siblings continued to plow the multicultural groove connections into the new century touring and producing a self titled CD on Miles Copeland’s Mondo Melodia label before parting ways to pursue new directions. For Sukhawat these included appearances at the 60th anniversary of the United Nations in San Francisco, where he performed with a multi-cultural ensemble to a luminary gathering of global leaders, both from both the political and cultural worlds (eg Jane Goodall and Mikhail Gorbachev) collaborations with DJ Cheb i Sabbah on his first release, “Sri Durga”  (Six Degrees Records), Soundtrack work on the Disney Film, Hidalgo (directed by), LA based Sufi band leader, Yuval Ron and many other musical outings. Sukhawat released his 1st solo CD “Shukriya” (Jah Nur Records).

The germinating seeds of Baraka Moon were sown when Stephen Kent formed a group of musicians to accompany the Rumi scholar and translator Coleman Barks in a celebration of the 800th anniversary of Jalalludin Rumi’s birth and invited Sukhawat Ali Khan and percussionist Geoffrey Gordon to join him. The first edition of Baraka Moon, a trio, was formed on the night of a blood moon eclipse soon afterwards in Feb 2008.

To this point Stephen had traveled a wide ranging and diverse creative path from his upbringing in Uganda and rural UK, setting the tone for a deep and abiding interest in world cultures and arriving in the Bay Area in 1991. After early years in the British New Wave avant-garde scene with Furious Pig (Rough Trade 1980) he traveled to Australia as Music Director of Australia’s contemporary national circus, Circus Oz (1981-83). With the Oz collective’s concerns for Aboriginal land rights and social justice this inevitably led to SK’s interest in the didgeridoo. Having grown up a classical brass player he adapted circular-breathing techniques to brass in the Oz show and composed new music, making a cultural bridge that set him on the journey of pioneering the ancient Aboriginal horn into contemporary music, which continues to this day. In late 1987 after 7 years in new circus now back in Europe his evolution on the didge manifested in soundtracks for contemporary dance companies in Barcelona and the formation of the band Lights in a Fat City, first appearing in the streets and markets of London and other European cities in the mid 80’s. LIAFC was the first ‘Didgeridoo-oriented’ band to tour Europe and North America and their LP, “Somewhere”(These Records 1988) caused them to tour widely and perform musically diverse festivals including WOMAD, Zurich & Leipzig Jazz festivals (Oct.1989), New Musique Actuelles Montreal, Winnipeg Folk Festival & The New York International Arts Festival when he arrived in the USA in 1991 to stay. San Francisco provided a dynamic creative base and there began a period in which Kent formed the band Trance Mission, joined the Beasts of Paradise (also with Geoffrey Gordon) & released a series of over 20 recordings featuring the didgeridoo in both group and solo contexts with cross cultural collaborations in concert including projects with Airto Moreira, Zakir Hussain, Glen Velez, R.Carlos Nakai, the Tuvan throat-singing group Chirgilchin, Habib Koite and Doors drummer John Densmore among many others. He also met Sukhawat Ali Khan and worked on sessions for the Ali Khan Band and recorded with Producer Richard Michos on a “chillout” CD featuring Ustad Salamat Ali Khan. Since 1995 he has hosted and produces a popular weekly “Music of the World ” radio show on KPFA FM. He has played in 5 continents to great acclaim and continues to perform all over the world.

Anastasi Mavrides cut his musical teeth playing with soul and rock bands in the Philadelphia area. His playing later came to the attention of the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, who heard him performing in Europe and invited him to come on tour with the band as guitarist. Since that time, Anastasi has become a musician, composer and producer of wide-ranging styles and media. He’s produced albums of instrumental music for the Real Music label, as well as creating the award-winning children’s series, The Classical Child®, a whimsical collection of eight classical music CDs for kids (www.classicalchild.com). In addition, he has scored music for national broadcast commercials, as well as film shorts. Over the last few years, ‘Stas’ has been music director and composer for the regional cult musical, Zen Boyfriends, as well as producer for The Marin Project concert and album, benefiting Bay Area homelessness.

Anastasi entered the Baraka Moon orbit via his musical involvement with their common collaborator, Geoffrey Gordon. It was during his years performing in Gordon’s Indian-style, raga-based sacred music ensemble that Anastasi met Sukhawat, and the three performed together at one of the Bay Area’s annual Himalayan  Festivals. In 2010 – together with drummer, Peter Warren – Anastasi and Sukhawat formed JI, a stylistic pre-cursor to the funky and driving present-day Baraka Moon band. Peter and Anastasi brought with them their West African and Malian rhythms and influences from the group they co-created, called MAKURU, which found them playing with an array of outstanding Senagalese, Ginean and Malian musicians (Bolo Kade, Karamo Susso, Ousseynou Kouyate and others.)  It was sometime after the sad and untimely passing of Geoffrey that Sukhawat, Anastasi, Peter and Stephen decided to join musical forces in a way that, looking back now, seems to have been inevitable.

At a young age drummer Peter Warren was influenced by the ‘art rock’ of the 70’s. Inspired by Peter Gabriel and his Real World label, at the age of 20 he became immersed in world music, meeting many African and Indian musicians in Toronto, with whom he started to form world-drumming and chant groups.

In the 1990’s, Peter created the “Real Tribal” drum show, which he took to nightclubs, raves and festivals on Canadian music scene. The lineup featured master drummers from West Africa, Brazil, Japan and India in performances that seem to magically bring audience and musicians together in joyful, ecstatic dancing and singing. It was this spirit of bringing people together with the power of rhythm and dance that led Peter to the San Francisco Bay Area to create Makuru and JI (with Anastasi). Later, when they both teamed up with Sukhawat and Stephen, Peter brought the core of his drum and dance-infused energy with him into Baraka Moon.

NEPTUNE (Beat Church)

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For over 30 years Neptune has been a professional DJ and avid collector of tunes across the entire musical spectrum, compiling one of the most vast and eclectic collections in the world.
He has mastered the art of reading and tapping in to the dynamic of a room and crowd while reaching into his musical pallet to play the perfect music for the moment. With no limits on style or genre, he eloquently, creatively and seamlessly transitions between tracks.

On an even deeper level, as a Sonic Shaman, Neptune continues to develop the art of transforming people through Music as he guides the dancer into their Bodies, awakening Emotions, and calling upon their Spirits. Through the Magic and Mystery of a Sonic Journey, he helps to create a Musical Map of the Soul’s Evolution.

He is a rotating resident DJ for most of the Ecstatic Dances throughout California & you can see him on the lineups for many of the conscious dance events & festivals throughout the west coast & abroad.

http://mixcloud.com/therealneptune
http://soundcloud.com/therealneptune

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Comedy at Ashkenaz
Sep
13
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

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 Alicia Dattner, Chey Bell, Regina Stoops, Barry Fischer, and Lisa Geduldig.

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Alicia Dattner was voted Best Comedian in both the SF Weekly and the SF Bay Guardian. She has performed around the world from Bombay to Bali, London to New York, Hawaii to Hollywood. Her newest stand up show, One Life Stand, plays at The Marsh Berkeley from August 17 to September 29. She's Enlightened AF. Catch her now before she ascends. www.aliciadattner.com www.soloshowdown.com

 

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Chey Bell is a bisexual comedian who's brutally honest and uniquely clever. Often confounded by stupidity, Chey's comedy mirrors life experiences and self-discovery, touching on everything from family, drugs, coworkers, misspelled tattoos and sexuality. Her energetic stage presence is engaging, silly, fearless and direct, just like her.

 

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Regina Stoops was born and raised in a town called Normal though her humor is anything but. She has her own unique perspective on what most might consider the mundane details of ordinary life; raising children, being married (or not), aging parents, special education and mini-van motoring through the drop off line. Her unique perspective on life in the suburbs has made her a favorite at comedy clubs and fundraisers throughout the Bay Area. www.reginastoops.com

 

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Barry Fischer is a Bay Area native who has elicited outbursts of laughter around the globe. He launched his stand up comedy career while living in a tiny country in the South Pacific called New Zealand, which went really well ... until he got voted off the island. Since then, his witty style has won over crowds on both the West and East Coasts. He has also performed with the Stanford Improvisers, competed in the Washington Improv Theatre's "Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament," and has done birthday party magic for 3-year-olds who don't know any better. 

 


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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Stu Allen & Mars Hotel
Sep
12
8:00 PM20:00

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8 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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Sauce Piquante plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride
Sep
11
8:00 PM20:00

Sauce Piquante plus Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride

Doors at 7:30 pm / Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBride 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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Sep
9
7:00 PM19:00

Balanço Brasil Presents: Xaxado Mission Brazilian Forró Dance Party with Lesson by Weslei Guimarães

7pm Lesson / 8pm Show

$10 Advance / $12 Day of Show

Buy Tickets Here

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Xaxado Mission  is a San Francisco based Brazilian band that specializes in Forró, a genre of music originated in Northeastern Brazil.

Their repertoire brings high energy songs from masters Luiz Gonzaga and Jackson do Pandeiro, in addition to a few Carimbo fusions, and Samba sets tailored for dancing the hours away.

Playing both classic and modern Forró songs, their instrumentation consists of authentic Forró instruments like the zabumba, accordion, triangle, seven string guitar, pandeiro, winds and bass, sometimes harmonica. If you’ve never heard of Forró, but enjoy dancing to styles like salsa, cumbia, samba, then you won’t want to miss Xaxado Mission!
Call you father, call your mother, send a telegram, it’s sure to be a great time!!!
Vamos Xaxar!

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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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Soul Sanctuary Dance
Sep
9
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

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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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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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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Bachata Nightz ft. DJ Relleo with DJ Migz & DJ KrisKros
Sep
6
8:00 PM20:00

Bachata Nightz ft. DJ Relleo with DJ Migz & DJ KrisKros

This is a special Edition you don't want to miss!
DJMigz, DJKrisKros and a live Music Performance by DJRelleo!

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.”

Terrell M. Bailey “DJ Relleo”
From: All Around The World
Key Tracks: Baby Girl, Poison and Love Issues

In little over three years, Terrell rise to prominence has been remarkable, his debut of  “Love Issues”, which showcased his underground approach, fusing RnB with a Latin vibe into something with more sensual and full of flavor, which left the audience wanting more.  He began making music at the age of 16, initially gospel and RnB, but that eventually developed in to a new wave project “RnBachata” over the course of a decade, which sparked interest from listeners all around the south region part of the states. Known for his broad range of inventive “RnB” music that nimbly straddles minimal, progressive and unique forms of Bachata, his sound isn’t easily pigeonholed, but signature elements appear throughout his back catalogue, emotive melodic development, unique incidental sound usage, and his regular foray in using Latin styled drums and percussion, which combine to fuel his continually evolving sound. With multiple of projects in works, this is only the beginning. "Relleo” has a mission and he is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that mission is accomplish.

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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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Iko YaYa plus Dance Lesson with Ted Sherrod
Sep
4
8:30 PM20:30

Iko YaYa 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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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.” 

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
Saxophonist Otoe Mori (Humanistic, Smooth Jazz Alley)
Trumpeter Marty Arvan
Drummer Sam Siggins (California Cajun Orchestra, Courtableu, Creole Belles)
Accordion, guitar, singer Andre Nigoghossian

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Songs & Stories: An Evening of Georgian Folk Tales and Songs with Temple of Light Community Chior
Sep
2
7:00 PM19:00

Songs & Stories: An Evening of Georgian Folk Tales and Songs with Temple of Light Community Chior

Doors at 6:30pm ; Show at 7pm

Tickets $15-$20 Sliding Scale ; Students $10

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Join us for an evening of oral storytelling and traditional polyphonic music from the Republic of Georgia! Kitka’s Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir and storyteller Dana Sherry will weave together folktales, legends, and ancient melodies that are guaranteed to transport the listener across the Black Sea, through the Caucasus Mountains, and beyond.

Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir is an Oakland-based volunteer mixed vocal arts project dedicated to the performance of traditional polyphonic music and ritual song from the Republic of Georgia, the Caucasus, and Lazona. Designated by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity, Georgian polyphony stands among some of the oldest and most beautiful song repertoires in the world. Sung in three distinct and overlapping parts, Georgian music necessitates singing with others. The individual parts do not stand alone. In a time of divisive political upheaval, the need for wonder, fierce love, and transcendent beauty is vital in creating a world that deeply sees one another and responds to that seeing with celebration, joy, and empathy. Temple of Light’s core mission is to be a light in dark places, igniting the best in our humanity through Georgian song.

Director Kristine Barrett is an artist, composer, and vocalist specializing in traditional music and ritual song. Barrett’s work has been performed and exhibited in galleries and media festivals throughout North America and Europe, and recently featured on the acclaimed NPR show The Thistle and Shamrock. In addition to her solo work, she currently performs with the acclaimed KITKA Women’s Vocal Ensemble and is the director of the Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir in Oakland and the Headlands Community Folk Ensemble in Sausalito.

Storyteller Dana Sherry was a respectable historian of the Caucasus and Central Asia until she turned to a life of storytelling. Now she brings folk tales from the heart of the Silk Road to life in programs for adults and children. She also hosts the Caravan of Stories, a monthly storytelling series dedicated to the oral traditions of Central Asia, at the Silk Road House in Berkeley.

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 Soul Sanctuary Dance
Sep
2
11:00 AM11:00

Soul Sanctuary Dance

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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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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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

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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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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

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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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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

Pre-Show VIP Dinner at 7pm,
featuring an acoustic set by Eric Thompson and David Nelson

Dance hall doors open at 8 pm / Event at 8:30 pm

Tickets are $25 Day of Show / $20 Advance / $75-$1,000 Sliding Scale for VIP Dinner and Pre-Show

Buy Tickets Here

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The eighth annual Ashkenaz celebration of Jerry Garcia’s birthday, “Very Jerry 8”, is upon us, featuring an array of the Bay’s best Dead/Jerry interpreters and improvisers!

 

 

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This year also features a pre-show VIP dinner by Jeff "da Chef Rosen, featuring a special acoustic performance of Jerry's pre-Dead days with Eric Thompson and David Nelson of the Black Mountain Boys.

VIP Dinner tickets are $75 - $1,000 sliding scale, to raise funds for live music at Ashkenaz! 

The eighth annual Ashkenaz celebration of Jerry Garcia’s birthday, “Very Jerry 8,” is upon us!   The “Skeletons from the Closet: A Silent Auction for Deadheads” raised $2,500 towards our $10k goal last year, and we're excited to bring it back for this year's benefit. 

So now we're 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! 

If you have any items for the auction, please contact veryjerryauction@ashkenaz.com.

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.

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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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