JAFFA ROAD LAUNCHES CROSS-CANADA SUMMER FESTIVAL TOUR
Juno 2010 nominee Jaffa Road, which styles itself as “Canada’s ambassadors of cutting-edge Diaspora roots music,” is about to take its award-winning music on the road, beginning with a July 1 concert at the TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival, and continuing with shows in British Columbia, Ontario and the Maritimes.
The Toronto-based band consists of lead vocalist Aviva Chernick and musicians Aaron Lightstone, Chris Gartner, Sundar Viswanathan and Jeff Wilson, who collectively play guitar, oud, sax, flute, bansuri, bass and percussion instruments.
They are at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival on July 2 and 3, and on Salt Spring Island on July 5. Beginning July 8, they perform four concerts in Nova Scotia, as well as one each in Prince Edward Island and St. John’s, Nfld. They are in Perth, Ont., on July 16 and 17, and in Haida Gwaii, B.C., on Aug. 5, 6 and 7. For further details, visit the band’s website at www.jaffaroad.com
Pomegranate Guild: Anna VanDelman, past president of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Textiles, gives an illustrated talk about the guild and their art. The Guild brings together people who study and create Judaic textile art and needlework of Judaic themes and exquisite Judaica articles. Original Judaica articles created by guild members will be on display. Active Seniors, Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Thursday, June 30, 1:30 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 155.
Names in the News: Israeli-born actor Natalie Portman, who won the Academy Award for best actress last year for her role in the film Black Swan, has given birth to a baby boy, her first child. She is engaged to New York ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, whom she met on the Black Swan set.
JTA news service reports that Millepied is not Jewish and that Portman was born Natalie Hershlag in Jerusalem to an Israeli father and American mother; she has lived in the United States since the age of three. “A priority for me is definitely that I’d like to raise my kids Jewish, but the ultimate thing is to have someone who is a good person and a partner,” Portman said in a 2006 interview.
Arts in Brief
• Guitarist-pianist-composer Brian Katz performs two shows as part of the Toronto TD Toronto Jazz Festival, both featuring his original jazz offerings and some klezmer selections. On June 28, he is joined by saxophonist-flautist Ernie Tollar, on July 3 by guitarist Rob Piltch. Mezzetta, 681 St. Clair Ave. W. (at Christie), 9 to 11 p.m. Reservations, 416-658-5687.
• Enjoy a weekend of dance workshops, including top international choreographers demonstrating the latest moves in Israeli Folk Dance. The Toronto IsReal Dance Festival is at the Miles Nadal JCC, July 1 to 3. www.israelifolkdancingtoronto.com, 416-221-6280.
• Deadline for the 2011 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition is Thursday, June 30, with the winning entry garnering a $1,000 prize for its author as well as a professionally acted and directed public workshop. For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mnjcc.org.
• Friends of Yiddish presents violinist Michael Ziskind and singer Arkadi Tulchinski in A Zemerl in Zumer, its summer closing program featuring “hartsike lider.” Members free, guests $7; refreshments. Beth Tikvah Synagogue, 3080 Bayview Ave. Sunday, June 26, 2 p.m. RSVP by June 22 to Sandy, 416-736-8073, or Joel at email@example.com.
Out of Town: Rebecca Margolis, author of the new book Jewish Roots, Canadian Soil – Yiddish Culture in Montreal 1905-1945, gives a lecture on the origins and development of Yiddish culture in Montreal from the early 1900s to today. The book was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. Margolis speaks at the YIVO Institute in Manhattan, Thursday June 30, 7 p.m. www.yivo.org