Reflections from Weimar

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We had a really wonderful time with Siach Hasadeh in Germany, learning, teaching, and performing at Yiddish Summer Weimar and then on to Berlin.  Click here for Yoni’s reflections on the experience and some photos!

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.  Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.  We also thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for its financial support.  Nous remercions également le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec pour son support financier.



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New album presale!

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Two new videos of a new project – Amerike!

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A nice review of Yüz Yüze and some upcoming dates!

It’s always fun to get a nice review, but it’s especially fun when the reviewer really seems to understand what we were trying to do with the record and gets into such detail.  Thanks to the fine folks at Whole Note and especially the reviewer Tiina Kiik for your kind words and dedication.

“World music fans (and the rest of us too) are in for a big treat as saxophonist Ariane Morin and accordionist/pianist Yoni Kaston perform duets based on Bulgarian and Turkish folk and urban music. Both are superstar instrumentalists who together make unique, colourful, uplifting sounds.

The Montreal-based Ihtimanska duet clearly understands the music they are interpreting, making their arrangements so exciting. Morin plays her virtuosic lines clearly while constantly listening and reacting to Kaston’s shifting rhythms, long accordion drones and lead lines. Bourgasko horo is a traditional Bulgarian tune from the Black Sea. The fast toe-tapping opening leads to a slower section, closing with a faster accordion and saxophone interchange with touches of jazz sounds sneaking in with the held accordion notes and sax flourishes. Thracian Bulgarian choral piece Brala Moma Rhuza Cvete is given a Baroque-flavoured rendition, as Kaston’s well-suited accordion harmonic progressions and melodies are performed with great phrasing and supported by sax embellishments. A highlight is the traditional Bulgarian Thracian Racenitsa with its shifting rhythms, breathtaking rapid sax lines, and great dialogue between accordion and sax. Kaston’s piano stylings on three tracks add almost popular flavours, while vocalist Brenna MacCrimmon is a welcome guest with her clear lyrical voice and intonation on two tracks.

So much work, effort, understanding, respect and fun has gone into this captivating, uplifting release. Great work by great musicians!”

Join us in Montreal at Kaza Maza on May 28th at 8pm, and in Toronto, at Small World Music on June 4!

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Exciting times part 2!

Ihtimanska Ihtimanska-YUZ-Coverhas a new album hitting the presses right now as I type – called “Yüz Yüze” which means “Face to Face,” it is the result of our continued journey of exploration in a very diverse Turkish and Bulgarian repertoire and of developing our duo dynamic and sound.  The album features two songs with Brenna MacCrimmon, and liner notes by Zev Feldman and Yves Moreau.  We just listened to the test master last night and approved all the (amazing) design by Avia Moore and the wonderful photos by Kiran Ambwani, we’ve really fallen in love with this album and hope that you will too!  If you want to get your hands on it early, and help us out with getting through these last stages, or to procure tickets to the album launch, please visit our IndieGogo campaign here!  You can also hear a little sneak peak right now via our Bandcamp page.  So far the album launches will be October 26, 8pm in Montreal at Jeunesses Musicales, and November 6, 9pm at Burdock in Toronto.

Besides that, I was involved in a few recording projects at Cardboard Studios this year which will all be coming down the pipe soon.  The first is Tango Yona, a recording of amazing yiddish tangos with the singer Jane Enkin, which we recorded last December and is going into editing and mixing now, we hope to have some updates and sneak peaks soon.  The other, is an album I recorded with the Mike Anklewicz trio, with Joel Kerr on double bass.  We’re excited for those to get wrapped up.  We also recorded an Ichka demo and hopefully will be working on a full length album in the next year.

Other exciting Montreal stuff – Rachel Lemisch’s ensemble Orkestra Severnii is having its album launch on October 30 at Casa del Popolo, and Klezkanada is bringing in the amazing Semer Ensemble from Berlin to play at the Shaar Shomayim on November 15.  A Siach Hasadeh European tour and next album in the dreamworks… Super excited for all of this!!  Maybe I will sleep some day too…..

Lots of love to all,

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Exciting times!

Dear friends of Cardboard Studios, it’s been very exciting times lately, maybe almost too exciting, but I can’t complain (not that that ever stopped me).  I just wanted to give some news and highlights for those interested in some of the stuff going on.

We’ve been working hard with KlezkanadaArt Against Humanity , and the Museum of Jewish Montreal on bringing more Yiddish music and dance programming in Montreal, and it is starting to bear fruit.  We’re right now in the middle of a small festival we’ve put together called The Seykhel Revolution, bringing artists from the UK, USA and Russia, as well as local Montrealers and so far it’s been great!  We’re thrilled with the turnout and motivated to make more and more happen here.  A nice video of the closing set of last nights performance by my group Ichka below, enjoy!  We even had a great article written about us in the Devoir!  There are still two more shows to come, tonight (Sept 13, 2017) at 7pm at Dorshei Emet – Polina Shepherd (with Yoni and Zilien) and tomorrow night (Sept 14) Zisl Slepovitch at the JRCC.  See the details on the Cardboard Studios sidebar or here:

… continued on next post ….

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New Ihtimanska Album “Yüz Yüze” – Preorder campaign is live now!

The design is done, the master is approved, and we’re off to the races!


Click here for the pre-order campaign, to get some updates on the progress, and on the many wonderful people who helped bring it to realization!

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New Ihtimanska album October 26 – sign up for updates on upcoming albums and pre-order campaigns

Hi dear friends of Cardboard Studios, we have lots of exciting things in the pipe, the foremost is a new album by Ihtimanska which will be released on October 26 in Montreal.  If you would like to join the pre-order campaign and/or have updates on when it goes live (around September 1st hopefully!) you can check at the link below, where you also have an opportunity to get an email update when the campaign goes live.  Looking forward to sending you lots of great new music!!!


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Ihtimanska news!


Golden Fest, Brenna MacCrimmon & album #2

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Ihtimanska full video from the 2015 Vitrine for your viewing pleasure!

We had a great time taking part in the 2015 Vitrine des musiques locales métissées de la Vision Diversité in October,  and we’re thrilled to share the beautiful video taken at that event by les2chatsfilms here!





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