Ashland World Music Festival resumes Memorial Day weekend – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Latest News

The San Francisco Yiddish Combo will feature their own unique blend of all things klezmer, blended with jazz, blues, folk and even hip-hop influences, when they perform Sunday, May 29 at the Ashland World Music Festival concert at Lithia Park. .

Photo by Bob Palermini.

The Eugene-based singer Ratie D. will bring her shisha, cumbia and Afro-Peruvian music to the Lithia Park Butler Bandshell as part of the Ashland World Music Festival Sunday concert on May 29.

Portland-based Okaidja Afroso is one of five featured artists performing Sunday, May 29 at the Lithia Park Butler Bandshell as part of the Memorial Day Ashland World Music Festival weekend.

On Memorial Day weekend, May 27-30, the Ashland World Music Festival will offer storytelling, a drumming workshop, a self-guided SoundWalk and an afternoon of musical performances on Sunday in Lithia Park at the Butler Bandshell .

All festival events are free, family-friendly, and ADA-accessible. They are produced by Rogue World Music in conjunction with the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission.

This is RWM’s third fundraising festival for those affected by the Almeda Fire, focusing on housing initiatives that will prioritize survivors of the Almeda Fire.

All funds raised this year will be donated to Coalición Fortaleza, a local organization dedicated in part to restoring Latinx neighborhoods in Rogue Valley that were affected by the fire.

The 2020 and 2021 fundraisers each raised approximately $10,000 for fire relief. The objective in 2022 is to reach or exceed this amount.

“We believe the AWMF is the perfect opportunity to inspire the community, create shared moments of joy and catalyze support for fire recovery,” said Ana Byers, Executive Director of RWM.

His enthusiasm is shared by Lonny Flora, recreation manager for the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission.

“We are delighted to have the festival back this year with live performances at Lithia Park,” he said. “It’s great to bring people together to celebrate music and culture from around the world while supporting the rebuilding of our community.”

Coalición Fortaleza Executive Director Erica Alexia Ladesma expressed her gratitude to all community partners for supporting her work.

“We can’t wait to tell our story at the festival,” she said.

Sound walk

The AWMF SoundWalk will be live from Friday, May 27 at 6 a.m. to Monday, May 30 at 8 p.m.

The interactive, self-guided and curated audio-visual experience combines music from artists around the world with visual installations by local artists in downtown Ashland.

SoundWalk route maps will be available for online use as well as for downloading and printing by May 25. For more information, visit

Percussion workshop

A workshop led by AWMF 2022 Presenting Artist, Okaidja Afroso, will teach the basics of drumming methods and traditions of the Gah culture of Ghana at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27 at the Southern Oregon University Music Building, 450 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own percussion instruments. Drums will also be available for use on site.

The workshop is free and open to all levels of experience.

heartbeat stories

An intimate evening of music and stories about the “house” will be held at the ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, 1500 E. Main St., Ashland, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 28.

Participating storytellers include guest musicians and members of the local community.

The executive director of Coalición Fortaleza, Erica Alexia Ledesma, will be the mistress of ceremonies. The event will take place outside if the weather is nice, inside if it is raining.

Park shows

Five acts will perform on Sunday, May 29 at Lithia Park Butler Bandshell on Winburn Way from noon to 5 p.m., rain or shine.

Additionally, there will be activities in the park for all ages offered by Coalición Fortaleza, ScienceWorks, Talent Maker City and others. Additionally, delicious dishes will be available at Sid’s Gourmet, CABA Empanadas, Sultan’s Delight and Mahalo Shaved Ice.

People are encouraged to bring blankets or folding chairs to sit on at the free event.

Here is the schedule of performances:

– 12 p.m.: Rik-Sha offers sounds, songs and rhythms from the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East. The main instruments of the Ashland Trio include the Arabic oud, the high energy Greek bouzouki and the Turkish cümbü.

– 1:00 p.m.: Okaidja Afroso performs music from the Gah culture and the Gold Coast of Ghana. The Portland-based musician was born into a family of musicians and storytellers on the west coast of Ghana. His music is a fusion of traditional and contemporary African rhythms with the various songs of the African Diaspora.

– 2 p.m.: San Francisco Yiddish Combo presents 21st century klezmer music. The classically trained band presents its own unique blend of all things klezmer, blended with years of experience in the worlds of jazz, blues, folk and hip-hop – with special dance guests from the community of Ashland’s folk dance.

– 3:00 p.m.: Ratie D. performs music from the cultures of Zimbabwe. The Eugene-based singer and songwriter was born in Zimbabwe. She describes herself as a dreamer who aspires to bring light, love and change through her craft.

– 4:00 p.m.: Grupo Masato presents a combination of chichi, cumbia and Afro-Peruvian music. The Portland-based multi-ethnic band plays danceable Latin American music designed to get audiences on their toes.

Making the festival possible and helping the AWMF achieve its fundraising goal are these primary supporters: The Collins Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Community Foundation , the Ashland Parks Foundation, the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission, the Jackson County Cultural Coalition, The Pacific Power Foundation and Tour West.

Community business partners include Evergreen Federal Bank, Full Circle Realty, Bicoastal Media, Southern Oregon PBS, Royalty Grown CBD, Harry & David, Pacific Corp, and the Nell & Jim Band.

You can add your own support by going to and clicking “Donate”.

Contact Ashland writer Jim Flint at [email protected]

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