Best Place to See Ethnic and World Music live

Ashkenaz

There are several East Bay spots that showcase world-music acts, but few can boast Ashkenaz’s diversity. Its monthly calendar usually features live Balkan, Cajun, Scottish, African, Caribbean, bluegrass, jazz, swing, ska, and salsa music — as well as the infamous Grateful Dead DJ Nite. Evidently word has gotten back to Jamaica that the venue is also a big roots-reggae supporter, because quality headliners such as Mutabaruka, the Mighty Diamonds, and Big Youth have given stellar performances here. Ashkenaz has been voted “Best Dance Floor” in past Express Bests because it’s a place where people actually dance, not just stand at the bar and make eye contact. You can wear most anything you want at Ashkenaz, but we recommend loose-fitting clothing that won’t restrict your gyrating booty.

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