The anticipated return of Robyn to Vancouver definitely didn’t leave anyone dancing on their own. The Swedish pop star brought her fans out to Pacific Coliseum, moved from PNE Forum due to demand.
From the first strains of Honey to the last of Who Do You Love? Robyn filled the 90 minutes in between with the fun pop she’s known for. With her last visit to Vancouver being in 2010 her fans have been waiting a long time for another chance to dance and sing along to her tunes. Dressed in white and singing from white set stage the singer presented a muse-like ethereal figure. Robyn was certainly a muse for the thousands in attendance as the energy and excitement built throughout the set. After a costume change the red hot singer brought the show a crescendo as the set drew on, the whole audience singing along to Dancing On My Own was certainly a moment to remember. Following up with Missing U and Call Your Girlfriend to close out the main set, the audience craved more. Robyn delivered with more songs in the encore leaving fans to dance their way out of the Coliseum into the night.
Robyn The Honey Tour continues around North America through March before returning to Europe for the rest of spring and summer.
The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC welcomes Grammy Award winning, Ladysmith Black Mambazo on March 2nd. Supported by Malian guitarist Habib Koité and lutist Bassekou Kouyate, the nine-member South African choral group stops at the Chan Centre on their global tour of Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration, for which they earned the Best World Music Album of 2018 and their fifth Grammy Award.
“Ladysmith Black Mambazo is one of the world’s most admired musical ensembles. Their repertoire is beautifully uplifting — messages of hope and unity translated through stunning vocal harmonies and energetic performances,” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director of the Chan Centre. “To have them onstage at the Chan Centre on the same bill as two of Mali’s hottest musicians will be an incredible showcase of talent from both West and South Africa.”
Designated “South Africa’s cultural ambassadors to the world” by Nelson Mandela — who listened to the choral group’s music while imprisoned — Ladysmith Black Mambazo was formed by Joseph Shabalala in the 1960s during apartheid, in the small town of Ladysmith, South Africa. The all-male group came to international fame in 1986 when they were featured on Paul Simon’s Graceland.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded more than 70 albums and has received 19 Grammy nominations. Shaka Zulu Revisited celebrates the 30th anniversary of their first album released worldwide, and serves to honour the group’s founding members. The tribute record is comprised of a selection of their iconic songs by the ensemble that is today led by founder Shabalala’s four sons: Thulani, Sibongiseni, Thamsanga, and Msizi. Original member Albert Mazibuko, who joined in 1969, continues to sing today.
Leading the evening’s bill are two luminaries of Malian music. Bassekou Kouyate, who plays the traditional stringed Ngoni lute will share the stage with Habib Koité, a superb vocalist and one of the world’s leading acoustic guitarists.
Tomorrow night, The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia presents jazz superstar Joshua Redman with the critically acclaimed band Still Dreaming. Joshua Redman is one of the world’s most renowned saxophonists, in this show he pays tribute to the highly revered quartet Old and New Dreams, of which his father Dewey Redman was a member. Joined by three other star of contemporary jazz — Ron Miles on trumpet, Scott Colley on bass, and Brian Blade on drums — the bandleader embarks on an uninhibited, unpredictable exploration of the free jazz of the 1970s and ’80s.
“Back in 2015 I had the pleasure of seeing Still Dreaming at the legendary Jazz Standard in New York City,” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director of the Chan Centre. “I was struck not only by the talent and artistry of these performers, but also by how they were able to connect and communicate with the audience through this beautiful and time-honoured music — music that is wonderfully approachable in spite of its nuance and complexity. Truly, it is the kind of show that engages both the heart and the mind.”
Redman was born in Berkeley, California, to an artistic family: a father who was a jazz legend and a mother who had a rich passion for South Asian dance. Despite a musical upbringing, Redman initially eschewed the professional musician path and graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor’s degree in social studies. He was on his way to Yale Law School when he decided to defer for a year to join friends in Brooklyn. A few jam sessions with some of his generation’s best musicians soon led to full immersion in the local jazz scene. Five months after moving to New York, Redman won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. Within another 18 months, he was signed by Warner Bros. and released his debut studio album, Joshua Redman, which earned a Grammy Award nomination in 1993.
In tribute to his father’s legacy, Still Dreaming will perform predominantly original compositions from their self-titled debut album released in May 2018, such as Redman’s mesmerizing “Unanimity” and Colley’s invigorating “New Year.” The concert will also showcase contemporary takes on well-loved Old and New Dreams standards: Haden’s “Playing” and Coleman’s “Comme II Faut.”
Joshua Redman’s Still Dreaming performs tomorrow night, November 13, at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC, almost sold out but some tickets are still available from the Chan Centre Box Office or chancentre.com
What Makes You Country Tour – BC Place Stadium – October 13, 2018
This weekend, Luke Bryan‘s What Makes You Country Tour made a stop at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. The country superstar packed the tour with 4 other support acts, making it like a six hour country festival. The dinner hour audience was warmed up by Carly Pearce, then Jon Pardi took the stage. In between sets, DJ Rock kept audiences energized and dancing.
Once Sam Hunt took the stage, the audience was filling the seats and the energy was filling BC Place to the roof. The Georgia-born singer-songwriter was welcomed to the stage with a roar, in all-black outfit and ballcap, his swagger gave a hip-hop/pop vibe. Hunt led a singalong as he played his hits “Downtown’s Dead”, “Take Your Time”, “Body Like A Backroad”, “House Party”, and a mid-set Honky Tonk tribute to those country star he grew up listening to; Brooks & Dunn, The Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks. His easy country/rock style has crossover appeal and he worked the audience to make sure everyone was on the Sam Hunt bandwagon.
The stadium was packed and roaring as headliner Luke Bryan took the stage with “Country Girl (Shake is for me)” which definitely prompted a lot of Vancouver girls, and guys, to shake it for him. The affable platinum-selling country superstar worked the whole stage reaching as many of the audience he could. While it was noticeable that something was troubling Luke, and he mentioned suffering from local allergies, his vocals didn’t seem troubled at all. His charm and energy shone throughout the set, high-energy tracks balanced with sweet acoustic ballads. After a rousing cover of Alabama’s “Mountain Music”, Bryan slowed it down with the audience favourite “Drink A Beer”. “Play It Again” and appropriate for Vancouver “Rain Is A Good Thing” closed out the main set.
Even for those of us who didn’t attend the whole 6 hours of performances, Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan alone definitely left the audience satisfied. The What Make You Country Tour has just two more dates, wrapping up nearly a year’s worth of shows, in Rochester and Detroit.
Where did summer go?! While there’s still officially a month left, the Labour Day is the unofficial wrap of the season so let’s make sure the picks of the week are filled with things to do.
Bard: Catch them while you can, there’s just days left for some of the shows at Bard on the Beach 2018. Make your picks between a brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It, or the dramatic Macbeth on the Mainstage, and find Timon of Athens or Lysistrata on the Howard Family Stage, all running into September.
Things: The Museum of Vancouver’s exhibit Wild Things: The Power of Nature in Our Lives, brings the great outdoors, indoors to take a look at the relationship between local plants and animals and the people and places in the city, showing until 2019
PNE: The final week of the 2018 Fair at the PNE is your last chance to catch those little donuts and so much for before the Fair closed on Labour Day
Nights: The opening of the PNE also kicks off the Summer Nights Concert Series fan picks between free concerts from Kool & The Gang, Jan Arden, Burton Cummings, Chicago, Village People, and Cyndi Lauper
Balls: The Whitecaps are still striving to make to a playoff position, can they repeat their win over San Jose when they host them on Saturday?
Pop: French indie-pop act Phoenix take to the stage at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Monday evening
Laugh: Visit one of the best patios in Vancouver, the Neil McRae Bar at the Improv Centre on Granville Island and while you’re there get a good laugh a at Vancouver Theatresports League zany improv antics when you check out the fun at Avocado Toast or stay for the late night show WTF – What The Fun!
World: The Richmond World Festival brings the entertainment, food, and fun from around the globe to Minoru Park, for free, Friday and Saturday.
Cabin: Take a trip to the cabin while staying indoors, at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever an exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018
Arts: The 10th Anniversary Queer Arts Festival is underway until June 28th at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.
Kicks: Get your FIFA World Cup fix and soak up the global vibes at various venues around town
Exhibit: Get away to the cabin at the Vancouver Art Gallery as Cabin Fever a new exhibit tracing the history of the North American cabin as an architectural form and a cultural construct, on view until September 30, 2018. As well, David Milne: Modern Painting on until September 9th, offers highlights of Milne’s half-century career, which took him from New York City, to the battlefields of Northern France and Belgium, and back to the wilderness of Canada and the US.
Fest: The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra presents the Global Soundscape Festival a celebration of Middle Eastern music at venues around town June 16 – 27, 2018
Concert: Saturday night at Vancouver Playhouse, Sweet Bubbling Nights, presented by Soulful Productions is a sizzling celebration of soul, Motown, funk, show tunes and drag in support of LGBTI Pulse Memorial Scholarship.
As Bard On The Beach gets underway, Chor Leoni is also readying for its 25th, and final, season performing under the tents at Vanier Park with a new show Mane Event.
Mane Event blends the old with the new, folk songs with Broadway, and funk with power ballads in a program guaranteed to thrill you. At their very first Bard performance, in 1993, the men’s choir premiered a mash-up arrangement by Miles Ramsay that merged Cole Porter’s So In Love with Leonard Bernstein’s Tonight from Westside Story. For their 25th anniversary this beloved gem returns, along with other favourites culled from their repertoire from years past, including The Impossible Dream,Canadiana Medley, Into the West, and the tongue-twisting Trinque L’amourette. The production isn’t just about looking back at their past, it will include new arrangements including Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl, Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes, Try Everything (sung by Shakira in Zootopia), and a high-energy Lady Gaga/Madonna mash up.
Mane Event is the choir’s opportunity to shake out their manes for their 25th and final production at Vancouver’s favourite summer venue. Expect familiar tunes, mind-boggling choreography, over-the-top costumes, and a crackerjack band as the lions close out their season with a wink and a roar. Add in amazing choreography, fantastic costumes, and a crackerjack band led by Ken Cormier and it’s clear this more than just a concert.
Chor Leoni Men’s Choir (“choir of lions”) is recognized as one of North America’s premiere ensembles and performs to over 15,000 patrons each year. A local treasure, the choir has been voted Best Local Classical Vocal Ensemble four years in a row by the Georgia Straight readership, and Best Choir in the WestEnder’s Best of City 2017 poll.
MANE EVENT takes place Monday June 25, and Monday July 2 at 3pm and 8pm in the BMO Mainstage Tent at Bard on the Beach, Vanier Park. Tickets start at $30 online at chorleoni.org