Vancouver Folk Music Festival Debuts 2018 Line Up

From July 13 to 15, 2018, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival will once again take over Jericho Beach Park.  The 42nd Annual Festival brings folk fans, friends and families, another line-up of the best of traditional and contemporary folk and roots music from around the world.

Neko Case

Legends, up and comers, deliver global rhythms, from the likes of Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Rodney Crowell and James McMurtry; to The Dead South, Carole Pope and Archie Roach or Ranky Tanky, Wazimbo & Banda Kakana and Dakhabrakha.  The Vancouver Folk Music Festival has an extraordinary range of cultures and genres on stage – a gathering of sound, sight and experience you simply won’t see anywhere else.

The line up for The 2018 Festival includes;

Ry Cooder

Art Bergmann, Wallis Bird, Mariel Buckley Band, Steph Cameron, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Joachim Cooder, Rodney Crowell, Alex Cuba, DakhaBrakha, Dálava, Darlingside, Guy Davis, The Dead South, Las Estrellas de Vancouver, Mick Flannery, Dori Freeman, Gamelan Bike Bike, Ilaria Graziano e Francesco Forni, Gordon Grdina’s Haram, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Iskwé, Kacy & Clayton, Martin Kerr, Ezra Kwizera, Grant Lawrence and Friends, Little Miss Higgins, John Lowell Band, A Familia Machado, James McMurtry, Melingo, Mike Munson, Murfitt and Main, Dawn Pemberton, Petunia and the Vipers, Carole Pope, Les Poules a Colin, Professor Banjo & Estro Jennies, Quantum Tangle, Ranky Tanky, Steve Riley & Mamou Playboys, Archie Roach, Small Glories, Son de Madera, Jayme Stone’s Folklife, Leonard Sumner, Three Women and the Truth, Viper Central, Skye Wallace, Wazimbo and Banda Kakana, Donovan Woods

See for yourself why readers of The Georgia Straight has voted the Vancouver Folk Music Festival “Best Local Music Festival” 6 years in a row.
Discounted early bird weekend passes are on sale now for the 2018 Vancouver Folk Music Festival until May 11th

DanceHouse Wraps 10th Season with Dorrance Dance

This weekend, DanceHouse brought their 10th anniversary season to a close with a stellar performance from New York City based Dorrance Dance. The acclaimed tap troupe presented Triple Bill,  a retrospective trio of very different dance pieces that demonstrated the range of this talented company and its Artistic Director and founder Michelle Dorrance.

Jungle Blues – Dorrance Dance

Triple Bill opened with a swinging piece, Jungle Blues, reminiscent of the golden age of Jazz, using the Jelly Roll Morton song of the same name as its inspiration.  Coincidentally, from 1919 to 1921, Jelly Roll Morton had a residency at Pat’s Pub just a short distance away from the Playhouse. The rapid fire movement of the short piece introduced the 10 member company and set the stage for a rousing evening of dance.

Three to One – Dorrance Dance

Three to One, a Bessie (NYC Dance & Performance) Award winning work featuring Michelle Dorrance, Bryon Tittle, and Matthew West, was a very different piece. Modern and moody, incorporating electronic music; Nannou by Aphex Twin and Thom Yorke’s A Rat’s Nest. With just Ms Dorrance wearing tap shoes, while the other dancers were barefoot, Three to One gave a difference interpretation of what tap dance could bring to the stage.

Myelination – Dorrance Dance

The final and longest piece, Myelination, added live musicians Prawn til Dante, Donovan Dorrance and Gregory Richardson, with vocalist Aaron Marcellus, to the stage.  With the musicians on stage the beats of the dancers’ feet and the smooth music seamlessly crossed over into one sound.  Choreographed by Michelle Dorrance with improvisation by the company, Myelination incorporates more than just tap, bringing hip hop, modern dance and of course electric energy to the work.

Throughout the performances, just as the dancers improvised, the audience spontaneously erupted into applause and hoots of excitement to the thrilling works.

As Triple Bill closed out the DanceHouse season, they also introduced the 2018-2019 season which will include works from companies around the globe; Company Wang Ramirez (France), Akram Khan Company (UK), Jacob Boehme & Ilbijerri Theatre Company (Australia), Kidd Pivot (Vancouver), Compagnie Marie Chouinard (Montreal) and Momix (US).  Subscriptions are on sale now for the DanceHouse 2018-2019 season.

Che Malambo Stomps Across The Stage

Like a troupe of gauchos storming the Pampas of Argentina, Che Malambo burst onto the stage at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.  A breathtaking 90 minute spectacle of thundering South American rhythms and music.

Presented by Caravan World Rhythms, Che Malambo brings the spirit of the gaucho (South American cowboys) signature step dance styles, Malambo and Zapateo, to the stage.  Two dozen feet moving as one, the dancers opened the show with a rousing number that matched their feet with beats of the drums.  Choreographed and developed by renowned dancer and choreographer Gilles Barnes the non-stop action that followed was simply breathtaking, from stripped-down barefoot dances, to full-throttle, boot-stomping body percussion dance battles. The dancers performed their own music, either by accompanying the dance with guitar and drums, using body percussion, or matching their steps with the beats of illuminated bolas on the stage.  Midway, the audience was treated to another talent as the dancers sang a set of Argentine folks songs, drawing the audience into the fold to clap along to the rhythms.

We were on the edge of our seats and there were many spontaneous whoots and cheers from the audience throughout the 90 minute performance. Inspired by their lightening quick footwork, the audience leapt to their feet to deliver a long standing ovation to see Che Malambo off-stage.

Caravan World Rhythms has more performances from around the world this year. Fiesta MexiColmbiana brings three Latin American acts to the Wise Hall, May 26, Noreum Machi from Korea is at Norman Rothstein Theatre in July to name just a couple, visit caravanbc.com for more.

A return to Chelsea Hotel : The Songs Of Leonard Cohen

Adrian Glynn McMorran
Photo: Emily Cooper

As the Firehall Arts Centre celebrates its 35th Anniversary, it brings back one of its most popular shows, Chelsea Hotel : The Songs Of Leonard Cohen.

The musical follows a writer who has checked into the famed Chelsea Hotel seeking inspiration and the words to his next prose. As he reminisces about his past romances to find his muse he is haunted by a love that he cannot, but longs to, forget.  The writer’s memories and hotel room are brought to life through Leonard Cohen’s poetic lyrics.  Creator Tracey Power and musical arranger/director Steve Charles allow the audience to enter the writer’s thoughts play out like a lucid dream.

l-r: Kayla, Steve, Ben, Marlene, Krystle
Photo: Emily Cooper

Adrian Glynn McMorran is the perfect embodiment of the writer’s angst,From tender lullabies to full out rock opera he is able to project the emotions of each tune whether he’s being sung to or singing.  Ben Elliot stands out as the writer’s conscience, helping him keep striving to find the words he’s seeking. Kayla Nickel, Krystle Dos Santos playing his various lovers, from flirtatious minxes to sultry sirens, while Marlene Ginader is the love he can’t forget. Along with Steve Charles all the actors sing and play seventeen different instruments on stage, immersing the audience in the musical.

Marlene Ginader + Adrian Glynn McMorran Photo: Emily Cooper

The first remount since the bard’s passing, the show packs an added emotion when hearing the memorable and thought-provoking lyrics from Everybody Knows, and Closing Time, to First We Take Manhattan, and Bird On A Wire, any many more. Of course no omnibus of Cohen’s music would be complete without the inclusion of Hallelujah.  With JUNO Week in Vancouver celebrating Canadian Music, it seems especially appropriate for the Firehall Arts Centre to remount this love letter to Cohen’s music

Chelsea Hotel: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen plays at Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E. Cordova St. until April 21, 2018. Visit firehallartscentre.ca for showtimes and ticket information.

Picks of the Week – March 21, 2018

Spring has sprung in Vancouver, let these picks put a lively spring in your step as you get out and about this week.

Wine: Vinoscenti Vineyards is celebrating the Spring Equinox & German style wines tonight with a special evening of tasting and entertainment at the Surrey winery

Junos:  The 2018 JUNO Awards fill the city with music and celebrations throughout the week.

Film: The Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film brings the best of BC Film to Maple Ridge ACT Centre this weekend.

Kicks: Vancouver Whitecaps FC play host to LA Galaxy on Saturday March 24 at BC Place

Comedy: The Gateway Theatre presents the romantic comedy I Lost My Husband, already sold out until March 24th

Market: Made On Saltspring brings Saltspring Island’s famed Saturday market to Vancouver’s Heritage Hall this weekend, explore the artisans, crafters, designers and builders March 23-25

Country: Canadian country singer/songwriter Brett Kissel comes to the Vogue Theatre on Saturday night

Cohen: The Firehall Arts Centre celebrates its 35th Anniversary with its award winning Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen playing until April 21st.

Dance: It’s the last chance to catch world class dance before the Vancouver International Dance Festival wraps up this Saturday.

Reel Wheels
Sequence L-R: Jake Anthony, Amy Amantea, Krista Skwarok, Byron Noble
Photo: Tim Matheson

DNA: Realwheels Theatre presents Sequence, a thought provoking drama, at Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver until March 24th

Haida: Until June 15, Museum of Vancouver has a new exhibition, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture.

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s new exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th.

Family: As one show closed another opens at The Arts Club,  the emotional new family drama, Forget About Tomorrow, from a creator of Mom’s The Word, wraps up at Goldcorp Stage at BMO Theatre Centre on Sunday, while another family drama opens, the Tony-Award winner, The Humans takes to the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

2018 JUNO Week In Vancouver Begins

This week, music fills the streets and venues of Vancouver as the 2018 JUNO Awards come to the city.  Returning to Vancouver for the first time since the 2009 Junos, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS) brings a week of music and celebrations back to the city. Starting with the JUNO Cup Jam at The Imperial, the week caps off with Michael Bublé hosting the 2018 JUNO Awards, broadcast on CBC Sunday evening.

Events will appeal to all ages and budgets as CARAS makes the JUNOS accessible for all members of the family.

Events taking place during JUNO Week include:

March 22: JUNO Cup Jam – local faves, The Odds lead an all-star hootenanny at The Imperial in support of MusiCounts.

March 23: JUNO Cup celebrity hockey game supporting MusiCounts at Bill Copeland Sport Centre, Burnaby

March 23 – 24: JUNOfest  presented by CBC Music offers nearly 100 acts performing in over a dozen venues around Vancouver for two nights of unparalleled entertainment from the nominees and local performers. 

March 23- 24: Let’s Hear It! Live at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza is a free all-ages event to let everyone get the opportunity to take in the music of the JUNOS

March 23 – 25: Let’s Hear It! @ The Carnegie free lunchtime performances at The Carnegie Community Centre brings free music to the Downtown Eastside.

March 25: JUNO Songwriters Circle is a unique opportunity for fans to hear stories behind the song of JUNO nominated performers; Iskwe, Jim Cuddy, Rose Cousins, Ruth B, Scott Helman. Joined by hosts Jann Arden, Bob Rock, Sunday afternoon at The Orpheum.

March 25: The 2018 JUNO Awards, Micheal Bublé hosts the awards show on Sunday at 5pm at Rogers Arena with performances schedule by Arkells, Arcade Fire, Lights, City & Colour and more.

SKOOKUM Festival 2018 Announces Line-up & Tickets.

A multi-day music festival in the heart of the city, SKOOKUM Festival, has released its inaugural line-up and tickets go on sale tomorrow.  Four stages will fill Vancouver’s beloved Stanley Park with music from September 7th to 9th, 2018.

Headliners The Killers and Florence + The Machine will be joined by Metric, Arkells, The War On Drugs, St. Vincent, Father John Misty, Blue Rodeo,
Mother Mother, Chromeo, Bahamas, Stereophonics, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and dozens of more acts.

In addition to 50 plus contemporary music acts, live and multimedia art installations; pop-up and roaming entertainment as well as gourmet food from some of city’s top restaurants; tasting areas showcasing some of the best BC wines, locally brewed craft beer as well as select offerings from local area craft distilleries will round out the weekend.   Festival organizers BrandLIVE are also working with the local First Nations to provide opportunities for Indigenous musicians, chefs, and visual artists as well as an opportunity to inform and educate attendees on aspects of the their historical connections to the land.

With the Stanley Park festival site just steps from downtown Vancouver, and the addition of shuttle buses SKOOKUM is one of the most easily accessible festivals in the region.

Vancouver’s BRANDLIVE, producers of the Squamish Valley Music Festival, are known for putting on exceptional fan experiences and working in collaboration with Virgin Mobile on SKOOKUM Festival, this is sure to be another.  Paul Runnals, Festival Director says “This is the result of a conversation that began five years ago to create a more accessible, inclusive, and sustainable Festival.  We feel this first year lineup reflects the spirit of what are trying to achieve in a way that also acknowledges the significant history of the location”.

SKOOKUM Festival passes go on sale tomorrow, Friday March 16, 2018 and many Pre-Sales launch this morning. Visit skookumfestival.com for more festival information, the full line up and tickets.

SKOOKUM Music, Food, Art from Skookum Festival on Vimeo.