Vancouver Bach Festival Wraps In Tribute to Saint Cecilia

After 11 days of beautiful music, the Vancouver Bach Festival came to a close last week with a celebration of the patron saint of musicians. Early Music Vancouver (EMV) presented Purcell Hail! Bright Cecilia at Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC.

Composed by English Composer Henry Purcell in 1692 to a text by Nicholas Brady, in honour of the feast of Saint Cecilia, it seems appropriate to wrap the festival and celebrate EMV 50th Anniversary with the work.

Pacific Baroque Orchestra photo: Jan Gates

The evening’s program was lead off by the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, led my music director Alexander Weiman, performing excerpts from “The Tempest” by Matthew Locke and John Blow’s “Welcome, Every Guest” featuring sopranos Dorothee Mields and Suzie LeBlanc.

After an interval, for the title performance, the Orchestra was joined again by sopranos Mields and Leblanc, as well as altos Alex Potter and Nicholas Burns, tenors Samuel Boden and Jonathan Quick, baritone Sumner Thompson, bass-baritone Matthew Brook. Backed by the 20 piece orchestra the singers performed in a variety of solos, duos and troupe through the work’s 13 movements. Hail! Bright Cecilia is a lively entertaining work, even after more than 3 centuries. The ever changing movements, varying singers and instruments makes Purcell’s work an accessible, engaging work for audience members new to the genre and Vancouver Bach Festival as a whole.

As a work created to celebrate the patron saint of musician makes Hail! Bright Cecilia the perfect cap on the 2019 Vancouver Bach Festival, which itself celebrates one of the greatest Baroque composers and musicians, as well as the beginning of EMVs 50th season.

If you missed the Vancouver Bach Festival, watch for Early Music Vancouver’s next presentation; Le Concert Spirituel: Baroque Orchestral Suites featuring Jeanne Lamon, Saturday September 29, 2019.

Vancouver Bach Festival Brings Back Bach

The Vancouver Bach Festival, presented by Early Music Vancouver (EMV) returns to Christ Church Cathedral and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, July 30 – August 9, 2019. 

J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750) is regarded as one of the greatest composers in Western musical history. His legacy includes some of the most beautiful and well-crafted music ever written. Almost three centuries after Bach’s passing, his vast catalogue of works is still revered, studied, and reinterpreted by music lovers across the globe.

Ensemble Les Boréades de Montréal
photo: Hugo B Lefort

Celebrating EMV’s 50th anniversary, this year’s festival features performances by many the most gifted artists from across Europe and North America. For their second annual ensemble-in-residence program, EMV welcomes Montreal’s internationally acclaimed Ensemble Les Boréades, members of the ensemble perform in multiple concerts throughout the festival.

“For our 50th anniversary we have spared no expense in order to bring our audiences a truly world-class offering of some of the finest artists working in period performance today,” says Matthew White, Executive and Artistic Director of EMV. “I think the personal, aesthetic, and intellectual connections one can make during a festival are the happy result of a ‘total immersion’ — multiple events in a shorter window of time provide a perspective and engagement that is otherwise near impossible to achieve. By offering concerts from a wide range of exciting composers like Strozzi, Shostakovich, Purcell, Faure, Poulenc, Chopin, Handel, Mozart, and of course, Bach, the opportunities to explore links and parallels are limitless.”

The 14-concert festival commences with Ensemble Les Boréades, bringing a spectacular two-night performance of J.S. Bach’s Complete Brandenburg Concertos at The Chan Centre. The Vancouver Bach Choir also partners with the festival for the first time to perform a programme featuring Faure’s beloved Requiem with a professional core of twenty of the region’s best professional singers, accompanied by award-winning organist Christina Hutten. This year’s Vancouver Bach Festival also collaborates with Vancouver Chopin Society, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO), and Pacific MusicWorks.

Vancouver Bach Choir
Photo: Sophie Song

Further highlights include the return of audience favourite soprano Amanda Forsythe with Pacific MusicWorks, in a performance of Handel’s early cantatas, as well as sopranos Suzie LeBlanc and Dorothee Mields’ dramatic interpretations of female composer Barbara Strozzi’s 17th century musings on love and loss. The festival’s popular weekday afternoon concert series also returns, offering diverse and delightful selections of acclaimed musicians and performers.

The festival will come to a conclusion with the presentation of Purcell’s Hail Bright Cecilia at the Chan Centre, featuring six internationally renowned vocal soloists and the PBO led by Alexander Weimann.

To complement the musical lineup, EMV will compliment the festival with an array of thought-provoking film screenings and expert talks, which audiences can enjoy with wine and refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere. 

For tickets and a more details and a complete schedule of all Vancouver Bach Festival events, visit: 

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

Join a Free Conversation with Abdullah Ibrahim Tonight

Abdullah Ibrahim

Sunday night, The Chan Centre for Performing Arts welcomed The Jazz Epistles : Abdullah Ibrahim with Terrance Blanchard, an evening with the jazz greats plus the band Ekaya.

The Chan Centre was filled with fans ready to get lost the smooth sounds of the eight performers gracing the stage; Ibrahim on piano and Blanchard on Trumpet.  The Ekaya sextet features; Noah Jackson (cello/bass), Will Terrill (drums), Cleave Guyton (alto saxophone/flute/clarinet), Lance Bryant (tenor saxophone), Andrae Murchison(trombone), Marshall McDonald (baritone saxophone).  Ibrahim took the stage first to set the stage, performing a solo arrangement before being joined by the rest of the players. Throughout the two-hour set each of the other musicians also broke into solos to much applause,  culminating in a lengthy minutes-long standing ovation to close the set.

In addition to Sunday’s concert and pre-show talk, Abdullah Ibrahim is giving the Vancouver audience more of his time.  Tonight, Monday February 19, 2018, the public is welcome to attend, A Conversation With Abdullah Ibrahim, presented by The Chan Centre and VCC School of Music.  The free talk with the artist takes place at 7:30pm at the Vancouver Community College Auditorium at 1155 East Broadway campus.

2015 American Music Awards winners

AMAsSunday night, the 43rd Annual American Music Awards were handed out at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.

Host Jennifer Lopez kicked off the star-studded night of music with a electrifying performance, hinting at what’s to come from her upcoming Las Vegas residency, singing a ballard version of “Waiting for Tonight” before an all-out dance to some of today’s top tunes .

J.Lo opened up the AMAs with a bang! credit:

The other acts performing during the ABC telecast included; 5 Seconds of Summer, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Walk The Moon, Nick Jonas, Coldplay, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryant and more. Much talked about moment came when Meghan Trainor & Charlie Puth did indeed get it on, after they performed their hit “Marvin Gaye”.  Also Alanis Morrisette and Demi Lovato dueted on a special performance of “U Oughta Know”. The show also included a special performance by Celine Dion paid tribute to the recent attacks in Paris.
While the set list was clearly aimed at specific demographics, the awards covered all genre of music.

As determined by public & viewer votes The 2015 American Music Awards winners were:

Artist of the Year: One Direction

New Artist of the Year: Sam Hunt
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Ed Sheeran
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist: Ariana Grande
Favorite Pop/Rock Duo or Group: One Direction
Favorite Pop/Rock Album: Taylor Swift for 1989
Favorite Country Male Artist: Luke Bryan
Favorite Country Female Artist: Carrie Underwood
Favorite Country Duo or Group: Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Country Album: Florida Georgia Line for Anything Goes
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist: Nicki Minaj
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album: Nicki Minaj for The Pinkprint
Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist: The Weeknd
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist: Rihanna
Favorite Soul/R&B Album: The Weekend for Beauty Behind the Madness
Favorite Alternative Artist: Fall Out Boy
Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist: Taylor Swift
Favorite Latin Artist: Enrique Iglesias
Favorite EDM Artist: Calvin Harris
Song of the Year: Taylor Swift for Blank Space
Collaboration of the Year: Diplo, Skrillex and Justin Bieber for Where Are Ü Now
Top Soundtrack: Pitch Perfect 2

For all the details and behind the scenes visit


Florence and the Machine – How Big tour

Florence + the Machine – Rogers Arena – October 25, 2015

FlorenceMachine_PA265168Last night, Florence and the Machine brought their How Big Tour to Vancouver’s Rogers Arena.  The London based group are touring in support of their latest release “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” but performed tracks from their catalogue of hits. “Sweet Nothing”, “You’ve Got The Love” and “Shake It Out” brought out the biggest applause and sing-along from the nearly full-house.

FlorenceMachine_PA265170For a band that’s not known to be a dance act, the show was a rousing 80 minutes, Florence danced and jumped across the stage with boundless energy.  Resplendent in a glowing white ensemble, the crimson haired singer held the the audiences’ attention throughout the show, guiding them to put down their phones during personal songs, or strip off unwanted garments and inhibitions to wrap up the show with “Dog Days Are Over”

Florence + the Machine wrap up the North American leg of How Big Tour this week in Seattle & New Orleans before heading out to the rest of the globe.

Follow the tour on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook


2015 Polaris Short List Posters Revealed

10th-anniversary-bear-Pat-Hamou-728The Polaris Music Prize has revealed the 10 posters and artists for each of the 2015 Short List performers.

In addition, a commemorative 10th Anniversary Polaris poster designed by Montréal’s Pat Hamou was also unveiled. The limited edition posters are now available for pre-sale and viewing on and will also be on sale at the Polaris Gala in Toronto on September 21.


The 2015 Short List Poster Artists:

Confirmed performers at the Polaris Gala include Alvvays, Braids, Jennifer Castle, Tobias Jesso Jr., Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Viet Cong. Fred Penner will host the Gala, which will be webcast live on