Howard Jones brings us Life In One Day

Howard Jones – Rickshaw Theatre – June 28, 2019

British singer/songwriter, Howard Jones filled the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver for a night filled with hits. Celebrating 35 years since the release of his debut album, Jones’ setlist varied between simple stripped-down tunes performed with a electric piano, and full-blown dance hits, with the full force of his band, keytar, synthesizers, and a great light show.

The opportunity to see the synth-pop pioneer in a small venue, brought out a wide demographic to fight the heat at the Rickshaw Theatre, and sing along to the 90+minute set. Bringing a generation of memories to the forefront as Jones stripped some songs to the barebones, No One Is To Blame and re-imagining others like Life In One Day 2.0.

On tour to support his latest album, Transform, the singer was joined for one of the new tracks, The One To Love You, by the duo of Christian Burns and BT, who helped produce the album. Closing out the set with the single that started it all, New Song. With the original video playing in the background, it really showed how well Howard Jones’ music and performing has held up over the decades, even if the 80’s new wave style hasn’t aged as well. Capping off the night with an encore of Things Can Only Get Better, left the audience feeling it would take a lot for it to get better than this.

Robyn bring The Honey Tour to Vancouver

Robyn – Pacific Coliseum – February 28, 2019

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.

Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin is coming to Chan Centre

The 10-time Grammy Award winning artist, Bobby McFerrin is coming to the The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia on February 17, 2019.  The genre-defying artist is joined by Gimme5; McFerrin’s newest band comprised of veterans from his a cappella Voicestra group Joey Blake, Dave Worm, Rhiannon, and Judi Vinar, as well local choral ensemble musica intima is on the bill. 

Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin photo: Carol Friedman

The concert supports Bobby McFerrin’s current Circlesongs tour centred on an Circlesinging, and improvised concert format based on McFerrin’s sweeping, soulful vocal language —a style encompassing elements from all genres including jazz, pop, R&B, classical, and world music. Requiring an innate sensitivity to surrounding participants the style results in a unique and spontaneous sound. Joined by the Vancouver-based eight-member choral group musica intima, McFerrin and Gimme5 will present an evening of sound that draws in the audience as co-performers.

“The music of Bobby McFerrin is rooted in his sheer joy of singing, and the delight he finds in the worlds of sound that exist within the human voice,” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director of the Chan Centre. “His passion for the art form really shines through in these one-of-a-kind performances that take listeners on an incredible musical journey.”

Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin photo: Petra Hajska

McFerrin was born to classically trained singers and into a world of music that took him from New York to Hollywood. His father, Robert McFerrin Sr., was the first African-American male to sing at the Metropolitan Opera and provided the on-screen singing voice of Sidney Poitier in the 1959 film Porgy and Bess. The younger McFerrin grew up playing piano and clarinet, surrounded by a hodgepodge of genres that ranged from Duke Ellington to George Gershwin, James Brown to Led Zeppelin. It wasn’t until he turned 27 that he discovered a passion for singing — as well as an impressive range and the uncanny ability to transform his voice. As NPR noted: “Listen to Bobby McFerrin and it’s like you’re listening to an entire orchestra bubbling up through one man’s body. He becomes a flute, a violin, a muted trumpet, a percussion instrument, a bird, you name it.”  The popularity and accolades of 1988’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” brought McFerrin worldwide attention and he has been collaborating, recording and touring ever since.  Performing with orchestra’s across the world, and artists like; Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Dizzy Gillespie, and more.  

Join Bobby McFerrin, Gimme5 and musica intima for the spontaneous Circlesongs performance in the Chan Shun Concert Hall at Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC on February 17, 2019 at 7pm. 

Music on Main brings Modulus Festival 2018

Music on Main invites you to immerse yourself in the 2018 Modulus Festival from November 2 – 6, 2018.

Acclaimed music and sounds will fill The Roundhouse, The Post at 750 and CBC Studio 700 over the five day festival. A collaborative festival, Modulus brings together other Arts organizations from near and far to mount the series of great events. DOXA, Coastal Jazz, Western Front Music, Standing Wave, NOW Society, Driftwood Percussion, Montreal’s Suoni Per Il Popolo, France’s Ensemble Variances and Britain’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival all contribute to Modulus.

Evening and afternoon performances bring concerts, talks, films and even a kitchen party to the stages.  Covering jazz, percussion, classical,  chamber music and more, featured events include a night of music and video with acclaimed pianist Eve Egoyan including Nicole Lizée’s “glitch” inspired piece David Lynch Etudes, a world premiere by Nicole Lizée performed by flutist Claire Marchand and harpist Albertina Chan, composer and vocalist Laura Bowler.

Modulus Festival begins Friday, November 2 at 8pm running to Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at The Roundhouse, The Post at 750 and CBC Studio 700. Events are free and/or ticketed, visit musiconmain.ca for more details and to purchase tickets.

There’s more than just Shakespeare at Bard on the Beach

Last night Chor Leoni’s Mane Event at Bard on the Beach filled the mainstage tent with the sounds of music.

The perfect way to wrap up the Canada Day weekend, the Lions brought to stage a varied selection of songs including a taste of Canadiana including iconic hits by Tragically Hip,  Ian & Sylvia Tyson along with Quebecois and Maritime folk faves and the touching Gimikwenden Ina from the Indigenous musical Children of God. In the second act, the men of Chor Leoni really let loose and ramp up the fun with the pop and Broadway hits.  Rob McAllister’s colourful costumes add to the comedic flare pop and Broadway hits.  Even Bollywood makes a showing too, really highlighting Ariana Barer’s choreography. Meghan Trainor’s Me Too, a Lady Gaga/Madonna mash-up Born To Express Yourself This Way, and Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling brings out the Trolls (not the internet type), to wrap up the feel good show.

This year’s Mane Event was the 25th and final Chor Leoni show at Bard on the Beach but it is just one of the many special events Bard on the Beach hosts each summer.  In addition to the plays in repertoire; Macbeth, As You Like It, Timon of Athens & Lysistrata, this year also features;

Bard-B-Q & Fireworks July 28, August 1 & 4 | 5:30pm & 6pm*
See As You Like It or Timon of Athens* followed by a salmon barbecue from Emelle’s Catering. Visit the PIXSTAR Photobooth, take in the award-winning Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band and more, before enjoying a private view of the spectacular Celebration of Light fireworks.

 Family Nights July 24 & August 21 | 6pm
A perfect night for the whole family! Geared for ages 6 and up, this special evening is filled with family-friendly activities. Arrive at the Village early for the PIXSTAR Photobooth, face painting, food truck, an exclusive pre-show talk designed just for kids and more. Then enjoy a performance of the Bard/Beatles musical-comedy mash-up As You Like It. 

Operas & Arias: Bold and Beautiful August 27 & September 3 | 2pm & 7:30pm (both days)
Join the UBC Opera Ensemble and members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra for a costumed concert performance. Drawn from a set of best-loved operas, the programme will include favourite selections from La TraviataLa BohèmeDie Fledermausand more. Bard Artistic Director Christopher Gaze hosts all performances, presented on the BMO Mainstage. 

For more information on these and all the other special events, education and speakers at Bard On The Beach visit bardonthebeach.org/special-events

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Chor Leoni brings Mane Event to the tents at Bard

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

Chor Leoni Memories of Bard

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 MedleyInto 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

2018 PNE Summer Night Concerts

Once again, each night at 8:30pm the Pacific National Exhibition will come alive with the sounds of music, and this morning is your chance to get tickets to the summer’s best entertainment value, the 2018 PNE Summer Night Concerts series.

Pop, rock, country, disco, soul and R&B all come to the PNE Amphitheatre stage throughout the 15 Summer Night Concerts.  You can take it way back with the likes of Kool & the Gang, Wilson Phillips or Air Supply.  Feel like a kid again with I Love The 90s or Lost 80s ensemble nights. Then rock out with Goo Goo Dolls and Marianas Trench.

The 2018 Summer Night Concerts are included free with admission but be aware that seating is first come-first seated so you’ll want to make sure you arrive early.  Beer Gardens around the PNE also show the concerts on big screens so you can still enjoy the shows even if the Amphitheatre is already at capacity.  If you don’t want to wait, limited reserved seating is available from $25 + admission.  Reserved seats go on sale today, May 25, 2018 at 10am.
In addition you can gather your friends and family to reserve a private party suites  that cater to groups of 12 or 14 including the private suite, gate passes, concert tickets, food & beverage service, plus parking passes.

The 2018 Summer Night Concerts are:

August 18 – Boyz II Men
August 19 – Air Supply
August 21 – Dean Brody
August 22 – Goo Goo Dolls
August 23 – I Love the 90’s ft: Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella, All-4-One, Color Me Bad, and Young MC
August 24 – Wilson Phillips
August 25 – Marianas Trench
August 26 – Lost 80’s Live ft: A Flock Of Seagulls, Men Without Hats, Wang Chung, Farrington & Mann (from When in Rome UK), Animotion, and Nu Shooz
August 28 – 112 ft; Slim
August 29 – Kool & the Gang
August 30 – Jan Arden
August 31 – Burton Cummings and Band
September 1 – Chicago
September 2 – Village People
September 3 – Cyndi Lauper

Get your tickets online at PNE now.