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: earlymusic.bc.ca 

Ladysmith Black Mambazo returns to Chan Centre

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
Ladysmith Black Mambazo

“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.

Ladusmith Black Mambazo with Bassekou Kouyate and Habib Koité, will take the stage at the Chan Shun Concert Hall at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC on March 2, 2019 at 8pm. 

Vancouver Christmas Concerts for 2018 Holidays

Christmas and music go hand in hand;  carols, hymns and cantatas, bring spirit to the Season.  Home calendars are filled with school and church concerts.  To help you get in the spirit of song, here’s a list of concerts around Vancouver to make your season bright;

Handel’s Messiah: 
December 7, 2018: Orpheum Theatre with Vancouver Chamber Choir
December 8, 2018: Bell Performing Arts Centre with Vancouver Bach Choir with Surrey City Orchestra

51st Annual Singing Christmas Tree: 
December 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 2018 at Broadway Church

Making Spirits Bright with Vancouver Men’s Chorus 
December 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 2018: St. Paul’s Anglican Church

Winter Harp Celtic Ensemble:
December 12-13, 2018 at Blue Shore Financial Performing Arts Centre, Capilano University, North Vancouver
December 15, 2018: St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, Vancouver
December 16-17, 2018: The ACT Arts Centre, Maple Ridge

Maureen Washington with Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir

Good Tidings with Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir:
December 14-15, 2018 at Christ Church Cathedral
December 17, 2018 at St John’s Shaughnessy

Christmas with Chor Leoni:
December 14, 16, 17, 2018 at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, Vancouver
December 15, 2018 at West Vancouver United Church, West Vancouver

VSO Traditional Christmas Concerts: 
December 13, 2018 at Kay Meek Arts Centre, West Vancouver
December 14, 2018 at Centennial Theatre, North Vancouver
December 15, 2018 at Bell Performing Arts Centre, Surrey
December 16, 2018 at Michael J. Fox Theatre, Burnaby
December 20-22, 2018 at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, Vancouver

Early Music Vancouver’s Festive Cantatas: A Monteverdi Christmas Vespers:
December 23, 2018 at Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC

 

 

Pacific Northwest Music Festivals 2018

This week, Rifflandia Festival revealed its 2018 lineup featuring Hey Ocean!, Current Swell, Blitzen Trapper, and others, but before that September fest happens, many more acts will take to festival stages around the Pacific Northwest.

Here’s a list of some of the multi-artist festivals and outdoor shows in Oregon, Washington, Alberta and BC.
(Note: not all the festivals have their artist line-up announced but genre and some featured artists are listed where available)

Sasquatch! – George, WA May 25 – 27, 2018 – Multi-Genre – Bon Iver, The National, Modest Mouse, David Byrne, Tyler, The Creator, Ray Lamontagne…

Deer Lake Park

Deer Lake Festival Lawn – Deer Lake Park, Burnaby BC – Rock/Pop/Blues  – Bon Iver(May 26), Vance Joy(June 30), Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival (August 11), Portugal The Man/Broken Social Scene(September 1), Ms Lauryn Hill(September 14), Ben Howard(September 20)

Malkin Bowl Concerts – Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park, Vancouver BC – Rock/Pop/Blues – Tash Sultana (May 24), King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard(June 5), Xavier Rudd(June 9), The Head & The Heart(September 18)

Sled Island Music & Arts Festival – Calgary, AB June 20-24, 2018– Multi-Genre – Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, Deerhoof…

Victoria International Jazz Festival – Victoria, BC June 22 – July 1, 2018 – Jazz – Macy Gray, Dee Dee Bridgewater & The Memphis Soulphony, Jameson Ross…

Vancouver International Jazz Festival – Vancouver, BC June 22 – July 2, 2018 – Jazz – Macy Gray, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Bonobo, The Jerry Douglas Band…

Waterfront Blues Fest – Portland, OR July 4 – 7, 2018 – Blues – George Thorogood & The Destroyers, The Mavericks, Beth Hart, Ruthie Foster…

FVDED in the Park – Surrey, BC July 6 – 7, 2018 – Electronic/ Dance/Pop – Future, Kygo, Kascade…

Calgary Stampede Virgin Mobile Stampede Series – Calgary, AB July 6 – 15, 2018 – Country – Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley

Harrison Festival of the Arts – Harrison Hot Springs, BC July 6 – 16, 2018 – World/Folk/Rock – Buffy St Marie, Chilliwack, Shari Ulrich, Bobs & Lolo…

Vancouver Island MusicFest – Comox Valley, BC July 13 – 15, 2018 – Folk/Rock – Arlo Guthrie, Passenger, Ry Cooder, Walk off the Earth…

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Vancouver Folk Music Festival – Vancouver, BC July 13 – 15, 2018 – Folk – Ry Cooder, Neko Case, Rodney Crowell, Carol Pope…

The Phillips Backyard Weekender – Victoria, BC July 20 – 22, 2018 – Keys N Krates, Reggie Watts, The Revolution, Kelis…

Capital Hill Block Party – Capital Hill, Seattle, WA July 20 – 22, 2018 – Pop/Rock – Father John Misty, Dillon Francis, Bettywho, Goldlink…

Monster Energy Centre of Gravity– Kelowna, BC July 27 – 29, 2018 – EDM/Pop/HipHop & Sports – Zedd, Wu-Tang Clan, French Montana…

Merritt Rockin’ River Music Fest– Merritt, BC August 2 – 5, 2018 – Country – Eric Church, Dallas Smith, Brett Eldridge, Meghan Patrick…

Harmony Arts Festival – West Vancouver, BC August 3-12, 2018 – Multi-Genre – Buckman Coe, Sarah Jane Scouten, Jane Mortifee & Friends…

Shambhala Music Festival – Salmo, BC August 10 – 13, 2018 – Electronic – Dizzee Rascal, Krafty Kuts, The Funk Hunters…

Salmon Arm Blues & Roots Festival – Salmon Arm, BC August 16 – 19, 2018 – Blues/Roots – Colin James, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Family Stone, Kym Gouchie & Northern Sky…

Ambleside Park

Rock Ambleside Park – West Vancouver, BC – August 17 – 19, 2018 – Classic Rock – Loverboy, Little River Band, Trooper, Nazareth…

Cumberland Wild– Cumberland, BC August 18 – 19, 2018 – Rock – Elliott Brood, Five Alarm Funk, The Pack AD, Bend Sinister…

Bumbershoot Festival – Seattle, WA  August 31- September  2, 2018 – Multi-Genre – J.Cole, The Chainsmokers, SZA, Fleet Foxes…

Skookum Festival – Vancouver, BC September 7 – 9, 2018 – Multi-Genre – The Killers, Florence + The Machine, Metric, Stereophonic…

Rifflandia Festival – Victoria, BC September 13 – 16, 2018 – Multi-Genre – Daniel Caesar, The Zolas, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer…

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

The Fratellis kicked off North American Tour

The Fratellis – Commodore Ballroom – April 26, 2018

Scottish act, The Fratellis flew into Vancouver to kick off their North American tour supporting their latest release, In Your Own Sweet Time. The fifth full length album by the Fratelli trio, brings an alt-country sound to the stage with a relaxed twang mixed with a Scottish burr.

The Commodore Ballroom was filled with a mix of fans from near and far as the opening act, Brighton’s Blood Red Shoes, warmed up the room.  The headliners made their way to the stage the audience was ready to hang on their every note.   Most Vancouver Canucks fans may have a distaste for the Scottish act responsible for the dreaded Chicago Blackhawks goal song, but they’re music is much more than the pop/punk sound of Chelsea Dagger, taken from their first release.

Jon Fratelli

Not ones for a lot of chatter, other than the odd greeting from lead singer/guitar Jon Fratelli, and a laugh at their jetleg caused gaffs.  The band lets the music speak for them, plugging away with song after song from their five albums, for the 90 minute set.  The Commodore fans were left satisfied with the return of The Fratellis and their first taste of what audiences around North America will experience in the month to come.

The Fratellis In Your Own Sweet Time Tour continues with dates around Canada and the US until wrapping May 22nd in Atlanta.