Sounds and stories from Portugal

FADO, the story of a young woman getting in touch with her roots, takes the stage at the Firehall Arts Centre from Nov. 21–Dec. 14. Described as “part concert and part theatre”, the production uses the Portuguese national music of the same name as a centrepiece for both the show’s setting and the identity of…

Tonye Aganaba: challenging sensibilities

Singer Tonye Aganaba says that people should bring their own sense of humour and adventure, as this will be an experience to challenge one’s sensibilities. “Expect a stellar night of interdisciplinary adventurism featuring some of Vancouver’s very finest musicians, dancers and visual artists laced with grace, charm and hard-hitting humour,” Aganaba says. The artist will…

The time-honoured pipa

An instrument from China… and Persia? The Tale of Pipa concert will highlight the pipa, a traditional Chinese four-string lute, exploring some of its roots in different cultures. The concert, which marks the first collaboration between the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble and the Vashaan Persian Music Ensemble, will be held on Dec. 7 at the Dr. Sun…

Trading Places: Un Échange

On Nov. 9 at Western Front, clarinetist and sound artist Elizabeth Millar and oudist and guitarist Sam Shalabi will perform as part of the Trading Places: Un Échange residency program. The Montreal-based composers have each created a non-traditional graphic or text-based music score for the show and have invited a group of four musicians and an actor…

Finding inspiration in the ukulele

Dreaming of strumming a few tunes on a ukulele? Music enthusiasts might be interested in Patrice Savoie’s offer of introductory lessons on the stringed instrument. The local musician will be conducting a special four-week beginner session, starting on Oct. 26 at Terry Fox Library in Port Coquitlam. History and meaning of the ukulele The four stringed instrument…

Zion Fyah: a melting pot of musical influences

Born in Iran, Zion Fyah lived in England and in New York City throughout his early teenage years before moving to Canada at the age of 17, and traveled to even more places as a working musician later on. Because of his diverse exposure to different cultures, his music is also a mix of different…

Gypsy jazz resounds on Canadian soil

Christine Tassan et les Imposteures bring their energetic blend of Québécois song, traditional folk, and gypsy jazz to Performance Works, via the Rogue Folk Club, on Sept. 29. For this upcoming tour, the Imposteures band, which typically includes a rhythm guitarist, violinist, and bassist, led by Tassan on lead guitar, will also feature the brassy bombast…

DJ Shanique Kelly – Building community through music

Shanique Kelly, also known as Softieshan, only got into DJing three years ago but has already made a name for herself in the city as a sought-after event producer. She is a regular presence at some of the local popular venues and she also runs ‘LEVEL UP,’ the city’s only monthly Queer Rap and Hip-Hop…

Old Soul, new life: A band’s journey

Old Soul Rebel brings their passionate, politically personal sound to the Richmond World Fest on Saturday, Aug. 31. Composed of core members Chelsea D. E. Johnson and Lola Whyte, Old Soul Rebel takes the defiant sound of soul, rock and blues as a means of expressing their rebellious life experiences. “It’s the rebellious nature of…

Ways of listening

Vancouver-based composer and sound artist George Rahi leads a World Listening Day ‘soundwalk’ from the Roundhouse Centre to Hadden Park/Kitsilano Beach on July 18. The soundwalk explores the dynamics of group movement throughout and listening to the city, followed by a discussion of experiences and observations throughout the walk. Sound and Space George Rahi’s works span…

Laila Biali – the new jazz queen in town

According to many reviews, a beautiful voice, dynamic melodies and a high energy seem to capture pianist, lyricist and singer Laila Biali’s music and spirit well. The multi-talented Vancouver native just won this year’s JUNO award for Vocal Jazz Album of the year, marking a new milestone in her music career. As part of the…

Global Soundscapes Festival From differences comes musical harmony

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra’s (VICO) Global Soundscapes Festival will feature the debut of the mini-opera Debris by Rita Ueda, inspired by the debris that traveled across the ocean to Canada in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami. “The opera is based on a documentary film of the same name by John Bolton,” says Ueda. “In Japan, the…

Scandinavian Treasures: A cultural travelogue of Europe North

Come to the north! The Vancouver Cantata Singers ( VCS) present Scandinavian Treasures: Songs of the North at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre on May 25. The singers will perform choral arrangements of songs with roots in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, offering a kind of musical travelogue that shares the experience of journeying through…