Singer-songwriter with an unexpected message

The idea of kindness and the variations of love that co-exist within society is the topic Kinnie Starr will invoke at the next EMMA Talks.  “I’ve always been interested in platforms that are well-curated, like EMMA Talks or TED Talks,” says Starr. “Women’s voices are often phased out of a lot of arenas, so EMMA…

When the ordinary becomes extraordinary

In the upcoming concert performance, Practices of Everyday Life/Cooking at the Western Front, a group of performers gather together to create a multisensory evening of enchanted play. Boundaries blur between matter, sound and what we perceive to be inanimate, as vegetables and cooking implements come alive.  “We work with the idea that the mundane becomes…

Inter-cultural understanding through composition, education, and music

Centred on the vocals of Willy Miles-Grenzberg, the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) will present Sounds Global in Concert on Feb. 11 at the Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver. The show will bring together a variety of Western and non-Western musical influences and instruments in this multicultural sextet performance. Non-Western music in a Western context…

Musician spreads freedom through past vibrations

In hopes of finding freedom and social justice, enslaved Africans travelled northward to Canada from the United States through the Underground Railroad between 1840 and 1860. It is difficult to estimate how many slaves reached safety by the Railroad due to the need for confidentiality, but Vancouver-based musician Khari Wendell McClelland has reinvented the music…

A message for the masses in ‘rebellious poetry’

Colombian-born, Toronto-based Lido Pimienta will be performing on Feb. 4 at the Fox Cabaret as part of the PuSh festival music series. Pimienta’s music bases itself in indie and electronic pop, fusing it with Afro-Colombian influences and style with the goal of bringing a nuanced and personal kind of protest poetry to the masses. Message…

Town Choir: translating text messages to song

Theatre Replacement’s Town Choir will open on Jan. 22 at the Woodward’s Atrium as part of the 2017 PuSh Festival. Town Choir is the newest iteration of the group’s Town Criers project, where everyday or potentially mundane observations are presented as newsworthy, with the writers potentially hundreds of kilometers away from the performance. Town Criers…

When all you have is four-strings

Acclaimed ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro has stretched the small four-stringed instrument to its limits. As pioneer, Shimabukuro has achieved fame all over the world, especially in Japan, and has an extensive discography featuring collaborations with Jack Johnson, Yo-Yo Ma, Cyndi Lauper, and more. Shimabukuro will be in Vancouver at the Evergreen Cultural Centre for a…

Canadian jazz, Sicilian soul

Guitarist, composer and arranger, Michael Occhipinti excels at making his guitar gently waver between technical styles and genres with progressive precision, all while letting his own personality shine through. Occhipinti is currently on tour with the Sicilian Jazz Project, a band that showcases Occhipinti’s heritage through jazz-fusion and features the Italian vocalist, Pilar. The Sicilian…

Bosnian Blues singer Amira Bedunjanin | Photo by Amira Bedunjanin

Sharing a musical reflection of Bosnian history culture through sevdah

Bosnian singer Amira Medunjanin never considered becoming a professional singer, having never formally studied music.However, she says music was always there in her life, something to turn to through ups and downs. Medunjanin will be performing selections from her album Damar at Christ Church Cathedral Nov. 12. Often referred to as a kind of “Bosnian…

Club Habana: Sharing Cuban jazz and culture

The Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre (VLACC) presents Club Habana: An Evening of Cuban Jazz at the Vancouver Playhouse (Nov. 4). The event run by artistic director Danais Yera brings together, among others, trumpetist Miguelito Valdés and Grammy-award-winning saxophonist Alfred Thompson for a musical evening of Cuban and jazz music fusion. Miguelito Valdés knew he…

Poetry and motion: Farnaz Ohadi’s journey of empowerment through music

Mashregh will be performing selections from their debut album, Bird Dance, at the Blueshore Centre on Oct. 1. Vancouver-based Persian Flamenco singer Farnaz Ohadi leads the ensemble, bringing together Persian poetry and flamenco dance and guitar as a means of conveying Ohadi’s journey of challenges and empowerment. Bringing together Farsi and flamenco Born and raised…

Chinese opera still relevant

Vancouver Cantonese Opera chose the challenging musical Reunion at the Moon Pavilion and artistic director Rosa Cheng hopes the accessible and engaging work resonates with local audiences. The opera will be performed at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby(Sept. 16, 7 p.m.). Reunion at the Moon Pavilion is a love story that had been…