Caravan World Rhythms

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  • Secrets of Eternity with Mahbobeh Golzari

    Posted On: April 8, 2017

    “Secrets of Eternity” is a collaboration of members of Vancouvers Vashaan and Diba Persian music ensembles. This is a two-part concert in the traditional modes of Dashti and Nava and it will be the Canadian debut of Iranian vocalist, Mahbobeh Golzari. The ensemble is a unique sextet which revolves around the ancient sound of a trio of Setars (long necked lute) performed by Ali Razmi, Peyman Rouhandeh, and Hossein Meimani. They are joined on the Ney flute by Amir Eslami, the Oud by Ali Sajjadi and the Tombak by Hamin Honari.

    mahbobeh (1)The guest singer Mahbobeh Golzari is a disciple of the greatest Masters of Persian Classical singing including, Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, Hossein Alizadeh, Mohammad-Reza Lotfi, Parissa, Mohsen Keramati and Saeedeh Saeedi. She has had the honour of participating with the prestigious vocal ensemble Ham-Avayan which is led by Hossein Alizadeh. Her voice is also featured in the Lullaby track for the award-winning film Turtles Can Fly, which was directed by Bahman Ghobadi with music by Hossein Alizadeh. Mahboubeh has a long history of collaboration with Iranian composer Amir Eslami Mirbad.She is a featured vocalist on several of his albums including the most recent recording, Dami ba Peer Balkh (2017).

  • Noam Vazana & Itamar Erez – Victoria

    Posted On: April 7, 2017

    “Brilliant, fantastic, outstanding… her ballads get under your skin.”
    -Allgemeine Zeitung DE

    For over 10 years Israeli-born, Amsterdam-based Noam Vazana has brought a breath of fresh air into the Jazz and World landscapes. Her daring choices, incorporating vocals, piano and trombone simultaneously in her live show are taking her cross over to a deeper level. Her timeless compositions and stage presence make a dramatic, yet playful act. Often compared to the most powerful women that came before her, including Liz Wright, Nina Simone and Tori Amos, Vazana debuted her latest release Love Migration, charting the top 20 iTunes bestselling albums 2015, won the ACUM album prize ISR and featured on multiple album lists in the same year. Some of her accolades include but not limited to being featured on the most prestigious jazz and world music festivals, such as North Sea Jazz festival NL, TEDx NL, Tanjazz MA, Roccella Jazz IT and more.

    Noam also leads a Sephardic music ensemble called Nani, and she will be performing some songs from that repertoire as well, and will be joined by Vancouver’s own Israeli guitar maestro and composer, Itamar Erez.  To capture the essence of Itamar’s music is to be taken on a journey where different cultures meet in harmony. Itamar’s music holds a depth and sensitivity that touches listeners deeply; It blends the delicateness of Middle Eastern music, the freedom found in Jazz and the passion of Flamenco, creating a unique sound all his own.

    Artist websites:

  • Noam Vazana & Itamar Erez – Vancouver

    Posted On: April 3, 2017

    “Brilliant, fantastic, outstanding… her ballads get under your skin.”
    -Allgemeine Zeitung DE

    For over 10 years Israeli-born, Amsterdam-based Noam Vazana has brought a breath of fresh air into the Jazz and World landscapes. Her daring choices, incorporating vocals, piano and trombone simultaneously in her live show are taking her cross over to a deeper level. Her timeless compositions and stage presence make a dramatic, yet playful act. Often compared to the most powerful women that came before her, including Liz Wright, Nina Simone and Tori Amos, Vazana debuted her latest release Love Migration, charting the top 20 iTunes bestselling albums 2015, won the ACUM album prize ISR and featured on multiple album lists in the same year. Some of her accolades include but not limited to being featured on the most prestigious jazz and world music festivals, such as North Sea Jazz festival NL, TEDx NL, Tanjazz MA, Roccella Jazz IT and more.

    Noam also leads a Sephardic music ensemble called Nani, and she will be performing some songs from that repertoire as well, and will be joined by Vancouver’s own Israeli guitar maestro and composer, Itamar Erez.  To capture the essence of Itamar’s music is to be taken on a journey where different cultures meet in harmony. Itamar’s music holds a depth and sensitivity that touches listeners deeply; It blends the delicateness of Middle Eastern music, the freedom found in Jazz and the passion of Flamenco, creating a unique sound all his own.

    Artist websites:


    Posted On: February 24, 2017


    “Utterly captivating.”- LA Times

    One of Iran’s most beloved artists and the preeminent ambassador of Persian music, Kayhan Kalhor is a soulful master of the kamancheh, the Persian spiked fiddle. Widely known for his stirring improvisations, exquisite compositions, and extensive collaborations with artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Brooklyn Rider, Kronos Quartet, Osvaldo Golijov, Ghazal Ensemble, and many orchestras around the world, Kayhan has popularized Persian music in the West and is a creative force in today’s international music scene.  For this concert Kalhor has invited Ali Reza Ghorbani to perform the ancient and rarely heard saz va avaz (instrument and vocals) tradition, whereby the instrumentalist is accompanied by a vocalist performing improvised songs with lyrics from ancient poetry. This concert marks their Vancouver debut performing together.  They will be accompanied by percussionist Behrouz Jamali.

    Kayhan Kalhor

    Three-time GRAMMY nominee Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh, who through his many musical collaborations has been instrumental in popularizing Persian music in the West and is a creative force in today’s music scene. His performances of traditional Persian music and multiple collaborations have attracted audiences around the globe. He has studied the music of Iran’s many regions, in particular those of Khorason and Kordestan, and has toured the world as a soloist with various ensembles and orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lyon. He is co-founder of the renowned ensembles Dastan and Masters of Persian Music. Kayhan Kalhor has composed works for Iran’s most renowned vocalists Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri and has also performed and recorded with Iran’s greatest instrumentalists. He has composed music for television and film and was most recently featured on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Copolla’s Youth Without Youth in a score that he collaborated on with Osvaldo Golijov.

    In 2004, Kayhan was invited by American composer John Adams to give a solo recital at Carnegie Hall as part of his Perspectives Series and in the same year he appeared on a double bill at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, sharing the program with the Festival Orchestra performing the Mozart Requiem. Kayhan is an original member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project for whom he continues to compose for and tour with. His compositions appear on all of the Ensemble’s albums. Their last album Sing Me Home! just won the 2017 GRAMMY.

    Ali Reza Ghorbani

    Ali Reza Ghorbani is part of the new generation of Persian classical singers. While deeply rooted in Persian classical music, Ghorbani has an insatiable curiosity and open-mindedness, which comes through in his vocal style. Born into a religious family, he acquired the intonations and rhythms of Koranic chanting at a young age.

    His four years of study with a master of the tar (plucked lute) and setar (lute) at the Tehran Conservatory of Music acquainted him with the infinite possibilities found in Iran’s musical heritage. Ghorbani is widely considered a worthy successor to the undisputed master of Persian classical song, Mohammed Reza Shajarian.


  • EMEL MATHLOUTHI – Tunisia’s Voice of a Generation

    Posted On: February 23, 2017

    “Enthralling!” – The New York Times

    “She is mesmerizing, from mellifluous sweetness to full-throated power.”
    – The F.T.

    Tunisia’s prominent Singer/Songwriter Emel Mathlouthi launches her second album “Ensen” produced by her own record label Little Human Records and released on Partisan Records on 24 February 2017. Emels first album, Kelmti Horra (My Word is Free), introduced her groundbreaking marriage of sounds steeped in Tunisia and electronic beats. On Ensen, shes merged to a style thats even more uniquely her own, combining organic and electronic sounds to produce a record that will appeal to any lover of innovative and heartfelt music.

    Mathlouthi’s first album since her debut, Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free), was released in 2012. But by the time that the first album was released, Mathlouthi was already an icon: Her song “Kelmti Horra” was an anthem for a generation of Tunisians and other across north Africa.

    “I am the voice those who would not give in,” she sang on “Kelmti Horra.” “I am free and my word is free.” She took those lines from the streets of Tunis, during the revolution that led to the ousting of the dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, all the way to the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2015.

    In the ensuing years since that potent debut, Mathlouthi has moved to New York and is releasing Ensen later this month on the American indie label Partisan a signal of her bigger ambitions, which spanned working with several producers, including Valgeir Sigurðsson of Sigur Ros and her mainstay collaborator, the French-Tunisian producer Amine Metani, and recording Ensen across seven different countries.

    “It’s the astonishing range and sensuousness of Mathlouthi’s voice that is most compelling. There are swoops and growls reminiscent of Bjork and even traces of her goth past as she picks out minimal, reverberant lines on electric guitar.”- The Guardian

    Artist website:


    Opening for Emel is Vancouver’s genre-bending rising stars, DÁLAVA, featuring singer Julia Uhlela, guitarist Adam and cellist Peggy Lee.

    Guitarist Aram Bajakian and vocalist Julia Ulehla’s Dálava project is an homage to traditional Moravian folk music, taking melodies transcribed over 100 years ago by Ulehla’s great-grandfather, and reinventing them in extremely stirring, avant-garde and post-rock musical language. This deeply personal project is fresh and bold, and the latest project by the prolific Bajakian who has worked with the likes of Lou Reed, John Zorn, and Yusef Lateef. Following in her grandfather’s footsteps, Julia is also an ethnomusicologist and former opera singer who has collaborated on diverse music and theatre projects (Darius Jones, The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards). The first Dálava record (2014) received critical acclaim and was dubbed “a masterpiece” (Acoustic Music), “a work of creativity and imagination par excellence” (Inner Magazine), and described as “combining the richness of the old with the freshness and boldness of the new like no one else has done before” (Something Else Reviews). Dálava’s second album The Book of Transfigurations (release date: April 2017) delves into even deeper territory—conjuring ancestors, animating spirits, and crafting musical microcosms around the gem-like folk melodies. Though rooted in an avant, urban sonic language, this fractured village music channels the voices of a bygone era.

    “One defining trend of the current moment is that of musicians visiting the past in order to invent the future, and there’s no better example than this fantastic fusion of rural Moravian melody and urban improv. Working with material collected by Julia Ulehla’s great-grandfather during the early 20th century, the singer and her guitarist husband, Aram Bajakian, have arrived at music that’s deeply affecting and powerfully new.” —Alex Varty, Georgia Straight


  • VanAFRICA – A Journey of Music & Dance through Africa

    Posted On: February 23, 2017

    Hosted by Time Will Tell Artists and the Roundhouse Community Centre, VanAFRICA is a collaboration between Vancouver’s top African musicians and dancers, plus special guest Ghanaian performer Awal Alhassan from Seattle. The project is led by percussionist/composer Curtis Andrews.

    VanAfrica is musical journey across Africa, featuring the traditional music and dance of more than 6 different ethnic groups and 4 different countries, led by a cast of some of Vancouver’s most exciting practitioners of African performing arts.

    Featured artists include: N’nato Camara (Guinea), Kocasalle Dioubate (Guinea), Kesseke Yeo (Cote d’Ivoire), Alhassan (Ghana), Kofi Gbolonyo (Ghana), Esinu Gbolonyo (Ghana), Kurai Mubaiwa (Zimbabwe), Pasi Gunguwo (Zimbabwe) and Sanbur Abdulai (Ghana) plus some surprise guests. Featuring an opening set by Adanu Habobo drum/dance ensemble (Ghana/Vancouver). All of these artists have performed together in the past, but never in a dedicated ensemble to perform the traditional music of each of their ethnic groups in a concert production like this.

    Be prepared for intense dancing and drumming, intimate songs on rarely heard instruments, and a collaboration to finish the concert with a bang between the VanAfrican ensemble, Adanu Habobo and perhaps you, the audience.


    2 free workshops on traditional drumming and dance are also being offered as part of this event.
    April 25 7:30-8:30 with Kurai Mubaiwa (dance)
    April 30 3:30-4:30 with Kesseke Yeo (drumming)

    Both will be held at the Roundhouse Community Centre. Pre-Registration required.

  • BUENA FE – Cuba’s Trova Stars

    Posted On: February 22, 2017

    A Co-presentation with Julio Montero Productions (

    Doors: 6:00 pm  Show: 7:00 pm
    Cuban Food provided by CubanaBBQ
    Fiesta with DJ Kubanito right after the concert

    Adored, respected and followed by tens of thousands across the entire island of Cuba and abroad, sensational duo Buena Fe are the legitimate contemporary heirs of the legacy created by Nueva Trova legends Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, Santiago Feliú, and the like. It is Buena Fe who nowadays draw the massive, enthusiastic crowds to their concerts with thought-provoking lyrics and moving melodies. The torch hasn’t been passed; it has been earned.

    Vancouver gets the rare opportunity to enjoy Buena Fe in what has been conceived to be an intimate-setting event: an occasion to see the artists in duo format for the very first time in our city, delivering an acoustic ode to the human condition, on Sunday May 7th at the Russian Hall. No Spanish? No problem! Buena Fe have been gifted with the genius of crafting music of universal beauty, masterfully eluding language barriers and delivering thrilling live performances. With a real Cuban party ensuing right after the concert featuring DJ Kubanito from Havana, the evening promises to be a magnificent treat to the body and the soul. Come early for some delicious Cuban food by CubanaBBQ, while Kubanito plays Nueva Trova classics.

    Tickets: $30 in advance, more at the door
    Presale: $25 only from today till March 19th!!!
    Tickets available at:
    Highlife Records – 1317 Commercial Dr (604-251-6964) as of Saturday
    Los Guerreros – 3317 Kingsway (604-451-7850) as of Saturday
    by phone at (604-241-7292)
    in person with Julio Montero and Karlos Reyes
    More outlets to be announced soon!

    More about Buena Fe: their name in an interpretive translation means “good will”. Although they’re hard to categorize as belonging to any particular music genre, Buena Fe recognize that trova is at the very root of everything they create. Adept to absorb music influences with chameleon ability, Buena Fe has thus far produced seven highly acclaimed albums since the group’s creation in 1999. Their immense popularity is owed to combining lyrics that address the issues of today’s Cuba, including politics, sexuality, philosophical musings, etc, with exquisite musical arrangements. That being said, their voices are as delightful as the finest Cuban rum. They have also collaborated with Cuba’s top musicians, among them Silvio Rodríguez, Eliades Ochoa, Pablo Milanes, and Descemer Bueno, to name just a few. Recently, they have signed with Metamorfosis, the record label run by Latin American icon Ricardo Arjona, with whom they also recorded a song. They’ll be promoting their latest release, “Sobreviviente”, during the Canadian tour.

  • Kasandra Flamenco’s “La Tarara”

    Posted On: December 23, 2016

    Kasandra Flamenco presents “La Tarara”, an adrenalin infused dance spectacular featuring Flamenco dance stars direct from Spain, Ivan Vargas and Emilio Ochando, with Vancouver virtuoso Kasandra “La China”, accompanied by an international musical cast directed by flamenco guitarist/composer Gaspar Rodriguez.

    “La Tarara” is a fiery encounter between flamenco dancers of very different backgrounds and a meeting between the raw intensity of Flamenco Dance and the refined elegance of Spanish Dance.

    Dancer Ivan Vargas, of Roma bloodline, was born in the caves of Sacromonte and hails from Granada’s flamenco dynasty “Los Maya”. Ferocious and primal, he evokes the essence of Flamenco Puro – the expression of pure unadulterated emotion, in search of the elusive “duende” where magic ignites as the artists fuel the fire!  He collides with six time award winner and dance phenomenon from the Spanish National Ballet, Emilio Ochando, who is classically trained in Spanish Dance which was originally performed for royalty.  His style rests on the  on the cutting edge of flamenco dance aesthetic in Madrid, a potent mix of highly technical and virtuosic mastery blended with contemporary movement.  “La Tarara showcases explosive flamenco dance in a tale of brotherhood and rivalry, jealousy and romance. The beauty of Spanish lyrical dance versus the power of the Roma passion results in a dazzling production, full of drama and bravado,” explains Kasandra “La China, “This show could only happen at an international artistic crossroads such as Vancouver, because these artists would never even meet in Spain!”

    Kasandra “La China”, Artistic Director
    Ivan Vargas Heredia, Bailaor, Flamenco Dancer
    Emilio Ochando, Bailarin, Spanish Dancer

    Gaspar Rodriguez, Musical Director
    Vicente Griego “El Cartucho”, Flamenco Singer
    Cyrena “La Sirena”, Cello
    Davide Sampaolo, Cajon & Percussion

  • DAKHABRAKHA – Ukraine Ethnochaos

    Posted On: October 27, 2016

    CONCERT IS SOLD OUT!  Sorry if you haven’t purchased your tickets yet. Hopefully we can bring them back again soon.

    Opening before curtain time (at 7:30pm – 8pm) is Vancouver’s new Ukrainian talent, VOLODYMYR BENDZVIN. Come early, and enjoy his music (cello, vocals, looping) before the start of the concert, and have a drink from the theatre bar!
    Check out his music here:


    DakhaBrakha is world music quartet from Kiev, Ukraine. Reflecting fundamental elements of sound and soul, Ukrainian “ethno-chaos” band DakhaBrakha, create a world of unexpected new music.

    The name DakhaBrakha is original, outstanding and authentic at the same time. It means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language. Accompanied by Indian, Arabic, African, Russian and Australian traditional instrumentation, the quartet’s astonishingly powerful and uncompromising vocal range creates a trans-national sound rooted in Ukrainian culture.

    “Ukrainian folkdrone Björkpunk quartet Dakhabrakha went into Bonnaroo as unknowns but ended up with one of the most receptive crowds of the weekend. They got cheers for mournful accordion and apocalyptic cello sawing. Animal noises and bird whistles and howls got the audience to return favor, turning the tent into a happy menagerie.” — Rolling Stone

    “The group mixes everything from punk-pop to traditional Ukrainian songs in cool yet beguiling textures, often with the close harmonies usually associated with Balkan music. But it’s really the live shows that take DakhaBrakha beyond mere curiosity to utter brilliance.” — NPR


  • BALKAN ROOTS feat. Stefce Stojkovski

    Posted On: October 27, 2016

    Join us for an evening with Vancouver’s best Balkan bands featuring renowned Macedonian folk music legend, Stefce Stojkovski, for his first visit to Canada. The evening will offer a wide cross section of traditional Balkan music, with a focus on Macedonia. Stefce will be playing some solo songs and also alongside each of the bands performing.

    Stefce Stojkovski comes from a lineage of traditional Macedonian musicians, and at the age of 7 had already made a name for himself as a soloist on the kaval (traditional flute). At the age of 9, he made his first recording. Stefce is a virtuoso performer on all traditional instruments of the southern Balkans, including the zurla, the gajda (bagpipe), tarabuka drum, tapan drum, tambura (lute), kaval and other flutes. Stefce travels professionally to teach and perform, and has recorded 14 CDs of his traditional music. Added to this skill set, Stefce is a masterful singer and dancer, and orchestrates his own Ensemble of National Instruments and Songs.

    Members of Grupa Dunbarov started playing music of the Balkans together over 20 years ago, having developed their interest in the music through folk dancing. Grupa Dunbarov plays music of Bulgaria, Macedonia, northern Greece, and a bit of Serbia and Romania, in both traditional and contemporary styles. Three of the original members, Erika, Iona, and Kate, are still active, and have brought on new musicians to collaborate with along the way. Their current line up includes: Erika Gerson – percussion and a bit of vocals, Iona Wishaw – vocals, Kate Gerson – clarinet, gaida, kaval, saxophone, Geoff Colpitts – accordion and trumpet, Remus Trif – guitar, Shireen Nabatian – vocals and violin.

    Djeram is a Vancouver-based band formed in 2015, dedicated to fostering and promoting tamburitza music in Canada. Firmly rooted in the tamburitza tradition and culture, using authentic instrumentation and arrangements, Djeram covers a wide range of genres, from traditional folk music of south-western Balkans to classical masterpieces.

    Zlatna Mountain is the vocal harmony between Vancouver singers Carmen Rosen (Zeellia, Elektra Choir), Shireen Nabatian (Grupa Dunbarov, Ginger and Moonshine), Heidi Ravenal (Carnival Band) and Kristina Zalite (Orkestar Slivovica). These four women combine their powerful voices in new arrangements of Macedonian and other Balkan folk melodies.

    David Bilides initial encounters with Balkan folk music were the weddings and dances of the Asia Minor Greek community in which he grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. After hearing other Balkan music while attending international folk dancing in high school, he took the first of several trips to the Balkans in 1974, visiting Romania, Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. He learned dances, made field recordings, and collected instruments. On returning to the United States he taught himself the music and instruments, formed groups, organized festivals and other music events, and performed and taught others music and dance. David plays and teaches music from the Balkans on a variety of traditional instruments in the US and abroad. David is a frequent guest performer with different groups and at traditional folk music and dance events across the country.

    Stefce will be available for group or individual lessons in singing, kaval, gaida, zurna, and tambura. Please email Kristina Zalite at for more information or to book your lesson. 
  • TINARIWEN Desert Blues

    Posted On: October 23, 2016

    The world-blues ensemble from Tessalit, Mali, is touring in support of its upcoming eighth album Elwan. The opening act is Dengue Fever, Cambodian retro-rock band.

    Co-Presented with Live Nation.

    Tinariwen were formed in the early 80’s by Tuareg musicians of Mali, who not only shared a love to Tuareg musics and traditions, but also of rock and roll, especially the guitar stylings of Jimi Hendrix. The resulting sound is a wholly unique one, that combines elements of funk, Tuareg desert music, and rock guitar. The new album by Tinariwen could well have been called Exile on Main Street. But other people have already thought of that. It also could have been called A la recherché du pays perdu (‘Remembrance of a lost country’). Except that would have been a tad Proustian for musicians who grew up pretty much between a rock and a sand dune, in the midst of their goat herds and camel caravans. But the idea is apt. As is the painful paradox, if you consider that while Tinariwen were busy criss-crossing the globe on their recent triumphant tours (160 concerts played in the past three years), expanding their audience on all five continents, becoming one of the latest musical phenomena of truly universal calibre, the frontiers that encircle their desert home were closing down and double-locking, forcing them into exile to record this their 8th album.

    The opening group is the LA-based Cambodian retro Khmer-Rock band DENGUE FEVER , led by singer Chhom Nimol.
    Artist website:


    Posted On: October 2, 2016

    2015 Juno World Music award winner Quique Escamilla (Mexico/Toronto) offers us his unique talents in a solo show, full of energy and variety.  Limited Capacity, so get your tickets early!

    25 years of performing live have seasoned Quique to effortlessly connect with his audiences, be it in an intimate house concert setting or on prestigious festival stages. He breaks down language barriers through his powerful voice and passionate delivery while fusing traditional Mexican styles of music such as ranchera and huapango with modern sounds of rock, reggae, ska, pop, jazz, cumbia, bolero, and a variety of other Latin American rhythms. His lyrics carry powerful messages that are inspired by and support various social and political issues such as human and civil rights, immigration reform, global conservation, anti-racism, discrimination, anti-oppression and Indigenous rights. Despite the distance from his homeland, Quique remains strongly attached to his Mexican roots


  • Zimbamoto & Locarno

    Posted On: October 1, 2016

    Kick the new year into high gear with 2017’s first Afro-Latin dance party in Vancouver! Travel to Zimbabwe & Latin America in one evening, and dance to the vibrant rhythms of Zimbamoto and Tom Landa’s Locarno,  two of Vancouver’s top world fusion bands!

    Tickets $20 Advance or at the Door. Sorry, No Minors (19+ with ID).


    Led by master Zimbabwean musician, percussionist and singer Kurai Mubaiwa, ZIMBAMOTO brings an exhilarating flavour of traditional and contemporary music from Zimbabwe. Centered around the mbira (thumb piano) and songs in the Shona language, ZIMBAMOTO is backed by a thunderous rhythm section including noted percussionist Curtis Andrews on drum kit, lead guitarist Mark Campbell, percussionist Navaro Franco and bassist Greg Valou. The band plays with modern Afrobeat sensibility that’s guaranteed to get you moving.

    “ZIMBAMOTO is the most exciting band playing African music to emerge on the West Coast for too many years. They perform mesmeric music for mind, heart, and feet – you’ll have to work hard to stay seated once they start!”

    – Tony Montague, Georgia Straight


    Playing a high-energy mix of Mexican folk, Colombian son and African soukous, LOCARNO is the Latin project of JUNO Award winning musician, Tom Landa. In 2010 Locarno released “Una Mas Y Ya Nos Vamos,” which received rave reviews and a Western Canadian Music Awards nomination.

    Since then the band has honed in on their sound and incorporated more of their influences such as music from Columbia, Africa, Venezuela and beyond. LOCARNO features Tom Landa on jarana (8 string guitar), Kalissa Landa on violin, Robin Layne on marimba, congas and timbales, Pedro Mota on guitar and vocals, Aaron McKinney on bass, Liam MacDonald on drums, congas and pandeiro, Mark D’Angelo on trumpet and Nick La Rivere on trombone.

    “LOCARNO’s approach is so genuine and so welcome for audiences who enjoy great song writing, a respect for tradition, a searching musical curiosity, and virtuoso performance skills. Their compelling blend of Mexican, Cuban and North American popular music delivered with exuberant energy is a winning combination.

    Don’t miss the opportunity to experience LOCARNO live if they ever pass through your town.  You’ll find yourself singing their praises too.”

    – Michael Juk, CBC Musi


    Posted On: September 28, 2016

    To capture the essence of guitarist/pianist and composer Itamar Erez’s music is to be taken on a journey where different cultures meet in harmony. It blends the delicate sounds of Middle Eastern music, the freedom found in jazz and the passion of flamenco together in a fresh, exciting and authentic voice. Now making Vancouver his home, this award-winning and internationally renowned musician offers a glimpse into his rich and inventive musical universe of original world/jazz in concert this November, accompanied by a who’s-who of Vancouver musicianship.

    On November 10, Erez will perform an array of his solo compositions before introducing his new duet collaboration with percussion virtuoso Hamin Honari. Then follows a performance with his latest formation of the Adama Ensemble, featuring some of this city’s best musicians: Francois Houle, Laurence Mollerup, Liam Macdonald and guest musician Nick Apivor.

    Israeli-born Erez has been absent from the Vancouver world/jazz scene for almost a decade. He formed and began working with the Adama (“earth” in Hebrew) Ensemble back in 2004, and their first CD “Desert Song” was recorded in Vancouver in 2006. He continued the work with the Ensemble while living in Israel, recording a 2nd CD, “Hommage”, in 2010 with special guest artists Omar Faruk Tekbilek and others. With the Israeli ensemble he performed and toured in Europe, and gained recognition and much praise on that continent’s World/Jazz scene.

    Returning to Vancouver in summer 2016, Itamar was excited to pick up and continue his work with the brilliant musicians he collaborates with here. The 2016 Adama Ensemble includes Itamar Erez (guitars & piano), Francois Houle (clarinet), Laurence Mollerup (bass) and Liam Macdonald (drum set/percussion). Guest musicians at the November 10 concert are Hamin Honari (percussion) and Nick Apivor (vibraphone/marimba).

    Itamar’s music holds a depth and sensitivity that touches listeners deeply, it’s music from the heart. Recipient of the 2014 ACUM Prize for Special Achievement in Jazz and the Israeli Prime Minister Prize for Composers, Erez travels the world, and has shared stages with such musicians as Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Tomatito, Avishai Cohen, Jean-Louis Matinier, Zohar Fresco and others. During 2014-15 alone, he performed in Canada, USA, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Cyprus, Israel, India, Tunisia and Colombia. His most recent release, New Dawn (2013), is a duet collaboration with Yshai Afterman (percussion), with special guest Antonio Serrano (harmonica). In addition to performing internationally, he gives workshops and masterclasses, teaching his unique approach to music and guitar playing. Itamar is currently working on new material for his next CD, and is on the guitar faculty at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School Of Music.


  • OPA TSUPA! Romani Music Celebration

    Posted On: September 18, 2016

    Presented in Collaboration with Slivovica Productions and Transformation Projects.

    Celebrate and dance to the music of the Roma and the Balkans with:
    Lache Cercel and the Roma Swing Ensemble (
    Lache and his elite musical group bring the flare and passion of traditional Romanian and Eastern European melodies with swingin jazz harmonies and a little egyptian percussion for good measure.

    Dromeno Greek Dance Music (
    DRÓMENO is a unique folk group presenting regional music from all over Greece and the Balkans. Led by Christos Govetas and Ruth Hunter, long-time players in the Balkan music scene, the group includes both of their kids (Eleni and Bobby Govetas), and Nikos Maroussis. Dromeno presents authentic music that pulls from deep roots from Greece and all across the Balkans. Between them, these versatile members create the brass sounds of Macedonia, sonorous clarinet and vocal interplay from Ipiros and Thessaly, strident zournas and daouli from Serres, and energetic Thracian dance tunes.

    Eurodanceparty USA (
    Seattle-based dance band Eurodanceparty USA is composed of seven American musicians who began crafting their unique take on Balkan music together in 2013. Hailing from the Balkan-inflected brass band Orkestar Zirkonium, the global-folk-pop duo The Lonely Coast, the Eastern European Jewish folk-punk revivalist project Nu Klezmer Army, and various other ensembles, these musicians bring serious love, ridiculous beats, and high-energy dance party joy to popular songs from Albania, Bulgaria, and beyond.

    Orkestar Slivovica (
    Orkestar Slivovica is Vancouvers home-grown Balkan Brass band, playing wedding and festive music from Serbia, Macedonia, and other beautiful Balkan lands.
    Please note, this performance at OPA TSUPA will be the final performance of Orkestar Slivovica.

    Delicious snacks, quality bar, and thirst-quenching beverages will be available.
    Limited seating, please email to book your own large VIP table for $90/table (in addition to ticket costs)!
    At the newly renovated Russian Hall at 600 Campbell Street in Strathcona.
    $25 in advance/ $30 at the door regular admission. Students $5 discount.