MusicFest Vancouver August 5 – 14

Regina Carter

MusicFest Vancouver Presents Stellar Lineup

of Extraordinary Classical, Jazz and World Music Artists

 MusicFest Vancouver is back for its eleventh season, August 5 – 14, 2011, with forty exciting live music performances and a lineup that includes some of Canada and the world’s best classical, world music and jazz performers. Eight city venues will be filled with glorious music over the multi-genre festival’s 10-day run.

The Festival launches with the Odlum Brown Gala Opening Concert featuring Canadian superstar Sarah McLachlan with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (August 5 @ the Orpheum). This concert is a collection of McLachlan’s hits and favourite songs specifically chosen to be orchestrated by the artist, and is her first-ever appearance with the VSO. The combination of McLachlan’s soaring voice backed up by the power of a full symphony orchestra makes this a “not to be missed” event.

The star-studded BMO Main Stage Series features three concerts in the acoustically superb environment of UBC’s Chan Centre 1200-seat hall, one concert in the Art Deco magnificence of the Vogue Theatre, and one on the Great Lawn of VanDusen Botanical Garden.

•             The Swingle Singers, England’s high-energy a cappella vocal sensations, open the series with Classic Reinventions, a program that includes everything from Bach to Debussy, Beatles, and Joni Mitchell, all sung with the distinctive “Swingle Style.” (Saturday, August 6)

•             Jazz violinist Regina Carter is recognized as one of the most transcendent voices of the contemporary violin. On Monday August 8 Carter brings her Reverse Thread Project to the Vogue Theatre in a program that seamlessly weaves African melodies and rhythms into Carter’s own unique style.

•             Early Music Vancouver’s production of Henry Purcell’s King Arthur (August 10 @ The Chan Centre, UBC) features a large vocal and instrumental ensemble of top Canadian and international early music performers including sopranos Suzie LeBlanc and Ellen Hargis, all under the musical direction of Alexander Weimann.

•             Vancouver Sings: A Celebration of CBC’s 75th Anniversary, August 13 @ the Chan Centre, UBC) highlights the cream of Vancouver’s renowned choirs, including Elektra Women’s Choir, musica intima vocal ensemble, and the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

•             World at the Garden: From Cuba to Denmark marks the close of the series with performances by the Ernán López-Nussa Trio and Touché Vocal Jazz. Ernán and Touché – it’s the recipe for an unforgettable evening of jazz al fesco at VanDusen! (Saturday, August 14)

Back by popular demand are the Festival’s Morning Chamber Music Concerts at Christ Church Cathedral. Violinist Benjamin Beilman, an emerging superstar, performs with renowned pianist Arthur Rowe on August 8, France’s Trio Paul Klee performs August 10, and Italian pianist Mariangela Vacatello with the Vetta String Quartet close the series on August 12.

MusicFest Vancouver’s popular Industrial Alliance Pacific Pre-Dinner Concerts series offer hour-long performances at Christ Church Cathedral and include the World Vision Korea Children’s Choir (August 5), soprano Martha Guth and pianist Erika Switzer in a recital called Songs From Home that features works by Vancouver composers (August 9), Italy’s Mariangela Vacatello in a Liszt Anniversary Piano Recital (August 10), the Borealis String Quartet with jazz pianist John Stetch (August 11), and Denmark’s Touché Vocal Jazz Ensemble (August 12).

The Festival is pleased to be partnering once again with Early Music Vancouver to present a stellar line up of performances for the Early Music Concerts at the UBC School of Music’s Roy Barnett Recital Hall. Love and Death in Vienna: Baroque Music from Austria (August 5) features Les Voix Baroques under the direction of countertenor Matthew White and Alexander Weimann, and centres on Antonio’s intriguing Maria Maddalena, a moving work of sacred text set to operatic music. On August 7, La Douceur: Music from the Court of the Sun King features Wilbert Hazelzet on flute and harpsichordist Jacques Ogg in works by Couperin, Marais, and other composers from the French Baroque. Matthew White and Les Voix Baroques present Bach and Before: German Solo Cantatas for Alto (August 12), and the series closes August 14 with Bach and Beyond: Baroque and Classical Chamber Music performed by the faculty members of Early Music Vancouver’s Baroque Instrumental Programme.

This year’s Jazz at the Rothstein Series presented by Marsh / Mercer begins August 7 with The Night Crawlers & Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club All Stars  in a concert dedicated to the Hammond B3 organ, followed by Montreal’s first lady of jazz, pianist Lorraine Desmarais and her trio (August 9). Norway’s Helge Lien Trio returns for an evening of the best of Scandinavian jazz (August 11), and the series closes with the great Australian jazz pianist Joe Chindamo with special guests Phil Dwyer and Jodi Prosnick (August 13).

Jazz at the Cellar features jazz artists from Vancouver and around the world in an intimate restaurant setting. Pianist Brad Turner and André Lachance on bass, open the series August 5, with pianist John Stetch appearing August 6. The Lorraine Desmarais Trio perform August 8, Helge Lien (piano) and Frode Berg (bass) perform on August 10, and Joe Chindamo (piano) and Jodi Prosnick (bass) close this extremely popular series on August 12.

Christ Church Cathedral is also the site of the Industrial Alliance Pacific MusicFest Flavours Series. These full-length concerts offer a snapshot of the entire Festival, with performances by the renowned Lafayette String Quartet (August 7), France’s Trio Paul Klee (August 9), Taiwan’s Chai Found Music Workshop Ensemble (August 11), and Cuba’s Ernán López-Nussa Trio (August 12).

Also at Christ Church Cathedral, MusicFest Vancouver is pleased to present two special days: Accordion Day (August 6) and Discovery Day August (13). Accordion Day spotlights the venerable  squeezebox with performances by Canadians Steve Normandin and Alexander Sevastian, and the Dutch duo, Toeac (note: say “Two acc”).

Discovery Day (August 13) is devoted to exposing new talent. Opening the day is a performance at noon by sitarist Mohamed Assani and tabla player Cassius Khan. Pianist and member of New York’s Bang on a Can Allstars, Vicky Chow brings her laptop and extended techniques to the stage at 2pm, and closing the day at 4pm is the Discovery Jazz Quintet, featuring young players who have excelled at the jazz schools of Capilano University and the New England Conservatory.

Treehouse TV stars Bobs & LoLo headline Music in the Garden: BMO Family Day. This kid-friendly day also includes performances by Will Stroet and the Backyard Band, a drumming circle for children led by Groove Masters Percussion, and the Tom Lee Musical Instruments Petting Zoo – all happening on the Great Lawn of VanDusen Botanical Garden on August 14.

Full concert details and performers’ video and audio samples are on the festival’s website at musicfestvancouver.ca. Tickets for the Odlum Brown Gala Opening Concert featuring Sarah McLachlan with the VSO are on sale now through Ticketmaster. Tickets for other MusicFest concerts may also be purchased through Ticketmaster at 1.855.985.2787 or online at Ticketmaster.ca, with the following exceptions: The Early Music Concerts are available through earlymusic.bc.ca or by calling 604.732.1610. Admission to the Music in the Garden: BMO Family Day is included in the Garden’s regular admission price (vandusengarden.org). Jazz at the Cellar tickets available exclusively through Cory Weed’s Cellar Jazz Club, 604.738.1959.


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