The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) announces its 2018/19 concert series, featuring powerful tributes, vibrant cultural expressions, and brilliant musicality in the Chan Shun Concert Hall. Over the course of eight concerts, wonderfully diverse musicians from all corners of the globe will share unique sounds and songs that have garnered international acclaim, including a Mexican mariachi icon, an ethereal folk trio, and legendary a cappella innovators. Also just announced is the 2018/19 Beyond Words series, featuring two incredible performances that focus on the transformative power of storytelling.
As the Chan Centre enters its third decade, it is undeniable that there is a certain level of divisiveness on the global scale. […] At a time when the news is filled with international tension, it felt appropriate to place a particular emphasis on some of the most joyous music being created on the world stage. Whether it is the exquisite musicianship of Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato, the boisterous cheer of Goran Bregovic’s Balkan wedding band, or Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s uplifting songs and message of love, peace and harmony, our 2018/19 season is about offering audiences a different reality, of celebrating the distinct power of music to lift spirits and help unite us. —Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director and curator of the Chan Centre Presents series
The 2018/19 Chan Centre Presents series includes:
AIDA CUEVAS: TOTALMENTE JUAN GABRIEL
Saturday September 22, 2018 at 8pm
Hailed as ‘The Queen of Mariachi’, Mexico’s Aida Cuevas is known for her exuberant persona, charismatic stage presence, and stunning vocal range. Joined by her illustrious band, Mariachi Juvenil Tecatitán, this engagement will see the ensemble pay homage to late singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel—Cuevas’ personal mentor and Mexico’s highest-selling recording artist of all time.
I’M WITH HER
Sunday September 30, 2018 at 7pm
A folk trio uniting the extraordinary individual talents of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan, I’m With Her have had their unique sound praised as “both ethereal and purposeful, a combination of searing musicianship and tender vocals” (The Guardian). Separately, these artists have founded renowned bands such as Nickel Creek and Crooked Still, and received a GRAMMY for Best Folk Album. Together, the female string musicians and vocalists blaze a new trail in American roots music.
GORAN BREGOVIC AND HIS WEDDING AND FUNERAL BAND
Sunday October 21, 2018 at 7pm
Drawing on the traditional Balkan rhythms and soulful Romani folk tunes of his homeland, a concert with composer and bandleader Goran Bregovic is an experience in pure, unrestrained energy. Described as “a musical spectacle unlike anything else on North American stages” (San Francisco Chronicle), the high-octane artist, who has collaborated with such greats as Iggy Pop, Cesaria Evora, and Asaf Avidan, will make his Chan Centre debut with a program of all-time favourites and new songs from his latest album, Three Letters from Sarajevo.
BOBBY MCFERRIN: CIRCLESONGS
Sunday February 17, 2019 at 7pm
Adapting and adopting musical vocabularies with joy and spontaneity, McFerrin is hailed with redefining the very nature of singing. His wholly unique career is highlighted by collaborations with artists from Yo-Yo Ma to Chick Corea, and the accumulation of 10 GRAMMY Awards. Joined by members of his a cappella group Voicestra and 12 local singers, the freewheeling Circlesongs highlights choral pieces based on irresistible grooves, spontaneously composed each night.
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO WITH HABIB KOITÉ AND BASSEKOU KOUYATE
Saturday March 2, 2019 at 8pm
Five-time GRAMMY winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo were designated by Nelson Mandela as “South African’s cultural Ambassadors to the world”, and have been delivering a message of peace, love, and harmony through music for more than three decades. Before the nine-member a cappella ensemble hits the stage, a special first act will bring together Malian music luminaries: Ngoni lutist Bassekou Kouyate and guitarist Habib Koité.
CRISTINA PATO QUARTET
Thursday April 11, 2019 at 8pm
“A virtuosic burst of energy” (New York Times), this master of the gaita (Galician bagpipes) shatters every concept of the instrument with a genre-defying fusion of Latin, jazz, pop, and contemporary music. Originating from Spain’s Celtic Galician region, the fast-paced innovator is a member of the Silkroad Ensemble founded by Yo-Yo Ma, as well as a skilled pianist, musicologist, and passionate educator. For her Chan Centre debut she will be accompanied on stage by her spirited quartet featuring accordion, bass, and drums.
Single tickets for the 2018/19 Chan Centre Presents and Beyond Words series go on sale at
12 noon on Tuesday June 12, 2018. Subscription packages will be on sale as of 12 noon on Tuesday April 24, 2018 and include complete eight-concert subscriptions as well as three-concert and six-concert packages. More information can be found here.