Chan Centre Announces 2019/20 Concert Series Featuring Music Legends and Powerful Emerging Talents

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) announces its 2019/20 series, featuring empowering narratives from marginalized communities, vibrant exaltations of multiculturalism, and breathtaking musicality in the Chan Shun Concert Hall. Over the course of nine concerts, extraordinary talent from around the world will converge in Vancouver, including an icon of Americana, the height of jazz royalty, and a compelling Norwegian songstress. Also just announced is the 2019/20 Beyond Words series, featuring four heartrending interdisciplinary performances that affirm the importance of diversity in storytelling.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my role as curator for the Chan Centre Presents series is the sheer delight of discovery.” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director and curator of the Chan Centre Presents series. “This season brings Vancouver debuts, fresh new sounds, and time-honoured art forms from around the world to the Chan Centre stage. Encounter the ethereal harmonies of an extraordinary Sámi artist from Norway, the impactful gospel-inspired songs of the civil rights movement, and the romance of Cuba’s golden era revived for a new generation. Each of the brilliant artists we welcome will be taking us on an exploratory journey — so bring your sense of adventure!”

The 2019/20 Chan Centre Presents series includes:

Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 8pm
A true icon of roots music, Rosanne Cash’s first album in five years, She Remembers Everything, showcases “uniquely textured stories from a feminine perspective” (Rolling Stone). This lush, soulful collection of songs offers a poetic reckoning with feminist rage, trauma, love, and mortality. The four-time Grammy Award-winner and best-selling memoirist presents an unflinching perspective in her most personal musical project yet.

Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 8pm
Bringing to life the rich sound of her native Sámi languagevocalist Mari Boine has cultivated a following with her trailblazing sound that harmonizes shamanic beats with bold expressionism. Influenced by her cultural roots but drawn to the genres of jazz, folk, rock, and world music, she has become an outspoken political activist for the Sámi, while weaving together threads of traditional Norwegian folksong with the sounds of the natural world.

Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 8pm
Eastern European quartet DakhaBrakha presents their brand of “ethno chaos,” melding together Ukrainian folk music with Indian, Arabic, African, Russian, and Australian instrumentation. Their concerts have been called experiences in “utter brilliance” (NPR), marked by an avant-garde approach to music that flies from West African rhythms to 20th century minimalism in the style of Philip Glass. This high-octane group is unexpected, fun, and a mesmerizing feast for the senses.

Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 8pm
Paying tribute to their former bandleader, the Flamenco Legends project celebrates the late guitarist Paco de Lucía with an evening of incredible music and dance that delves into his rich legacy. Produced by composer and industry legend Javier Limón, the Paco de Lucía Project features the sextet that helped the artist himself re-define flamenco with jazz and world music influences. The group features de Lucía’s nephew Antonio Sánchez (guitar), Israel Suárez “Piraña” (percussion), Alain Pérez (bass), Antonio Serrano (harmonica), David de Jacoba (vocals), and Antonio Fernández “Farruco” (dance).

Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8pm
Old Havana comes to life with this 13-piece ensemble that brings together Cuba’s top musicians and the best of New York’s Latin music scene. The golden era of mambo is revived in this deeply soulful collaboration that includes inimitable vocalist José “Pepito” Gómez, channelling the big bands of the 1940s and 1950s. The Yoruba word “Akokán” means “from the heart” which is fitting considering the group’s debut album was released by Daptone Records, the independent label known for introducing the raw emotion of Charles Bradley, Antibalas, and Sharon Jones to the world.

Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 8pm
Pianist, conductor, composer, arranger, and arts educator Damien Sneed commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with a vibrant, multi-genre performance. The Sphinx Medal of Excellence-winner weaves a lush tapestry of music and culture with recordings from Dr. King’s speeches and critically acclaimed guests from gospel, classical, jazz, spirituals, and Broadway. Often regarded as an “ambassador for classical and gospel music” (Wynton Marsalis), Sneed presents a moving evening of positivity and hope.

Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 7pm
Five-time Grammy Award-winner and “one of our generation’s definitive jazz masters” (Huffington Post), Dianne Reeves explores the sounds of South America in her brand new project Beleza Brazil (“the beauty of Brazil”). Accompanied by the talented Romero Lubambo (guitar), John Beasley (piano), Itaiguara Brandão (bass), and Rafael Barata (drums), Reeves lends her timeless voice and commanding presence to a verdant program that explores both Brazilian popular song and the traditional influences of the country’s music legends.

Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 8pm
Inspired by Pan-American influences while drawing on their own Mexican heritage, LA-based band La Santa Cecilia embodies the bicultural nature of life in the US. Named after Saint Cecilia — the patron saint of musicians — the fun-loving quartet got their start on LA’s vibrant Olvera Street and draws on narratives of love, loss, and everyday struggles while weaving together influences from cumbia, bossa nova, rumba, bolero, tango, R&B, jazz, and more.

Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8pm
Montreal-based Guinean Yamoussa Bangoura imports the athleticism, agility, and animation of African music and arts by fusing them with European circus traditions in his stunning multidisciplinary performances. With his 12-member troupe, the artistic director imbues a sense of youthful joy in his productions that highlight multiculturalism. Afrique en Cirque combines vibrant acrobatics, costuming, lighting, design, and movement with the electric polyrhythms of West Africa, featuring exceptional musicians on kora, saxophone, bass, and percussion.

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