Musicians in the Evening of Intercultural Music Concert (Sat. Oct. 14, 7:00 PM)

Born in Baoji Shaanxi,Republic of China, Qiu Xia He has had two distinguished careers in music:  one as a performer and teacher in China, and a subsequent one as a performer, composer, producer and teacher in Canada.                                                                                                                                                                    The daughter of an arts-loving official and his wife, who moved to rural China as part of the Cultural Revolution, Qiu Xia was selected at age 5 to attend a special arts-oriented elementary school in her home town. At 13, she began her professional performing career as a member of the Baoji Song, Dance and Music Troupe, and at 19, she moved to Xian to attend the Xian Academy of Music — where she stayed on as a teacher after graduation                                                                                                                         In 1989, Qiu Xia was chosen to perform with the Shaanxi Music and Dance Troupe, a special ensemble formed to tour Canada. While performing at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, she decided not to return home. It was there, surrounded by musicians from the West Coast and around the world, that the seeds of her extraordinary new musical vision were planted.                                                                               In the years since her arrival in Canada, Qiu Xia has launched a series of cross-cultural musical projects that have helped smash stereotypes about Chinese music and launch a vibrant multicultural music scene in Vancouver that thrives to this day. Starting in 1991, she toured the world with her own Juno-nominated ensemble, Silk Road Music, and with the Juno-nominated multicultural quartet Asza, which she co-founded with multi-instrumentalist Randy Raine Reusch, Uruguayan percussionist Pepe Danza and Brazilian guitarist Celso Machado — who was later replaced by French-Canadian flamenco guitarist and oud player Andre Thibault. In the early 90s, Qiu Xia also began performing school concerts with the Canadian folk group Ptarmigan and collaborating with Vancouver-born classical composer Mark Armanini, who was beginning to experiment with Asian instruments. In 1996, she traveled to the Czech Republic to perform with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra for the recording of Armanini’s CD, The Spirit Emerges. That year, she also performed Armanini’s compositions with the Glacier Symphony Orchestra in Montana. In addition, Qiu Xia founded the Enchanted Evenings concert series at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver; she was an artist in residence with the Vancouver School Board; and she served as a musician in the “Learning through the Arts” program of the Royal Conservatory of Canada. Her compositions include the soundtracks for the Leo-nominated films Tears of the Lotus and Darcy Island and for the movie In Our Own Hand.                                               As a member of Silk Road Music, Qiu Xia has earned a Juno nomination, two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations and two West Coast Music Awards. She has toured Canada, the US, and France, performing at major festivals such as Harbourfront, The Vancouver Folk Music Festival and the Ottawa Folk Festival. She has also performed with the Vancouver and Victoria Symphonies and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She was even featured on a BBC live concert broadcast in the U.K. As a member of Asza, Qiu Xia toured South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and North America. The band was the subject of two nationally-televised documentaries in Canada and a national prime-time TV Special in Vietnam. When Asza disbanded in 2001, Qiu Xia joined several former members in founding JouTou, another multicultural music ensemble, this time with a focus on French music from around the world. Ironically, it was with JouTou that Qiu Xia finally returned to China to perform for the first time as a Canadian — at the 50th Anniversary of the Guangzhou Business Association in 2006.                                        In addition to working with Silk Road, Asza and JouTou, Qiu Xia has performed in duo with Celso Machado, she was a member of the multicultural Latin ensemble Southern Cross and she was active in the Vancouver World Music Collective, who were the subject of a CBC Television Documentary.                   She lives in Vancouver and is married to her Silk Road and Jou Tou band-mate Andre Thibault.

André Thibault (pr. Tee-bo) is a musician’s musician, an artist who has always put mastery of his instruments and devotion to their cultural heritage ahead of pop music success. For over thirty years, he has been a stalwart member of the Canadian global music scene — as a solo artist specializing in French, Spanish and North African music; as a collaborator with other leading world musicians; as the founder and leader of the global French music ensemble JouTou; and as a member of two Juno Award-nominated world music projects: Asza and Silk Road Music

Born in a working class neighbourhood of Montreal to a family with Acadian roots and musical ancestors, André initially did what all musical youth of his generation did: he listened to the Beatles and played in rock n’ roll bands. However, it was another performance on the Ed Sullivan Show that would ultimately prove more influential to him than that of the Fab Four:  the performance of the flamenco ensembles. Transfixed by their complex rhythms, Andre, who was until that point, a self-taught guitarist, began taking lessons from local players and dedicating himself to mastering the form — a commitment that continues to this day. Along the way, he found himself inspired by the Arabic components of flamenco, which, in turn, prompted him to take up the oud, world percussion, and an array of wind instruments.

After performing with a flamenco ensemble in Montreal in the late 70s, Andre relocated to Vancouver, where he began performing with Oscar Nieto’s Mosaico Flamenco and Flamenco Heresy and doing regular gigs in ethnic restaurants. By the early 90s, he was also collaborating with the late Egyptian percussionist Adel Awad. In the mid 90s, Andre began a solo recording career that would result in three Spanish-Arabic fusion collections — 1995’s Sheik It, 1996’s Cookin’ at Constanza’s, and 1998’s West Coast Music Award-nominated Samar — and a collection of Christmas songs performed on flamenco guitar, 1999’s Noel Tropical.

His entry into the elite of the Canadian world music scene came in 1996 when he replaced Celso Machado as the guitarist in the multicultural music group Asza. With Asza, he earned a Juno nomination for Best Global Album; toured South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Vietnam and North America; and was the subject of two nationally-televised documentaries in Canada and a national prime-time TV special in Vietnam. As his profile grew, Andre also played in workshops with Tommy Emanuel, D’Gary, David Lindlay, Ralph Towner, and Thierry Robin, and opened for Rachid Taha in Quebec — a show that became the subject of a French TV5 documentary.

Around the time he began playing with Asza, André also began a second significant collaboration:  Cordes en Folie, a French-Spanish-Arabic music ensemble co-fronted with the late French hurdy gurdy master Pierre Imbert (Lo Jai, Loreena McKennitt, Ad Vielle Que Pourra).  Along with percussionist Steve Lazin — until then known for his work with pop groups like Bob’s Your Uncle — the band toured Canada and earned a West Coast Music Award nomination for its debut album O Expresso.

Following Imbert’s untimely death in 2001 and the demise of Asza around the same time, André took the lead in founding a new group, JouTou, to carry on both Asza’s vision of global fusion and Cordes en Folie’s exploration of French music. With JouTou, Andre has crisscrossed Canada, performing at the Ottawa Folk Festival, Mission Folk Music Festival, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Association Francophone de Winnipeg and Festival du Bois, among other places. In 2006, he took the band to China to peform at the 50th Anniversary of the Guangzhou Business Association.

In addition to performing with JouTou, André has since 2005 been a regular member of the Juno-nominated Chinese-Western music ensemble Silk Road Music, founded by Qiu Xia He, his Asza and JouTou bandmate to whom he is now married. While JouTou and Silk Road began as independent bands of musicians, the duo of André and Qiu Xia now resides at the core of both —each helping realize the other’s musical vision. Qiu Xia provides the global twist to the French-themed JouTou while Andre provides much of the Western influence in the current incarnation of Silk Road.

When not touring with either band, André can still sometimes be found working in specialty music stores in Vancouver, sharing his intimate knowledge of his instruments with other enthusiasts. Most recently, he obtained a grant from the British Columbia Arts Council to help him achieve a lifelong dream of studying flamenco music in Spain.

Born in Tehran in 1975, Ali Razmi is a gifted Tar and Setar player and composer who completed his M.A degree in music from The Art University of Tehran in 2006. He has had concerts in Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Turkey, Canada and the US. In 2002 he played in India as a member of Rumi group in a festival called : Jahane Khusru in New Delhi. There he got a chance to play with the greatest Pakistani Sufi singer : Abeeda Parvin. That was the starting point of his career in Sufi music. Since then he has worked with great Sufi musicians in Iran and after his arrival to Canada in 2007, with the Rumi society of Vancouver, also specifically with a well known author and Sufi master: Kabir Helminski from USA. He has played in several video clips and movies also he composed his first movie music for a spiritual film called: Fly in 2003 for Iranian TV station. He has composed several Sufi songs on Rumi poetry who are performed in different Sufi events in Canada and USA, such as Sema 2009 ,2010, 2011 and 2012 at the round house and UBC Asian studies. Also in retreats in Santa Barbara and Vancouver with Kabir Helminski. His music is used in a Sufi documentary by Amar Shebib in 2012. He had a collaboration with the Musica Intima choir who is known as the best local choir in Vancouver in 2011 and 2012 with great Canadian composer , Ed Henderson. He has been a roster member of VICO, Vancouver intercultural orchestra since 2008.he has done several workshops and some compositions with Vico to introduce persian music to western and Eastern musicians.

Hamin Honari was born in Zahedan, Iran. He grew up in Canada and has been immersed in music from an early age . He has specialized on the Iranian hand drum, Tombak.  He began his studies of this instrument at the age of thirteen with Ramin Bahrami and later continued his studies with Master Pejman Haddadi.  
Hamin has focused on adapting his drumming style and technique to accommodate many different genres of music. He has toured as a member of the Dastan Ensemble, one of Iran's most well-known Persian classical music ensembles and has performed with many amazing musicians and singers such as Salar Aghili, Parissa, Hossein Omoumi, Hossein Behroozinia, Saeed Farajpouri, Itamar Erez, and Davod Azad.  Hamin lives in Vancouver, BC where he is actively teaching and performing Persian and middle-eastern hand drums.

Canadian clarinetist Liam Hockley is a versatile musician, equally at home in the standard classical canon as in new music, jazz, and improvisation. He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in clarinet performance at the University of British Columbia. Hockley’s dissertation, “Performing Complexity,” examines performer agency in works that feature musical/physical aporia, hyper-extended instrumental techniques, and complex notational systems.

In addition to the classical canon, Hockley’s repertoire encompasses major works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and his advocacy for new repertoire leads him to regular collaborations with Canadian and international composers on innovative new works. Recent performances include premieres of new works by Ray Evanoff, Thanos Chrysakis, and Joan Arnau Pàmies, as well as the North American premieres of works by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Jürg Frey. Hockley has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards including an interpretation prize at the 16th Stockhausen-Konzert und -Kurse Kürten in 2015.

Hockley maintains an active schedule of performances as a freelancer with diverse chamber ensembles, and has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Island Symphony, Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble, and Vancouver New Music. He has appeared as a soloist with the the University of British Columbia Symphonic Wind Ensemble (2016), the Victoria Symphony (2011), and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra (2009)

Hockley holds a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, and received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria, graduating with distinction in clarinet performance. His teachers have included François Houle, Cris Inguanti, Patricia Kostek, Earl Thomas, and Christian Gossart

Ron Hadley: Ron is originally from the Boston area, where he took private lessons at the New England Conservatory with jazz piano legend Jaki Byard while studying theory and jazz improvisation at Berklee College of Music. He has performed throughout North America and Japan, and his lifelong professional involvement in the latter country (In addition to ongoing concert and workshop tours in Japan, Ron also works as a translator and interpreter.) led to his relocation to the Pacific Northwest.

Born and raised in a musical family from Vancouver, B.C., bassist Rick Kilburn grew up listening to and playing jazz. He attended the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, during 1973/74, and from there moved to New York, where he worked as a bassist with such diverse players as Dave Brubeck, Mose Allison, Airto, Flora Purim and Chet Baker. 

Rick has enjoyed a forty-five year career, working with some of the best. During this period he has played at The Village Vanguard, The Village Gate, Bradley’s, Bottom Line, the Rainbow Room, the Blue Note in New York City, The Top of the Senator and Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. Concert venues that Rick has performed at include: Avery Fisher Hall (Lincoln Center), Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall, the Orpheum, and Queen Elizabeth Theater in Vancouver.
   As well, guest appearances, accompanying various jazz groups performing in concert with Symphony Orchestras include: The Dave Brubeck Quartet with the Cincinnati Symphony, New Orleans Symphony, Ohio State Symphony, Joffrey Ballet with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, Southern Cross Quintet with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

 

Buff Allen (drummer, percussionist, teacher) in Vancouver, B.C.. He has had 43 years of professional playing experience in jazz, pop, theatre, recording studios, concert tours, television, and movies.

He worked in Toronto for eight years in the late '70s and early '80s with artists including Ed Bickert, Moe Koffman, Rob McConnell, Sam Noto, Eugene Amaro, Hagood Hardy, Kathryn Moses, Peter Appleyard, Phil Nimmons, Don Thompson, and visiting artists including Hank Jones, Teddy Wilson, Lenny Breau, Johnny Guenieri, Red Norvo, Johnny Hartman, and Maxine Sullivan.

Since returning to Vancouver in 1984, he has played with leading artists including Diana Krall, Paul Horn, Pat Coleman, Oliver Gannon, Fraser MacPherson, Ron Johnston, Tommy Banks, and Hugh Fraser, as well as visiting artists Benny Wallace, Joanne Brackeen, Kenny Wheeler, Chuck Israels, Barry Harris, Mose Allison, Rob McConnell, and Guido Basso.

Since 1981, Buff Allen has become a familiar figure on jazz festival bandstands around the world from Vancouver, Edmonton, and Montreal in Canada to Dublin, Brussels, Glasgow, and The Netherlands.