Now in its 11th season, MusicFest Vancouver offers more than 40 concerts and educational events this summer, including hundreds of talented performers from around the world. It’s hard to pick out just a few from the amazing range on offer, but here’s 10 to get you started.

[Sarah McLachlan photo credit: Raphael Mazzucco]

Odlum Brown Gala Opening Concert: Sarah McLachlan with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Friday, August 5, 8 pm
The Orpheum Theatre, Smithe at Seymour

Her exquisitely soaring voice and emotional songwriting have gained her millions of fans worldwide. She’s sold over 40 million albums, won multiple Grammy and Juno awards. Sarah McLachlan and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (led by Leslie Dala) will kick off MusicFest Vancouver 2011.

Accordion Day
Saturday, August 6, at 12, 2, and 4 pm
Christ Church Cathedral, Burrard at Georgia

Three different acts showcasing accordions in all their glory!
At noon, Steve Normandin will start the day with his show, marrying the evocative chansons of France and Quebec with touches of jazz and swing.

Alexander Sevastian, originally from Belarus, has won four international classical accordion competitions. His 2 pm show will include a range of styles from Scarlatti sonatas to virtuosic Russian showpieces.

Toeac features two Dutch women who will perform at 4 pm with a program ranging from Bach to Piazzolla, plus new works with an exciting theatrical edge.

The Night Crawlers & Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club All Stars (Jazz at the Rothstein Series)
Sunday, August 7, 8 pm
Norman Rothstein Theatre, 950 W. 41st

The opening concert of the Jazz at the Rothstein Series will showcase the keyboard magic of Chris Gestrin alongside a 13-member big band drawn from the best of Vancouver’s jazz scene, paying homage to the Hammond B3 organ, an instrument that has become a standard not only in jazz, but also in rock, gospel, and church music.

Benjamin Beilman, violin with Arthur Rowe, piano (Morning Chamber Music Concerts)
Monday, August 8, 10:30 am
Christ Church Cathedral, Burrard at Georgia

Beilman is an emerging superstar; renowned pianist Arthur Rowe is a critically acclaimed recitalist and soloist with both orchestras and chamber groups. He has garnered praise by The London Times for his “poetry of expression.” Beilman and Rowe will team up to present Mozart, Prokofiev, and Saint-Saëns pieces in a program of transcendent beauty.

regina carter-everse
[Regina Carter]

Regina Carter and the Reverse Thread Project (BMO Main Stage Concerts)
Monday, August 8, 8 pm
The Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville Street

In her relatively short career, multi-talented jazz violinist Regina Carter has spanned fusion, avant-garde and mainstream jazz, now returning to her classical upbringing to perform improvisational versions of Ravel and Debussy on a world-famous violin.

Mariangela Vacatello
[Mariangela Vacatello photo credit: Stephen Eastwood]

Liszt Anniversary Piano Recital: Mariangela Vacatello (Industrial Pacific Alliance Pre-Dinner Concerts)
Wednesday, August 10, 5:30 pm
Christ Church Cathedral, Burrard at Georgia

A Liszt specialist and internationally acclaimed concert pianist, Mariangela Vacatello has chosen a spectacular selection of Liszt’s works for her Canadian debut, including his monumental Sonata in B minor, in honour of the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birthday.

Henry Purcell’s King Arthur (BMO Main Stage Concerts)
Wednesday, August 10, 8 pm
Chan Centre, UBC

Early Music Vancouver’s production of Henry Purcell’s rarely heard King Arthur features a veritable who’s who of Early Music specialists, including Suzie LeBlanc, Ellen Hargis, Shannon Mercer, Catherine Webster, Matthew White, Colin Balzer, Aaron Sheehan, Tyler Duncan, Sumner Thompson and Nathaniel Watson. Add a chorus and an orchestra that includes strings, winds, lutes, trumpets, and timpani, all under the direction of Alexander Weimann, and you’ll witness the largest ensemble of singers and instrumentalists ever assembled for an Early Music Vancouver production.

Silk and Bamboo: A Musical Journey to Taiwan (Industrial Alliance Pacific MusicFest Flavours Series)
Thursday, August 11, 8 pm
Christ Church Cathedral, Burrard at Georgia

Sizhu music (literally translating to Silk and Bamboo) originated at the end of the 19th century in the teahouses of Southern Chinese provinces, where musicians sat around a table, playing music and drinking tea. The instruments of Chai Found Music Workshop are the six most representative of this tradition: Erhu (two-stringed Chinese violin), Di (Chinese bamboo flutes), Guzheng (Chinese zither), Pipa (Chinese lute), Yangqin (Chinese dulcimer) and Ruan (Chinese banjo or guitar).

Touché Vocal Jazz (Industrial Alliance Pacific Pre-Dinner Concerts)
Friday, August 12, 5:30 pm
Christ Church Cathedral, Burrard at Georgia

Hot and sweet, cool and lyrical, smoky and percussive, Touché embraces the best of jazz styles and arrangements. Under the direction of conductor/arranger Jesper Holm, Touché has adapted the traditional Count Basie sound into an energetic a cappella big band style. This show features arrangements inspired by the repertoires of The Singers Unlimited, The Real Group, and other major artists from the world of vocal jazz, alongside refined arrangements of jazz standards and Danish evergreens by Jesper Holm.

Ernán López-Nussa Trio: Sacrilegio (Industrial Alliance Pacific MusicFest Flavours Series)
Friday, August 12, 8 pm
Christ Church Cathedral, Burrard at Georgia

Ernán López-Nussa’s musical roots dig deep into Cuban, Afro-Cuban and classical traditions, with poetic instincts and technical chops fused into a dynamic blend. In this program, the trio will interpret classics by Bach, Beethoven, and famed Cuban composer Cervantes.

1 Comment

  • Comment by Jay B. — June 20, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    As a big jazz fan I really appreciate this list, I was wondering what awaits me at the festival.

    I am a real estate agent, but since I have my own page and I can do whatever I want with it, I have created an article about excellent jazz restaurants and places, maybe some of Vancouver residents will make use of it.

    If you want, check it out here: Vancouver Jazz


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.