The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) is proud to announce the 2018 edition of its annual Global Soundscapes Festival, taking place June 16-27. The focus this year: the musical instruments and traditions of the Middle East. The VICO will host special guest soloists from Azerbaijian, Iran and Montreal, alongside a who’s who of musicians from Vancouver’s vibrant world music scene, for a series of concerts, workshops and other events.

This year’s Global Soundscapes Festival promises a rich smorgasbord of sounds and rhythms, and many unique opportunities for connection across borders, continents, cultures and centuries. Tickets are on sale now, online at Brown Paper Tickets OR in person at Sikora’s Classical Records, Highlife RecordsGandharva Loka (The World Music Store on Granville Island), Afra Bakery (North Vancouver), Pars International Foods (North Vancouver). Pending availability, tickets may also be purchased at the venue 1.5 hours before each concert (cash only in this case). Flex passes are also available here. Don’t miss out!

Join us for some music without borders!


MUSIC OF THE WHOLE WORLD: Persian Connections
Introducing traditional Persian instruments and musical forms, and their potential for creative intercultural combinations. With Saina Khaledi (santur), Amir Eslami (ney), Hamin Honari (tombak/daf), and Farshid Samandari (composer).

Thursday May 31, 2018 at 7 pm *FREE!*
West Vancouver Memorial Library
1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

Tuesday June 12, 2018 at 7 pm *FREE!*
Vancouver Public Library
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level
350 West Georgia St., Vancouver


June 16, 2018 at 8 pm
Cellissimo Bellissimo!
The Annex (823 Seymour St., 2nd Level)

Featuring Amir Eslami (ney), Behzad Mirloo (kamanche), Hamin Honari (tombak), Bo Peng (cello) and Cellissimo; world premieres of new pieces by Mark Armanini and Amir Eslami, alongside traditional tunes – all on Middle Eastern instruments interwoven with the lush, passionate sounds of a cello choir. Tickets $45 / $30 / $18 | Festival Flex Pass



FESTIVAL EVENTS – all at Waterfront Theatre (Granville Island) unless otherwise noted

**Added Date!** June 18, 2018 at 8 pm

By popular demand, master musicians Kayhan Kalhor and Kiya Tabassian will perform an additional concert on Monday June 18, 2018 at 8 pm, prior to headlining the Festival Opening Concert the following night. This is an unprecedented opportunity to witness this collaboration of two world-renowned soloists in an intimate, acoustic atmosphere. Tickets $45 / $30 / $18

June 19, 2018 at 8 pm **SOLD OUT**
Featuring Kiya Tabassian & Kayhan Kalhor
With special guests: Spakwus Slolem (Eagle Song Dancers)

A journey into the heart of Persian music with master musician Kayhan Kalhor on setar and kamanche, and setar virtuoso Kiya Tabassian. An unprecedented opportunity to witness this collaboration of two world-renowned soloists in an intimate, acoustic atmosphere. **This concert is SOLD OUT.**


June 20, 2018 at 8 pm

Virtuoso chamber music with Vancouver’s most adventurous string quartet, visiting artist Saeed Mirzazadeh (tar), and soloist Saina Khaledi (santur). Featuring Quartet by Zoltan Kodaly and Canadian intercultural works by Jennifer Butler and others. Tickets $45 / $30 / $18 | Festival Flex Pass


June 21, 2018 at 8 pm
MAQAM TRADITION featuring Elshan Mansurov & Elcin Naghiyev

Visiting artists Elshan Mansurov (kamanche) and Elcin Naghiyev (tar) from Azerbaijian perform a fiery programme of traditional music, with Saeed Mirzazadeh (tar), Taher Kokehi (daf/dayereh), and vocalist Jamal KurdistaniTickets $45 / $30 / $18 | Festival Flex Pass


June 22, 2018 at 8 pm
FESTIVAL COMPOSITIONS & MORE with the Araxes Ensemble

The VICO’s Araxes Ensemble (Paolo Bortolussi, flute; Eric Wilson, cello; Itamar Erez, guitar; Saina Khaledi, santur; Brian Nesselroad, percussion) gives its debut performance with visiting artist Saeed Mirzazadeh (tar) and conductor Janna Sailor. Featuring the world premieres of new works from the Festival’s 2018 Call for Compositions, as well as pieces by Murat Çulak (Turkey), Mehran Rouhani (Iran), and Saeed Mirzazadeh (Iran/Italy). Tickets $45 / $30 / $18 | Festival Flex Pass


June 23, 2018 at 8 pm
FESTIVAL GALA CONCERT: Notes From the Araxes Basin
Featuring the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra
With conductor John Zoltek, Elshan Mansurov & Elcin Naghiyev

The 18-piece VICO takes the stage with guest conductor John Zoltek and visiting artists Elshan Mansurov (kamanche), Elcin Naghiyev (tar) and Saeed Mirzazadeh (tar), alongside featured Vancouverites Sadaf Amini (santur), Ali Razmi (tar) and Ibrahim Saker (oud). The programme includes world premieres of new works by Farshid Samandari and Mark Armanini, as well as music by Elisha Denburg, Henry Cowell and Farangis Nurulla-Khoja. Tickets $45 / $30 / $18 | Festival Flex Pass


June 24, 2018 at 8 pm

A co-production with Vashaan Musical Society

Gathering together some of the finest classically trained Persian musicians in Canada, BC’s own Vashaan Ensemble draws upon Iran’s rich musical past to perform joyful and memorable Persian music – instrumental and vocal, traditional and contemporary. Featuring the Honari family, Saina Khaledi, Ali Razmy and Ali Sajjadi. Tickets $45 / $30 / $18 | Festival Flex Pass


June 26, 2018 at 8 pm *Note different venue*
The Annex on Blenheim (5590 Blenheim St., Vancouver)
Feat. Elshan Mansurov, Elcin Naghiyev, Saeed Mirzazadeh
A chance to hear the Festival’s international guests perform with VICO musicians, up close and personal in a beautiful home setting, and support the ongoing work of the VICO while doing so! Featuring Elshan Mansurov (kamanche) and Elcin Naghiyev (tar) with Behzad Mirloo (kamanche) and Boris Sichon (percussion). Admission includes light refreshments catered by Aleph Eatery; pre-show reception at 7:30 pm. Tickets $75 (with tax receipt for $50)


Aleph Eatery is Vancouver’s latest addition to Middle Eastern dining. The cafe-inspired space melds classic Middle Eastern flavours with West Coast ingredients to create a borderless cuisine experience, set where the east meets west at Powell & Victoria Drive.

June 27, 2018 at 7:30 pm *Note different venue & start time*
Surrey Arts Centre Studio Theatre (13750 88th Ave., Surrey)
MAQAM TRADITION featuring Elshan Mansurov & Elcin Naghiyev
Tickets on sale now

Visiting artists Elshan Mansurov (kamanche) and Elcin Naghiyev (tar) from Azerbaijian perform a fiery programme of traditional music, with Mohammad Seyyedi (tombak), Taher Kokei (daf/dayereh), and vocalist Jamal Kurdistani. Tickets $25 / $15




The VICO gratefully acknowledges the following funders and partners, whose generous support has made the Global Soundscapes Festival possible:


Community partners:
Vancouver Public Library
West Vancouver Memorial Library
Sikora Records
High Life Records
Gandharva Loka -The World Music Store
Pars International Foods
Afra Bakery
Aleph Eatery