The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) is proud to announce the 2018 edition of its annual Global Soundscapes Festival, taking place June 19-24 at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island (with ancillary events in North & West Vancouver, and Surrey). 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 smorgasboard of sounds and rhythms, and many unique opportunities for connection across borders, continents, cultures and centuries. Tickets are on sale now – don’t miss out!

Join us for some music without borders!


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

Featuring Amir Eslami (ney), Sina Ettehad (kamanche), 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 EVENTS – all at Waterfront Theatre unless otherwise noted

June 19, 2018 at 8 pm
FESTIVAL OPENING CONCERT: 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. Tickets $45 / $30 / $18


June 20, 2018 at 8 pm

Virtuoso chamber music with Vancouver’s most adventurous string quartet, visiting artist Saeed Mirzazadeh (tar), and soloists Saina Khaledi (santur), and Navid Goldrick (oud). Featuring Quartet by Zoltan Kodaly and Canadian intercultural works by Rodney Sharman and Jennifer Butler. Tickets $45 / $30 / $18


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

Visiting artists Elcin Mansurov (kamanche) and Elshan Nagijev (tar) from Azerbaijian perform a fiery programme of traditional music, accompanied by Hamin Honari (tombak) and Saina Khaledi (santur), with vocalist Jamal KurdistaniTickets $45 / $30 / $18


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

The VICO’s Araxes Ensemble (Mark McGregor, flute; Marina Hasselberg, Cello; Itamar Erez, guitar; Navid Goldrick, oud; Saina Khaledi, santur; Brian Nesselroad, percussion) gives its debut performance with visiting artist Saeed Mirzazadeh (tar). 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


June 23, 2018 at 8 pm
FESTIVAL GALA CONCERT: Notes From the Araxes Basin
Featuring the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra
With conductor John Zoltek & Festival guest soloists

The 18-piece VICO takes the stage with guest conductor John Zoltek and visiting artists Elcin Mansurov (kamanche), Elshan Nagijev (tar) and Saeed Mirzazadeh (tar), alongside featured Vancouverites Saina Khaledi (santur) and Ali Rasmy (tar). 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


June 24, 2018 at 8 pm

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 and Ali Rasmy. Tickets $45 / $30 / $18


June 28, 2018 at 7:30 pm *Note different venue & start time*
Surrey Arts Centre Studio Theatre
MAQAM TRADITION featuring Elshan Mansurov & Elcin Nagijev
Tickets on sale soon

Visiting artists Elcin Mansurov (kamanche) and Elshan Nagijev (tar) from Azerbaijian perform a fiery programme of traditional music, accompanied by Hamin Honari (tombak) and Saina Khaledi (santur), with vocalist Jamal Kurdistani.




More info to come…





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

The Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage
Canada Council for the Arts
BC Arts Council
BC Community Gaming
City of Vancouver
City of Surrey
Hamber Foundation