Celebrating intercultural percussion music

June 6-11, 2017
Vancouver, BC


Poster design: John Endo Greenaway

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) is proud to announce the 2017 edition of its annual Global Soundscapes Festival, taking place from June 6-11 at The Revue Stage on Granville Island. The focus this year: the beat of the drum. The VICO will host special guest soloists from China, Iran and Montreal, alongside a who’s who of BC-based percussionists and other musicians from Vancouver’s vibrant world music scene, for six days of concerts, workshops and other events.

The 2017 edition (subtitled “Hands On”) will focus on percussion instruments from China, Indonesia, Iran and India. The beat of a drum is primal and in many ways universal, but the range of distinctive instruments and techniques that have developed all over the world offer fertile ground for innovation and cross-cultural learning in the VICO context. This year’s Global Soundscapes Festival: Hands On! promises a rich smorgasboard of sounds and rhythms, and many unique opportunities for connection across borders, continents, cultures and centuries. See details below, and/or download the festival brochure in PDF form (design by John Endo Greenaway). Tickets are on sale now, online via Brown Paper Tickets or in person at Neptoon Records (3561 Main St.), Sikora Records (432 W. Hastings) or Highlife Records (1317 Commercial Drive)

Join us for some music without borders!


Festival Preview Events *FREE!*


Music of the Whole World: Hands On!
The beat of the drum is primal & universal, but different cultures have developed fascinating variations on the theme. Learn about how VICO composers & musicians combine & intertwine them to create new intercultural music! With Hamin Honari (tombak), Navid Goldrick (oud) & Curtis Andrews (mrdangam – May 30 only).
Saturday May 27, 2017 at 2 pm
North Vancouver City Library
120 14th St.
North Vancouver
Tuesday May 30, 2017 at 7 pm
Vancouver Public Library
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level
350 West Georgia St., Vancouver




Tickets for all concerts are on sale now, online via Brown Paper Tickets or in person at Neptoon Records (3561 Main St.), Sikora Records (432 W. Hastings) or Highlife Records (1317 Commercial Drive).


Tuesday June 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm
 Festival Opening Concert:
Kurdish Memoir – Jamal Kurdistani & Friends
Featuring Jamal Kurdistani (voice), Sina Ettehad (kamanche), Hamin Honari (tombak & tabla), & Alborz Rahmani (tar) with visiting artist Ziya Tabassian (tombak, daf) 
Special guests: Bob Baker & Eagle Song / Spakwus Slolem (Squamish Nation)
Tickets $25 General / $15 Students & Seniors  
Reception to follow
Wednesday June 7, 2017  
Percussion Double Bill #1

7:30 pm: Komagata Maru by Neelamjit Dhillon
Komagata Maru is a 60-minute performance of original music, contextualized by projected archival photographs, reflecting on the Komagata Maru Incident of 1914, in which 376 potential immigrants from India were turned away from Canada. “A gorgeous exploration of South Asian–inflected jazz, marked by the warmth and drive, respectively, of [Dhillon]’s bansuri flute and tabla. (…) Komagatu Maru is an aesthetic triumph, a taut and sustained sonic meditation that successfully avoids the polemical” – The Georgia Straight

Performed by composer Neelamjit Dhillon (saxophone, bansuri, tabla) with Chris Gestrin (piano), Steve Holy (bass) & Dan Gaucher (drums)


9:30 pm: Curtis Andrews & Friends – VanAfrica

VanAfrica is a musical journey across Africa, through the traditional music and dance of at least six different ethnic groups and four countries. The group is made up of some of Vancouver’s most exciting practitioners of African performing arts, including: N’nato Camara (Guinea), Kurai Mubaiwa (Zimbabwe), Kesseke Yeo (Cote d’Ivoire), Pasi Gunguwo (Zimbabwe) and Curtis Andrews. Be prepared for intense dancing and drumming as well as intimate songs on rarely heard instruments such as the bolon, gongoma and mbira.

Tickets: $25 for both concerts, or $15 for a single concert
Thursday June 8, 2017 at 7:30 pm
 Homecoming: 100 Years of Lou Harrison
 Featuring Mark Takeshi McGregor (flutes) & Brian Nesselroad (assorted percussion)
with visiting artist Shawn Mativetsky (tabla)
 Tickets $25 General / $15 Students & Seniors
Friday June 9, 2017
 Percussion Double Bill #2
 7:30 pm – Turtle Bliss on the Wallace Line

Featuring Michael O’Neill & Gamelan Turtle Bliss
with Meredith Bates (violin) & Finn Manniche (cello)
*Canada Council Commission by Michael O’Neill (world premiere)



9:30 pm All Hands On!

Featuring an improvised solo performance by Ziya Tabassian, a tabla duet by Niel Golden and Shawn Mativetsky with Jonathan Bernard on marimba, and an ensemble performance of “Earthy Airs” by Moshe Denburg (with Brian Nesselroad, Curtis Andrews, Jonathan Bernard, Shawn Mativetsky, Ziya Tabassian, & Daniel Tones).
 Tickets: $25 for both concerts, or $15 for a single concert
Saturday June 10, 2017 at 8:00 pm
 Festival Gala Concert :
Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra & Friends

1155 East Broadway, Vancouver
Featuring the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra with conductor John Zoltek, visiting artists Chen Zuohui (Chinese percussion), Shawn Mativetsky (tabla), Ziya Tabassian (tombak & daf), Niel Golden (tabla) & more
*Canada Council Commission by Lan Tung
**World premieres by Niel GoldenFarshid Samandari and Lan Tung
 Tickets $30 General / $20 Students & Seniors
Sunday June 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm
 Matinee Concert :
The Sound of Drum with Voice
 Feat. Chen Zuohui and the Huyi Choir of the Canada Chinese Performing Arts Society
with Han Music Ensemble and Jin Zhang (conductor)
 Tickets $25 (General) or $15 (Student & Senior): 
Sunday June 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm
 Closing Concert:
Then Came the Fringe
Fringe Percussion
 with visiting guest artist Shawn Mativetsky (tabla)
*Western Canadian premiere: Fourth Concerto for Tabla & Percussion by Payton MacDonald
 Tickets $25 (General) or $15 (Student & Senior):
Tickets are on sale now, online via Brown Paper Tickets or in person at Neptoon Records (3561 Main St.), Sikora Records (432 W. Hastings) or Highlife Records (1317 Commercial Drive)


Workshops for Composers & Musicians *FREE!*

Tuesday June 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm: Curtis Andrews – African percussion
Tuesday June 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm: Shawn Mativetsky – tabla
Wednesday June 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm: Ziya Tabassian – tombak & daf


At Vancouver Community College (1155 East Broadway):

Thursday June 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm (Auditorium): Chen Zuohui – Chinese percussion





Chen Zuohui (Chinese percussion) – China
Shawn Mativetsky (tabla) – Montreal, QC
Ziya Tabassian (tombak, daf) – Montreal, QC
Curtis Andrews (mrdangam, African percussion) – Vancouver, BC
Neelamjit Dhillon (bansuri, saxophone, tabla) – Vancouver, BC
Niel Golden (tabla, composer) – Victoria, BC
Jamal Kurdistani (voice) – North Vancouver, BC
John Zoltek (guest conductor) – United States


Fringe Percussion – Vancouver, BC
Huyi Choir of the Canada Chinese Performing Arts Society – Vancouver, BC
Han Music Ensemble – Vancouver, BC
Mark Takeshi McGregor & Brian Nesselroad Duo – Vancouver, BC
Gamelan Turtle Bliss – Vancouver, BC
VanAfrica – Vancouver, BC





The VICO extends heartfelt thanks to the following funders, without whom the Festival would not be possible: