Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Preview- Virtuosic Jazz Quartet, Oregon, Appears at Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA, October 11th and 12th, 2011

By E. Joyce Glasgow, www.artsandculturescene.com

Oregon, www.oregonband.com, the sublime jazz quartet, will appear for two nights at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, www.jazzalley.com, on October 11th and 12th. They are some of the most virtuosic and creative musicians on the planet, always pushing the envelope of improvisation and playing complex, original, memorable compositions, with an elegant, classical, chamber feel. The group is entering their forty-second year together and I've been following them every step of the way! This is a tremendous opportunity to hear this incredibly sophisticated quartet live and they are not to be missed!

Oregon is : Ralph Towner (guitars/piano/ synthesizers/composer), Paul McCandless (oboe/English horn/saxophones/bass clarinet/whistles/composer), Glen Moore (bass/composer) and Mark Walker (drums/percussion/composer).

Included here is Jazz Alley's information on their two night appearance and two You tube videos of Oregon in live performance.

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October 11-12, 2011

Make a reservation for this show.

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents OREGON, touring in support of their latest release In Stride. Band members include Ralph Towner (guitar), Paul McCandless (reed instrumentalist), Glen Moore (bassist), and Mark Walker (percussion). Set times on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Tuesday and 5:30pm Wednesday.

“While new talent sprouts, veteran shapers of the future continue to harvest their fertile legacy, OREGON remains an example of a group so completely musical and original that they leave no easy comparisons. Long survived and mastering all the musical convention which they so easily disintegrate in a phrase or measure, Oregon never slows with age, never ceases to celebrate their singularity, and never misses a chance to defy commerciality. Their influence on American and international music has proven nothing less than monumental.” —Christopher Hoard, Jazziz

Celebrating their 40th year, OREGON has inspired audiences in renowned concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, and Vienna’s Mozartsaal; at international jazz clubs and major festivals such as Montreux, Pori, Berlin, Montreal, and Newport Jazz; and on tours throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America, Eastern and Western Europe, etc.

In Stride (2010) the group’s latest CD envelopes the entire history of this band; it enhances the compositional talent of these four musicians, magnifies their voices as soloists and, above all, recalls in case you need reminding that strange and magical alchemy which transformed this quartet into OREGON. In Stride is nothing but sure indication that, rather than winding down with age, OREGON has plenty of promise still ahead.

OREGON began in 1960 at the University of Oregon with undergraduate students Ralph Towner and Glen Moore who formed a musical friendship on bass and piano inspired by Bill Evans and Scott LaFaro and later by Brazilian music. Moore earned a degree in history and literature and Towner completed his in composition, taking up guitar in the process. In the mid 60’s, they both traveled to Europe. Towner studied classical guitar in Vienna with Karl Scheit; Moore studied classical bass in Copenhagen and sat in with such greats as Ben Webster and Dexter Gordon. By 1969, both were living in New York City, playing with a community of young musicians who formed the great fusion bands of the ‘70’s including Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

OREGON Website

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Preview-The Family Stone to Appear at Seattle's Jazz Alley, October 6th-9th, 2011

By E. Joyce Glasgow

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, The Family Stone, comprised of three of the original Sly and the Family Stone members, Cynthia Robinson (trumpet), Jerry Martini (sax), Greg Errico (drums) and four newer members will appear for four nights, October 6th through 9th, 2011, at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle, WA.
Their songs have weathered the decades. Paving the way through the tumultuous sixties and heroes of the counter-culture, their music took on timely issues including racism and politics and their original pop blend of rock, soul, funk and psychedelia thrilled their audiences. They were also the first integrated and multi-generational major rock band.
Their iconic Woodstock performance is captured forever in the Woodstock documentary film.
Included here is Jazz Alley's information about the Family Stone's four night appearance.
The Family Stone embodies all the verve and spunk of Sly and the Family Stone and sounds as contemporary,exciting and fresh over four decades after the original band became a pop-culture phenomenon.

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The Family Stone

October 6-9, 2011

Live in studio on KJR 95.7FM Friday, 10/7 around 9am. TUNE IN!

Make a reservation for this show.

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and original founding members of Sly & The Family Stone, Cynthia Robinson (trumpet), Jerry Martini (sax) and Greg Errico (drums): The Family Stone. Band member include: Alex Davis & Trina Johnson Finn (vocals), Nate Wingfield (guitar) and Blaise Sison (bass). Set times Thursday and Sunday at 7:30pm. Friday - Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Doors open at 6pm on Thursday and 5:30pm Friday – Sunday.

Keeping the legacy true to its original sound and raw funk groove, these Everyday People will leave you Taken Higher. They present a set of their classic hits like: "I Want to Take You Higher", "Everyday People", "Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin", "Dance To The Music", "Hot Fun In The Summertime", "Family Affair", "Sing a Simple Song" and many more.

Jerry Martini is the original founder of Sly & the Family Stone; calling upon Sly Stone to become the leader of the first inter-racial, multi-gender major American Band. He has also performed with countless luminaries including Mike Bloomfield, Carlos Santana, Prince, Rolling Stone Bill Wymann, Robert Cray, Willie Lomax, Prince, Graham Central Station, and Van Morrison.

Cynthia Robinson, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is back on the throne! Cynthia, along with Sly, was part of "Sly and The Stoners" in 1966. Through her years with Sly & The Family Stone, she was notable for being an early, black, female trumpet player in a major American band. In recent years, you may have seen her performing with George Clinton, Larry Graham, and Prince to name a few.

Greg Errico, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and R&B Foundation “Pioneer Award” recipient. Errico’s list of credits include his ability to play a broad range of musical styles with such legends as Joe Zawinul (Weather Report), Jerry Garcia Band, Grateful Dead and Santana.

Alex Davis, accomplished lead singer, drummer, and multi-instrumentalist, has done just about everything there is to do in the music industry. Starting out in the early 70s with (at that time) local funksters "The Ohio Players" as a sub, Alex has toured or performed all over the world.

Trina Johnson Finn studied Voice Performance and Theater at the UMKC Conservatory of Music. She has appeared on show such as the Grammy Award, Oprah, The American Music Awards, and has also graced the stage with great entertainers from Barbra Streisand to MC Hammer.

Nate Wingfield - An accomplished guitarist, early on with sessions at Sigma Sound with the famous R&B producers/songwriters Gamble & Huff.

Blaise Sison - bass - is musical director and has been working with Jerry Martini for twenty years he brings the funk to the bass and the music of The Family Stone.

The Family Stone

The Family Stone interview and history

The Family Stone LIVE VIDEO Electric Picnic

Monday, October 3, 2011

Preview- Jazz Vibraphonist, Gary Burton and his New Quartet Come to Seattle's Jazz Alley for Two Exciting Performances on October 4th and 5th, 2011

New Gary Burton Quartet to Appear at Jazz Alley, www.jazzalley.com, Seattle, Wa., October 4th and 5th, 2011.

By E. Joyce Glasgow

Gary Burton, an icon of the jazz vibraphone for almost fifty years, will make a rare appearance in Seattle with three superb musicians; Julian Lage (guitar), Scott Colley (bass) and Antonio Sanchez (drums) in what promises to be two exciting evenings of uplifting, energized jazz. Burton, a multi- Grammy Award winner is also a composer, educator and mentor to many musicians and has collaborated with some of the greats of jazz, including Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, Ralph Towner, Chick Corea, Steve Swallow, Richard Galliano and Makoto Ozone. The New Gary Burton Quartet, who began playing together, as a group, in August 2010, is touring performing music from their 2011 CD release, Common Ground. www.garyburton.com
Burton's playing is beautiful, lyrical, elegant, joyful and sublime. Don't miss this!

Following are two youtube videos. One is The New Gary Burton Quartet, playing Afro Blue in Vienna. The other is a brief video of Gary Burton talking about his New Quartet.

Also included here is Jazz Alley's information about Gary Burton's two night appearance this week.

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Gary Burton Quartet featuring Julian Lage, Scott Colley and Antonio Sanchez

October 4-5, 2011

Make a reservation for this show.

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents The Gary Burton Quartet featuring Gary Burton (vibes), Julian Lage (guitar), Scott Colley (bass)) and Antonio Sanchez (drums). Set times on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Tuesday and 5:30pm Wednesday.

As a member of Stan Getz’s quartet, Burton won Down Beat magazine’s Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition award in 1965. By the time he left Getz to form his own quartet in 1967, Burton had also recorded three albums under his name for RCA. Borrowing rhythms and sonorities from rock music, while maintaining jazz’s emphasis on improvisation and harmonic complexity, Burton’s first quartet attracted large audiences from both sides of the jazz-rock spectrum.

Such albums as Duster and Lofty Fake Anagram established Burton and his band as progenitors of the jazz fusion phenomenon. Burton’s burgeoning popularity was quickly validated by Down Beat magazine, which awarded him its Jazzman of the Year award in 1968, the youngest ever to receive that honor. During his subsequent association with the ECM label (1973-1988) the Burton Quartet expanded to include the young Pat Metheny on guitar, and the band began to explore a repertoire of modern compositions. In the ’70s, Burton also began to focus on more intimate contexts for his music. His 1971 album Alone at Last, a solo vibraphone concert recorded at the 1971 Montreux Jazz Festival, was honored with his first Grammy Award. Burton also turned to the rarely heard duo format, recording with bassist Steve Swallow, guitarist Ralph Towner, and most notably with pianist Chick Corea, thus cementing a long personal and professional relationship that has garnered an additional four Grammy Awards.

In the past few years, Gary has focused his recording and performing efforts on collaborations, with old friends and new, including tours and recordings with Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Makoto Ozone, Polo Orti, and Richard Galliano. Armistad Suite with Polo Orti and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra was released in spring 2007. L’hymne a L’amour with Richard Galliano was released on the Camjazz label in August 2007. The double-CD live concert recording with Chick Corea, The New Crystal Silence, came out in 2008, resulting in the sixth Grammy for Gary Burton at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Chick and Gary toured full-time from September 2006 through spring 2008, and continued off and on playing concerts in the USA and Europe in 2009.

June 2011 saw the release of Common Ground, Gary's first release on Mack Avenue Records featuring the New Gary Burton Quartet. The new group reunites the vibist with guitar star Julian Lage with the addition of drummer Antonio Sanchez and bassist Scott Colley. The group will be busy touring throughout 2011.

Gary Burton Website

Julian Lage Website

Scott Colley Website

Antonio Sanchez Website

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Preview- Jazz super group "James Farm" to appear at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, Seattle WA, September 27th-29th

Jazz quartet, James Farm, will appear at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, www.jazzalley.com, this week, September 27-29, 2011, Seattle, Wa.

By E. Joyce Glasgow, www.artsandculturescene.com

James Farm, www.jamesfarmmusic.com, founded in 2009, is an exciting quartet of four of some of the finest, seasoned jazz musicians of the their generation; Joshua Redman (Saxophone), Aaron Parks (Piano), Matt Penman (Bass) and Eric Harland (Drums). They've come to this project as equals, each contributing compelling original material to a very democratic, powerfully interactive group, with one foot rooted in the strong jazz traditions of the 20th Century, bridging with the other foot into the 21st Century and the varied musical influences and grooves of the new millenium. Their music is fresh, progressive and charts intriguing new territory and exploratory improvisation. For those interested in dynamic and intelligent jazz, don't miss this opportunity to hear James Farm live this week in Seattle.

I am including here a very well recorded live You tube video of Joshua Redman's tune "Polliwog", made during the quartet's June 2011 appearance at the Jazz Standard, in N.Y.C. This is one of my favorite tunes from their self- titled CD and I think it captures, as a good example, some of the contemporary, funky grooves that they have incorporated into their work and the tight, sophisticated and complex interplay amongst the four musicians.
I have also included Jazz Alley's information about James Farm and their three night appearance below.

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James Farm - Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman and Eric Harland

September 27-29, 2011

Make a reservation for this show.

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents James Farm with Joshua Redman (saxophone), Aaron Parks (piano), Matt Penman (bass) and Eric Harland (drums). Set times on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Tuesday and 5:30pm Wednesday and Thursday.

Formed in 2009, James Farm is an acoustic jazz quartet collaborative consisting of saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland. These four free-thinking musicians all individually hold a stake in the future of jazz, and together form a group with a new take on song-based improvisation, a group that invites you to share in the navigation of their own musical future. From their first gig at the Montreal Jazz Festival they have been writing and honing music that carries strong melodies and buoyant grooves, but defies facile comparisons. They strive, in their own words "to make new musical connections for the times we live in, and make new beats for what now surrounds us." Indeed, there is physicality to their music, as well as an urgency that comes across in the live performances especially. This band wants to move you, and only asks for an open mind.

These four virtuoso instrumentalists are committed to finding new ways to balance their work as composers with the vitality of improvisation, melding the two into a brand of storytelling uniquely their own. They're also committed to the concept of the Band, where the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Penman explains, "There’s an artistic strength in being four equal members of a group that we're enjoying exploring. Put our four heads together and you get a lot of ideas … some of them cosmic, some of them plain nuts, but its all part of the process."

Redman, Penman and Harland all worked extensively together in the SF Jazz Collective 2005-2007, while Parks and Penman traded duties on each other's latest records, both with Eric Harland on drums. Parks explains "James Farm makes me play in a different way, sometimes taking more chances than I would otherwise. It forces me to step up.” He continues, "One of the things I love in this band is the balance of different energies. Our individual temperaments seem to be complementary in a way that makes for a unique creative environment, one with natural and intuitive communication, where we're constantly challenging and bringing out different sides of one another. Its complex and it's simple and it feels like a living thing."

Overall, James Farm gives followers of contemporary music much to be excited about with their forward-thinking and open approach to the jazz idiom. For all their compositional ambitions, their spirit is still best summed up by their drummer. “I have no idea what’s going to happen,” Harland admits, “but I am looking forward to the journey.”

James Farm LIVE in NYC

James Farm Web Site

James Farm on Nonesuch Records

Friday, September 16, 2011

Preview- Guitarist, Pat Metheny to Appear for Two Nights, with Bassist, Larry Grenadier, at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, Seattle, September 20 and 21, 2011

By E. Joyce Glasgow

The fabulous guitarist, composer, instrument inventor, Pat Metheny will appear for two nights, in a duo, with wonderful bassist and longtime Metheny collaborator, Larry Grenadier at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, Seattle, September 20 and 21, 2011. (See Jazz Alley's show description at right)

This is an amazing and rare opportunity to hear Metheny in an intimate club setting and I highly recommend these performances. Metheny is one of my all time favorite musicians and I've enjoyed his numerous projects with the Pat Metheny Group, his work with smaller ensembles and his work with his complex, multi-faceted, new, remarkable, full room sized musical instrument, Orchestrion, which he invented.

Larry Grenadier has played bass with many jazz legends. He is a sensitive, musically astute, creative and lyrical performer whom I've enjoyed, since hearing him, for the first time, in his younger days, touring with the late, great, jazz vocalist, Betty Carter.

Don't miss this!

For those in the Bellingham, Washington area, Metheny and Grenadier will be also be playing a concert, for one night only, on September 18, 2011 at the Mt. Baker Theatre, 7 PM .

I have included below a youtube video of Pat Metheny playing with bassist, Larry Grenadier (and drummer, Bill Stewart).

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An Evening with Pat Metheny with Larry Grenadier

September 20-21, 2011

This show is assigned seating, you may purchase On-line or by Phone.
To continue your purchase on-line
click here.
To make your purchase by phone call 206-441-9729.

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley proudly presents 18-time Grammy-winning guitarist Pat Metheny for two nights and four shows. Joining Mr. Metheny will be Larry Grenadier on bass. Set times Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Doors open at 5:30pm.

It is one thing to attain popularity as a musician, but it is another to receive the kind of acclaim Pat Metheny has garnered from both critics and peers. Over the years, Metheny has won countless polls as “Best Jazz Guitarist” and awards, including three gold records for Still Live Talking, Letter from Home, and Secret Story. In addition, Metheny has won eighteen of his thirty-three Grammy Award nominations, spread out over a wide variety of categories including Best Rock Instrumental, Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, and Best Instrumental Composition. The year 2010 brought continuing recognition and success for the star, as he won “Guitarist of the Year” and “Best Jazz Album-Orchestrion” from the Downbeat 75th Readers Poll. Spending most of his life on tour, averaging 120-240 shows a year since 1974, he continues to be one of the brightest musicians of the jazz community, dedicating time to both his own projects and those of emerging artists and established veterans alike.

As well as being an accomplished musician, Metheny has also participated in the academic arena as a music educator at universities and music workshops/clinics all over the world. At 18, he was the youngest teacher ever at the University of Miami. The following year at age 19, he became the youngest teacher ever at the Berklee College of Music, where more than twenty years later in 1996, he received an honorary doctorate. Over the years, he has performed with a diverse range of artists such as Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall and David Bowie, and the list goes on. www.patmetheny.com

Bassist Larry Grenadier, well known for his time spent performing with Brad Mehldau, fell in love with music at the young age of eleven, playing with his brothers in his family’s band. Inspired by jazz-bassists such as Ray Brown, Charles Mingus, and Paul Chambers, Grenadier began formal study to emulate the jazz musicians heard on his home recordings. By sixteen, Grenadier had a blossoming career playing in the San-Francisco area with local musicians and those traveling through town in need of a bass player. Grenadier has spent the last two decades touring around the world with Brad Mehldau’s Trio and performing with countless other jazz-musicians such as Joe Henderson, Gary Burton, Billy Higgins, and Pat Metheny, whom he credits his experiences with as a significant learning experience . “I really enjoy the art of being a bass player; supplying all that is needed from the bottom up; grounding and inspiring." –Larry Grenadier

This is a pre-sale show with reserved seating. All purchases are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Vouchers, donated gift certificates, student, senior and military discounts, children under 12 free discounts and 2 for 1 cards are not applicable for this show. All shows are all ages.

Pat Metheny Website

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Summer Visit to Vancouver, B.C.-

A Summer Visit To Vancouver B.C.-

The 2011 Vancouver Folk Music Festival, “The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art” at The Vancouver Art Gallery and recommendations for a few Favorite Shops, Restaurants and other Destinations

By E. Joyce Glasgow

All Photo Credits/Copyrights: E. Joyce Glasgow, www.artsandculturescene.com.

Photos include the 2008 and 2009 Vancouver Folk Music Festivals and Granville Island Public Market. All Rights Reserved

(Exception: Surrealist Exhibition images, courtesy of The Vancouver Art Gallery)

Luckily for Seattleites, Canada’s close proximity (don’t forget your current passports, you can't get in and out of Canada without them!) can give one an opportunity for a spontaneous, long weekend break from life as usual, subjected daily to the craziness of U.S. politics. A whole new perspective awaits, in a different country, only a three hour car ride away, in beautiful, cosmopolitan Vancouver, British Columbia or for adventures further afield in the natural world of stunning mountains, sea, lakes, hot springs and forests.

Anytime of year, one can find stimulating arts and cultural events going on in Vancouver, a scenic, multi-cultural melting pot offering amazing restaurants featuring authentic cuisines from around the world, sophisticated art venues and the wonderful Granville Market, bursting with colorful flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, luscious baked goods, live music, fine artisans’ shops, local and imported exotic and delicious gourmet food products, overlooking False Creek, passing boats and dramatic, ultra modern steel and glass luxury high rise condominiums across the water.

I went up to Vancouver for this summer’s 34th annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 15-17, 2011, to visit some favorite shops and restaurants and to see the comprehensive, celebrated Surrealist art exhibit at The Vancouver Art Gallery, which is on exhibit through September 25, 2011. Note: Exhibit now extended through October 2nd, 2011!

The 2011 Vancouver Folk Music Festival

The 2011 Vancouver Folk Music Festival, www.thefestival.bc.ca, featured a broad and intriguing program of performers including these headliners; the incomparable, blues harmonica legend, James Cotton; Roseanne Cash; Gillian Welch; “Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks”, and actor/musician, Tim Robbins, with the “Rogues Gallery Band”.

My favorites were La-33, www.la-33.com, a sizzling, dynamic, salsa/mambo/bugaloo large band, from Bogotá, Columbia. Their tasty arrangements are jazz driven and the whole group brims with energy, enthusiasm and irresistible rhythms that had a good portion of the generally more sedentary Folk audience up on there feet, many gyrating with some considerable abandon. I heard La-33 in January 2011, at GlobalFEST 2011, www.globalfest-ny.org, in N.Y.C., where they were being showcased with twelve other world music groups and they blew me away. The front line vocalists/percussionists continually dance muy picante (very hot!) while maintaining steadfast and genuine eye contact with their audience! It’s fun to watch the brass players weaving back and forth in time to the rhythms, especially the slide trombone. I was so happy to have another opportunity to see them (in a slightly smaller grouping) at Vancouver!

Another favorite group of mine was vocalist/bandleader, Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca, (Los Angeles, Ca.), www.makinaloca.com. Lemvo, who is from the Congo, and his group perform a spicy, sultry blend of Congolese soukous, rumba and Cuban salsa and have been a working band since 1990. Lemvo’s beaming smile, gracious personality and inclusive style sets the tone for a truly joyful audience experience. Lemvo and band play often for Latin dance evenings at Seattle’s Century Ballroom, www.centuryballroom.com.

I also enjoyed the quirky, playful, improvisational jazz band, David Woodhead’s Coffeehouse Confabulation, (Toronto, Ontario),www.davidwoodhead.com, which was one of the only specifically jazz focused groups at the festival.

Freshlyground, (Cape Town, South Africa), www.freshlyground.com, were also a favorite of mine at this year’s festival. They are super-stars in there own country and are just becoming known here and were impressive in their first North American tour. Lead singer, Zolani Mahola, has an appealing, sweet, emotionally expressive voice and a sunny persona and the band’s joyful, traditional African and Afro-Pop inspired dance rhythms are infectious, fun and energizing, while their lyrics powerfully address pertinent political and social issues.

Pokey La Farge and the South City Three, (St Louis, Missouri), www.pokeylafarge.net, were the new buzz of enthusiastic festival goers, who admired this band’s original, hybrid, enveloped mix of Americana roots/country/ blues/ragtime/swing, influenced by the jazzy high intensity sound of the great guitarist, Django Reinhardt.

I enjoyed the deep, honey- voiced, funky, country/blues vocals of the award winning, Justin Townes Earle, (New York), www.justintownesearle.com, especially his “Harlem River Blues”; the relaxed, appealing, traditional Haitian/Caribbean folk music of troubadours, Ti Coca and Wanga Neges (Haiti) and the stirring and articulate heart felt political hip hop of Emmanuel Jal, (Sudan), www.myspace.com/emmanueljal, especially his compelling, autobiographical song, “Warchild”. Jal, a former “child soldier” in his native Sudan from the age of eight, grew up in unimaginable strife, until an aid worker, Emma McCune, rescued him. He now dedicates himself to working as a human rights advocate with Amnesty International, Oxfam and his own children’s charity.

The festival features a combination of traditional and alternative folk, world, blues, reggae, Celtic, some hip-hop, a little jazz, bluegrass and lately, in some recent years, some fascinating experimental electronic/techno/live hybrids, which this year included the popular, innovative, wildly imaginative, Beats Antique, (Oakland, Ca.) www.beatsantique.com.

The festival, historically, has been known for presenting powerful, moving and politically/socially oriented singer-songwriters. This year’s program included thoughtful lyricists and long time popular favorites, Leon Rosselson (Britain), www.leonrosselson.co.uk and Cris Williamson (U.S.), www.criswilliamson.com. The eclectic draw brings a loyal following of thousands of music lovers of all ages year after year, from the States and around Canada. It is always held in mid- July at the remarkable Jericho Beach Park, which has one of the most breathtaking vistas in Vancouver, positioned on English Bay, with a swimming beach, views of the mountains majestically rising from the water, picturesque sailboats, downtown’s skyscraper skyline and awe-inspiring sunsets and moon rises. The atmosphere is laid back and casual. There are a variety of food booths and artisans and importers set up their wares in a Souk- like marketplace.

The festival is usually blessed by one of our rare Northwest, sun-kissed weekends at this time of July and has been on a lucky run of predictably sunny weekends for at least ten years running, but this year, with what I attribute, in my opinion, to climate change and global warming, most of the outdoor event was inundated with rain, drizzle and clouds. For those of us who experience rain quite a lot of the year in the NW, especially this year and hungering for a real summer celebration, the bad weather was especially disappointing and many retreated to other, indoor attractions in town for at least a good part of the day Saturday and some left early on Sunday night as a light rain returned in the early evening. In true undaunted NW style, die- hard, tough- skinned festival goers stoically donned rubber boots, hats and pants, Gore-Tex jackets, plastic rain capes and umbrellas and subjected themselves to many hours in the rain. All the shows on the seven stages went on as usual.

There was another issue that upset the expectant audience and organizers. Tinariwen, the beloved Tuareg band from the Sahara Desert, (Mali) and a real festival favorite was not allowed to enter Canada. Another notable omission and a favorite of mine, Ordo Sakhna, a lovely and colorful traditional band from Kyrgyzstan, disappeared off the schedule just in the week before the event with no explanation. Another performer and bandleader, Morgan O’Kane (U.S.), was kept out of Canada at the border, even though all the other members of his band were admitted to Canada.

“The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art”

While in Vancouver, I took the perfect opportunity to go see the incredible Surrealist art exhibit “The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art”, currently featured at the Vancouver Art Gallery, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca, in downtown Vancouver, through September 25, 2011, note: now extended through October 2nd, 2011!. With three hundred and fifty pieces included, spanning three decades of artwork, this is the largest exhibit ever to be shown of Surrealist works in Canada. Whether a fan of Surrealism or not, you will find this fascinating show an amazingly comprehensive and ambitious look into the artists’ social world, history, culture, philosophy, and the powerful psychological influence of the nature of dreams on the creative works of the Surrealists. Featured are the works, techniques and compelling and universal social subject matter, including desire, androgyny, and transmutation, dealt with by over eighty artists, including, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Max Ernst, Edith Rimmington, Claude Cahun, Giorgio de Chirico, Man Ray, Andre Breton, Brassai, Wilfredo Lam, Yves Tanguy, Joan Miro, Alberto Giacometti, Dorothea Tanning, Andre Masson, Lenora Carrington, Kay Sage, Louise Bourgeois, as well as Surrealist inspired artists, Joseph Cornell, Louise Nevelson, revolutionary forbearer, Pablo Picasso and more in paintings, drawings, photos, sculptures, collages, writings, dioramas and films. Writer, Andre Breton began the Surrealist movement in 1924 with his Manifesto of Surrealism. In this historic time Surrealists were exploring being free in their expression by tapping into the artistic manifestations of dreams and the unconscious, simultaneously as Sigmund Freud’s exploration into the psychology of dreams and human nature. Breton sought to free the artist of “false rationality” through dreams.

One new thing I learned from this exhibit is that Surrealists’ films were greatly inspired by early Hollywood cinema. Film clips from iconic early films by Surrealists and ground-breaking filmmakers are being shown, including Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel’s, Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog), (1929), French director, Georges Milies’, Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902); German Expressionist, W. F. Murnau’s vampire film, Nosferatu (1922) and clips including Surrealist favorites, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and immortal cartoon character, Betty Boop. One room is completely dedicated to the game of Exquisite Corpse, one of the art games the Surrealists invented and loved to play together, similar to an old parlour game called Consequences. The artists and writers played either with words or drawings. In drawing, for example, several artists would get together with an accordion pleated blank sheet of paper and one by one draw their individual interpretations of a section of a body (hence the name Exquisite Corpse), with no one being able to see, as the paper was folded over to the next blank section etc. until three or four artists would have each drawn one section. When the paper was unfolded, there would appear an uncanny, Surrealist drawing made of distinctively different and disparate parts creating a serendipitously unified, dreamlike whole. Lots of fun to look at and romantic to think about in viewing these little gems on paper, off-handedly created by the likes of Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Yves Tanguy, Andre Breton, Marcel Duchamp, etc. just playing around together, having a casually good time sitting around in cafés in Paris! The exhibit goes on and on for many rooms and is quite an ambitious undertaking. Plan on spending at least several hours to leisurely see the art and film clips and to absorb the tremendous amount of information being presented.

The most interesting thing I learned at the Surrealist show, which was being revealed for the first time at this exhibit, was that the European Surrealists were greatly inspired in their work by the indigenous artwork of First Nation British Columbian and Alaskan tribes, including the Yu’pik and Haida peoples and a number of their tribal art objects from the nineteenth and early twentieth century that the Surrealists collected and that were hung on their walls in Europe, are on display alongside their work. The Surrealists appreciated the authenticity and inventiveness found in First Nation works. These powerful and compelling objects include ceremonial masks, shields, headdresses, totems, carved wooden vessels and spoons. The otherworldly spirits in these pieces were sparks for the Surrealists’ affinity to revealing the unconscious mind and dream world through their art. How wonderful and exciting to see a show in which the essences of the local ancient peoples of the show’s surrounding area were so intrinsically and immediately linked with the art and philosophy of these European innovators in that particular period of human artistic history.

The art on display was gathered, on loan, from over eighty sources, including prominent private collections, galleries and from art museums including, The Guggenheim, The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, the Israel Museum, the Musee du quai Branly, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Tate.

Do not miss this rare, stimulating and extremely educational exhibit! It is fabulous!

Pictured below:

Edith Rimmington's, The Oneiroscopist, 1947, oil on canvas. Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection of Dada and Surrealist Art in the Israel Museum. Photo copyright: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Claude Cahun's, Self Portrait (as weight trainer), 1927, photo, printed 2011, inkjet print, Jersey Heritage Collection

Kay Sage's, The Upper Side of the Sky, 1944, oil on canvas, The Vera and Arturo Schwartz Collection of Dada and Surrealist Art , the Israel Museum. Image copyright: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

All three images courtesy of The Vancouver Art Gallery .



Granville Island Public Market

While visiting Vancouver, a trip to the Granville Island Public Market, www.granvilleisland.com, is a must. There are food items available there that we never see in our own Pike Place Market, here in Seattle. There are the most amazing and delicious, exotic cheeses, meats and other specialty items from Europe, a wide and varied selection of fruits, vegetables, fresh fish, flowers and wonderful baked goods and prepared foods. If it’s a nice day, pick up your food supplies, go outside to the deck and have a leisurely lunch over picturesque False Creek. The Market is filled with open artists’ studios/shops, where artists create and sell their goods. These studios are subsidized by the government, allowing artists to thrive, with affordable rents. How enlightened! I wish our government would value the worth of artists with such importance and commitment. It’s wonderful to visit these studios, meeting the artists and seeing their workspaces filled with fine-crafted and unique goods and to wander through all the other small shops, listening to busking musicians along the way and spending a whole, relaxing day at the market.

Museum of Anthropology at University of British Columbia

A trip to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, www.moa.ubc.ca, is in order. This beautifully designed, contemporary building, set on a cliff, with a breathtaking view, over the sea, has one of the most stunning and comprehensive permanent collections of Northwest Coast Native art work, including majestic Totem Poles set outside the museum, on the cliff. UBC also offers low cost accomodations for visitors during summer months.

West Fourth Avenue Community Business Destinations in Vancouver’s Kitsilano Neighborhood

Another destination for leisurely meandering in Vancouver is along West 4th Avenue, down the street from Jericho Beach Park. Head down this street, eastbound from the park and check out all the interesting small, independently owned shops, cafes and restaurants in the arty, Kitsilano neighborhood.

Banyen Books and Sound, 3608 W. 4th Ave., www.banyen.com, in business since 1970, is a wonderful, spiritually -oriented bookstore filled with books, CD’s, DVD’s, and beautiful goods to refresh the soul. It is also a community hub, where you can find lots of information about workshops, concerts and other events going on around Vancouver.

Amethyst Creations, 2746 W. 4th Ave., www.lapidary.bc.ca/dealers.html, with it’s purple storefront and charming, hand painted sign, is a great find for crystals and an exotic array of other minerals in their natural form, as well as stone beads and jewelry and has been an integral fixture in the neighborhood for years.

The Naam Restaurant, 2724 W. 4th Ave., www.thenaam.com, one of the great, iconic, community businesses in Vancouver, is the oldest natural foods restaurant in the city, serving delicious, reasonably priced vegetarian food for over forty three years, founded in 1968. The Naam is open twenty four hours a day, every day, except Christmas, has a wood burning fireplace, a garden patio (enclosed in winter) and features live blues, jazz or folk music, seven nights a week.

Head to Raviolino, 2822 W. 4th Ave., www.raviolino.shawbiz.ca, for a delightful and scrumptious lunch or early dinner of fresh, homemade ravioli, cannelloni, mezzaluna, pasta or tortellini, with delectable sauces. It is mostly set up for take out, but has a few tables and chairs for dining in house. This place is a real find and I never leave Vancouver without eating here! Run by a lovely couple, Giuseppe and Maria Frasca, he, an Italian, she, a Peruvian, their business first got started in Lima, Peru in 1982. They have been serving the Vancouver community since 2002. Maria brings a Peruvian touch, creating delicious, unusual desserts/baked goods from her culture, rarely available in the Northwest.

A long weekend in Vancouver, B.C. is recommended. It is simple, easy and inexpensive, yet rich and full, with a diverse variety of new, exciting and satisfying experiences.