explorASIAN Festival Blog

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NEW: Mani Khaira concert at CBC Studio One - May 2 - 6:30pm

Mani Khaira concert at CBC Studio One

CBC Studio One, 775 Cambie Street Vancouver
FREE admission
Ever wondered what piano pop masters Elton John and Billy Joel would sound like if
they were writing music as young men today? That might be just what Mani Khaira is
doing with his music. But it's Mani you really hear because Mani Khaira brings an
emotional energy to his sound that always makes it personal. This is keyboard oriented pop for those who love a good tune.

Here’s your chance to be part of a live studio taping for Canada Live on CBC Radio Two.

NEW: Asian Heritage Month Broadcasts on Canada Live

7 nights a week from 8 to 10, CBC Radio 2 listeners will be transported to concert halls, music clubs and festival stages across the country for live performances from the best Canadian artists. The show will be on the move, coming from a different major Canadian music centre each night.

Tune in to these great AHM broadcasts on Canada Live:

May 3 Tambura Rasa + Debi Prasad Chatterjee

"From the Middle East to Vancouver's East side, and far and wide, Tambura Rasa takes you on a musical journey.

From the richness of India and the upbeat sounds of West Africa, to the sensual rhythms of the Middle East, the joyous dance of the Balkans and the Flamenco of Spain, Tambura Rasa's tour is non-stop.

Tambura Rasa a quintet featuring vocals, multi-percussion, bass and violin includes rich ancient traditions from diverse corners of the world with an acoustic underpinning that keeps the sound grounded."

Pandit Debi Prasad Chatterjee is a highly regarded name among Indian musicians as an outstanding Sitarist and teacher of Indian Classical Music. He has been honored with many awards throughout his illustrious career including the 'President's Award' and was named "National Scholar of Music" for his contributions to the promotion of Indian Classical Music. Chatterjee brings his instrument to CBC Studio One for a concert with local musicians Sunny Matharu and Peter Berkham. A collaboration between some of Canada's rising Indian musicians and an international star.

May 19 Mani Khaira + Navaz

Ever wondered what piano pop masters Elton John and Billy Joel would sound like if they were writing music as young men today? That might be just what Mani Khaira is doing with his music. But it's Mani you really hear because Mani Khaira brings an emotional energy to his sound that always makes it personal. This is keyboard oriented pop for those who love a good tune. Recorded in the sonic perfection of Vancouver’s CBC Studio One.

Navaz is a collaboration between guitarist Eric Tompkins and Persian vocalist Neda Jalali. Navaz translates from Farsi as "a soothing melody". The music will make you want to dance or take you on an exotic journey to far away places. Eric and Neda came from a somewhat far away place in the BC interior (Prince George) to perform a concert for a sold out audience in CBC Studio One in Vancouver.

Friday, April 25, 2008

MERGE by frozen-melt - May 3 to June 1

MERGE by frozen-melt (Naoko Takenouchi, Miyuki Shinkai, HiDe Ebina)

Presented by Powell Street Festival Society, Numen Gallery and explorASIAN

Numen Gallery, 120-1058 Mainland Street, Yaletown, Vancouver
An exhibition of glass and clay art by Frozen-Melt, a group of three well-known Japanese Canadian artists whose mandate is to: explore, re-imagine, re-invent identity through the merging of cultures, East and West, old and new, art and craft, philosophy and technology.

Opening reception on Saturday, May 3 from 4 - 6pm

Click here for artist bios

Friday, April 18, 2008

CANADIAN PREMIERE: The Good Asian Drivers Tour with Melissa Li and Kit Yan - May 3 & 4


Melissa Li is a singer-songwriter who has been performing in the Boston area in the United States for over 8 years. She and her tour partner, nationally recognized transgendered slam poet Kit Yan, are going on a cross-country road tour this spring and summer, lovingly dubbed "The Good Asian Drivers Tour".

Together, this radical duo will traverse the United States and cut across four different time zones, at least 30 states and over 20 major cities, including two cities in Canada.

They deliver honest and personal stories through their music and poetry about being queer Asian-Americans, while proving to the nation that they are indeed good, if not excellent, drivers. They’re so cute you might just want to adopt them.

The social impact will be tremendous, especially in areas of the United States where the voices of these under-represented groups are not often heard. In addition, the tour strives to inspire youth and provoke dialogue on gay rights, transgendered issues, feminism, and the marginalization of minorities.

Richmond and Vancouver are the only two Canadian stops on their North American tour. Don't miss this show!

Q&A after the show.

So if you’re gay, bisexual, transgendered, Asian, queer, an artist, a poet, a performer, or if you’re just a supporting ally, then come out and enjoy our show.

Show contains some strong language and explicit sexual references
The show is recommended for mature young adults ages 16+
Parental Guidance suggested for younger audience members

explorASIAN 2008 OPENING EVENT - May 1 - 7:30pm - SOLD OUT!


MAY 1 - Thursday - 7:30pm
"Infinite Echoes from Japan: New Directions in Traditional Japanese Music"

On the occasion of the 80th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Canada and Japan, the Japan Foundation is pleased to sponsor an evening of neo-traditional Japanese music as the opening event for the explorASIAN 2008 Festival celebrating Asian Heritage Month in Canada.

Frederic Wood Theatre
6354 Crescent Road, UBC

Location map

Free Admission - Seating is limited - Reservations are recommended.

Please RSVP by April 25 - 5pm PST. SOLD OUT!
RSVP Waiting List (email only) or show up at the theatre for unclaimed seats.
(sorry-no guarantees on either option)

Please RSVP via email to with the subject line "Opening Event" with your full name and number of tickets required. Limit 2 tickets per person lease.

Tickets not claimed at the theatre by 7:10pm will be released to the public. General seating only. Please arrive early for best seat selection.

"Infinite Echoes of Japanese Neo-trad Music"

Trad:isme will introduce new creative music while carrying on the old traditions of Japan. The traditions of Japan lie in not only music but also in other fields that are passed down century after century from one generation to the next, where each generation creates new elements to entertain audiences in the future. The "Trad:isme", guardians of the past and creators for the future, will play tunes that sound both classic and modern. (Concept notes by Mitsuhide Koike)

The Japan Foundation is proud to present the “INFINITE ECHOES FROM JAPAN” music ensemble.

This ensemble exemplifies the rich musical traditions that are present in Japan by combining traditional dances and songs from the southern islands of Okinawa and Tsugaru shamisen from northern Japan with western musical elements through piano and drums. This unique group is the cream of the crop of Japanese performing artists who have quickly risen to the top of their fields within the recent surge in popularity of traditional music in Japan.

Hailing from the north and south of Japan, this group of young performers represents the diverse musical traditions that have carried on from generation to generation, which continues to resonate in their beautiful performances. The discipline and skillfulness of the performers not only expresses their mastery and understanding, it also shows how deeply rooted they are in keeping to the authenticity of the musical traditions. This is echoed in their performance, and combined with their powerful creative energy, they are pushing the boundaries towards new directions of traditional music.

Brought together especially for the concert, this ensemble of performers will be touring across Canada, making stops in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

This tour has been organized to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of Diplomatic relations between Canada and Japan.

Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver

Sunday, April 13, 2008

APRIL events - Gearing Up For Asian Heritage Month in May

APRIL 14 - Monday - 7pm
(Literary) CBC Radio Studio One Book Club presents Padma Viswanathan

APRIL 15 - Tuesday - 7pm
(Lecture) 5th Annual UBC-Laurier Institution Multiculturalism Lecture:
"The Three Lives of Multiculturalism" by Dr. Will Kymlicka

APRIL 16 - Wednesday - 7:30pm
(Poetry) Indran Amirthanayagam's The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems book launch

APRIL 18 - Friday - 7pm
(Lecture) Japanese Canadian National Museum presents "THE NEW CANADIAN Newspaper"
Presentation by Ian Fraser “A tribute to THE NEW CANADIAN Heroes”

APRIL 19 - Saturday - 2pm
(Exhibition) Japanese Canadian National Museum presents "THE NEW CANADIAN Newspaper"
Gallery Tour

APRIL 19 to MAY 18
(Visual Arts) Everything Is Not Lost

APRIL 19 - Saturday - 6pm
(Music/Dance) Vaisakhi: Harvest the Fun

APRIL 20 - Sunday - 1pm
(Children) Vancouver Turkish Canadian Society presents The Vancouver Multicultural Children’s Festival

APRIL 23 to MAY 24
(Visual Arts) Asian Heritage Month Exhibitions at Place des Art

APRIL 25 - Friday - 8pm
(Music/Poetry) The Language of Music, The Music of Words: A Musical Evening with Joy Kogawa and Friends

APRIL 25 to 28
(Music/Dance) Divine Performing Arts Chinese Spectacular

APRIL 26 - Saturday - 9am
(Literary) BEYOND THE BOOKENDS: UBC Asian Library Open House

Check out these great events in April!

For event details: