explorASIAN Festival Blog

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