The Chan Centre 2016-2017 season preview

The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts has recently released the program for its upcoming 2016-2017 season, featuring both fresh new names and past favourite artists.

From New Orleans, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue opens up the season in September with “an exhilarating combo of jazz, funk, rock and hip-hop.”

November is a throwback month with two audience favourites, Mariza and Diego el Cigala, brought back to perform. Known as the “queen of fado,” Mariza specializes in a type of traditional soul music from Portugal filled with melancholic emotion and longing. Diego el Cigala brings from Spain beautiful flamenco vocals and salsa rhythms.

The diverse program also features a multidimensional flamenco retelling of the millennia old Greek tragedy Antigone, a revival of cultural folk music by a band of inner Mongolian throat singers and a German ensemble bringing to Vancouver the sounds of 1920s Berlin, among many others.

For Joyce Hinton, co-managing director of the Chan Centre, diversity is an important aspect to programming.

“One of the goals of UBC is intercultural understanding,” said Hinton. “Music and artists do such a great job of breaking down barriers and igniting curiosity about one’s culture.”

According to Hinton, season opener Trombone Shorty summarizes this theme. “No matter what kinds of problems we might be going through, music is a place where we can all get along.”

An internationally respected platform, the Chan Centre regularly hosts many groups, including the UBC School of Music, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, the Vancouver Recital Society and the Chopin Society.

“A lot of Western European classical music is presented here,” said Hinton. “So one of the things that I felt [that] the Chan Centre could contribute was something quite different from that.”

Throughout the year, the Chan Centre Connects series will also give audience members a chance to explore and engage more deeply with the programming through a series of talks, panels, discussions and workshops.

“We try to enrich the experience for the audience and sometimes we are fortunate enough to have the artist directly involved,” said Hinton, citing a throat-singing workshop presented by the Mongolian group Anda Union as one of the events to look forward to.

In addition, the Beyond Words series in the Telus Studio Theatre highlights the storytelling power of words and other media forms. This year, former Canadian slam poet champion Brendan McLeod will present Brain, a heart-breaking yet funny monologue addressing issues about mental illness and consciousness. During the second half of the year, Manuel Cinema — a theatre troupe from Chicago — will explore themes of life, death,and mourning in Ada/Ava, a multidisciplinary work telling the story of an elderly woman whose twin sister passed away.

Subscriptions for Chan Centre concerts and performances will be on sale until June 14, when single ticket sales will become available.