Enjoy two full evenings of free concerts featuring live performances by renowned artists at the main stage in Ambleside Park.
We will have a second stage that will feature contemporary and cultural dance.
Friday, May 31
4–5 p.m. Mariachi Los Dorados
5:45–7:15 p.m. Kow Kanda
8–9:30 p.m. Tanga
Saturday, June 1
4–5 p.m. Amir Haghighi & Amy Stephen with Taneen Ensemble
6–7 p.m. Herbert Kwan
8–9:30 p.m. The Starbirds
time TBD WVYB Symphonic Band with Sp’akwus Slulem (Eagle Song Dancers) & the West Vancouver Youth Band
Cultural dance stage sponsored by Telus
Performer partner sponsored by Coast Capital
Los Dorados plays traditional Mexican music with their own unique northern twist. Since 2003, under the leadership of bandleader, vocalist and guitarist Alex Alegria, Los Dorados have been sharing the passion, love and respect for this internationally recognized art form.
The ensemble has played at events and festivals across western Canada, in the US and Mexico, with feature performances at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the 2011 and 2012 Calgary Stampede and a number of times at the Guadalajara International Mariachi Festival. They have shared the stage with many international acts, including Big Sugar, Lilia Downs, Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Los Camperos.
Los Dorados’ distinct look has landed them in commercials and on CBC, CTV, City TV, Global TV, Omni TV, Shaw Television and two national TV stations in Mexico—TV Azteca and Televisa.
Following their debut of two full-length albums—Guadalajara in 2009 and Si Tu Te vas in 2012—in 2016, Los Dorados presented Los Dorados, a third compilation featuring a collection of 10 original songs with mariachi arrangements.
Kow Kanda, a musician, singer and composer, handpicks his group of talented African, Caribbean, American, Canadian and Latin musicians. While he commands the band with a high octave vocal range, his African dancers and diverse musicians add a colourful presentation and melodious up-tempo beat.
Get ready to groove to some well-known tunes, as well as songs from Kow Kanda’s newest CD, Gbengbeh, which means “hot” in the Sierra-Leonean language of Temne. Rhythm guitars, drums and a host of native instruments harmonize to provide an exotic fusion of rich energetic sounds. Having performed at many festivals worldwide, Kow Kanda is a must-see performance.
Tanga, a 2019 Western Canadian Music Awards nominee for World Artist of the Year, is a bombastic world-fusion mob that mixes tropical dance beats with East African marimba, Colombian Cumbia and Cuban Jazz.
Tanga’s fiery third album on the TrebleFive label—Reencarnación—is the band's most ambitious and adventurous to date. It’s a powerful sonic statement that weaves tropical dance beats and afro-Latin sounds inspired by their musical travels in Ecuador. Fueled by warm coastal breezes, Amazonian fire water and sweaty club grooves, the music delivers a fresh take on the urban Latin sound.
Amir Haghighi (Persian traditional singing) and Amy Stephen (Celtic harp, vocals) have been performing their unique blend of Celtic-Persian fusion for nearly two decades. They have been featured in ensembles at the Vancouver Folk Festival, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, and concert series and festivals around North America. Having been together for 17 years, they delve deeply into their respective musical traditions to find common ground and celebrate the beauty of cultural distinction.
Separately, the performers have been working on traditional music for most of their lives. Haghighi grew up in Tehran, Iran, and has been singing traditional Persian music since he was a young boy. He arrived in Canada in 1983. Stephen grew up in Vancouver and was a founding member of acclaimed Canadian Celtic funk band Mad Pudding. Currently living in Nanaimo, they continue their song writing and arranging, performing with the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra and other ensembles, and love to share their musical explorations with audiences of every background.
At the Bridge Festival, the duo will be joined by the Taneen Ensemble: Ney (Persian flute), Tar (Persian lute), Gheychak (Persian viola) and Tombak (Persian drum).
Artist Website - Amir Haghighi
Artist Website - Amy Stephen
Herbert Kwan is a Vancouver-raised musician who is known for his piano performances in concerts featuring many singers of Asian heritage. He also composes and arranges music, and specializes in piano and string instrumental music.
Throughout his career, Kwan has worked both internationally and locally. He was the concert music director for the reality singing competition The Voice of China while it toured Canada. He was also the music director for the 2015 Chinese Film Festival award ceremony and for the 2016 Super Girl Singing Competition Canadian finals. In 2016, he was the award recipient for the 33rd Sing Tao Daily Outstanding Young Professional Medal of Merit.
With his unique music approach and more than 20 years of professional music education, Kwan is among the most active young musicians in Vancouver.
The Starbirds play a mix of folk, Celtic, gospel and Latin music. Originally from Vancouver and Victoria, the band started out playing as The Paperboys Trio and, with time and gigs under their belt, they evolved their own identity with a whole new repertoire and sound.
Their sound is centred on the award-winning song writing of Tom Landa and the unique instrumentation of trombone, jarana and fiddle. Joining Landa is trombonist and bassist Nick La Riviere. He has played with jazz pianist Michael Kaeshammer and has led his own jazz septet.
The band's third member is the award-winning Kalissa Hernandez, whose fiddle style has been praised from the time she was 12 years old. She has won the BC Provincial Fiddle Championship, represented British Columbia at the Canadian Grand Masters and has toured and taught worldwide for the past four years. At the core of the group is the vocal blend of Landa and Hernandez. They sing in English and Spanish, representing their Latin and Celtic backgrounds.
Between the trombone, fiddle, step dancing and rhythms of the Mexican jarana, it's no wonder The Starbirds are a crowd favourite at festivals, clubs and theatres.
In a bridge created by music, the West Vancouver Youth Band forges a new path of respect for the cultural heritage of First Nations. Squamish Nation Cultural Adviser and performer Bob Baker has shared a piece of his oral tradition, the Wolf Song, with the WVYB Symphonic Band and granted permission for that gift to be expanded into a large instrumental work for young people worldwide to experience.
In an initiative by WVYB Executive Director Douglas Macaulay, Baker has teamed with noted BC composer Robert Buckley and the WVYB to transcribe and expand the Wolf Song into a notated work for the band.
“We hope that this collaboration teaches our young people love and respect for all and helps to give them a deeper understanding and respect of our First Nations,” says Macaulay.