Chan Centre’s 20th anniversary marked with unusual collaborations for 2017/2018 season

The concert series includes gospel vocalists and South African jazz legends

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      The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, whose past performers include the masterful Yo-Yo Ma, Buena Vista Social Club, and Sigur Rós, will continue to share the music—from the classical to the raw and avant-garde—in celebrating the 20-year milestone anniversary. 

      Co-managing director, Joyce Hinton, sees the Chan Centre's audience as intellectually curious, adventuresome, and willing to take a chance. "There's so much possibility for audiences this year," Hinton told the Straight over the phone. "We are continuing the artistic quality that is reflective of UBC and Vancouver's diverse community. We want people to feel represented and comfortable," says Hinton. 

      Exemplyfing Hinton's hope are the Blind Boys of Alabama alongside Ben Heppner to kick off the season in late September. Having earned five Grammy awards over their sweeping careers, The Blind Boys of Alabama's legendary music served as a soundtrack to the civil rights movement.  Ben Heppner, UBC alumnus and leading Wagnerian tenor, began singing church hymns in Dawson Creek, B.C., songs that Heppner will open the performance with. The Blind Boys’ soulful harmonies and Heppner's mighty vocals will produce a night of uplifting gospel music.

      The following month, in October, the reigning master of tabla Zakir Hussain will join forces with jazz composer Dave Holland to perform Crosscurrents, an intersection of jazz and Indian music. A quintent which includes Chris Potter and award-winning Bollywood film composer Shankar Mahadevan will support the exploration of these interconnected styles, despite being worlds apart.

       Later on, in March 2018, the Latin Grammy award-winning Lila Downs, a vivacious Mexican-American singer with Indigenous roots will perform brand new songs from her forthcoming album, Salon Lágrimas y Deseos, which explores themes of feminism and political activism.


      In April, the Austalian contemporary circus company, Circa, presents their latest show Opus by pairing Shostakovich’s quartets with physical and poetic acrobatics.  The relationship between sound and movement is explored through heart-stopping acrobatic feats and a host of instrumentalists.

      Next season also includes the Beyond Words Series, an intimate experience at Telus Studio Theatre, exploring the intersection between storytelling and cutting-edge multidiscplinary works. March 2018 will bring together Polaris prize-winning Inuit vocalist Tanya Tagaq and Greenlandic mask dancer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory to reclaim Indigenous women’s stories through an exhiliarating performance piece.

      Subscription packages on sale as of May 2 and include complete eight-show subscriptions as well as three-show and six-show pacakges. Single tickets for the 2017/2018 season go on sale on June 13. 

      Subscriptions can be purchased online, on the phone at 604-822-2697, or in-person at the Chan Centre ticket office 6265 Crescent Road, UBC.  

      This is just a select snapshot of what the Chan Centre Presents Series has on offer for the 2017/2018 season. Below, find the full series rundown celebrating the Chan’s landmark 20th anniversary:

      The Blind Boys of Alabama with Ben Heppner - September 23 at 8 p.m.

      Irish supergroup The Gloaming - October 15 at 7 p.m.

      Zakir Hussain and Dave Holland: Crosscurrents - October 28 at 8 p.m.

      Texas troubadours Ruthie Foster, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Carrie Rodriguez - November 8 at 8 p.m.

      Illustrious South African musicians The Jazz Epistles: Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela - February 18, 2018 at 7 p.m.

      Lila Downs - March 10, 2018 at 8pm. 

      Cuba's next-generation musical icons Daymé Arocena and Roberto Fonseca - April 15, 2018 at 7 p.m.

      Circa: Opus - April 28, 2018 at 8 p.m.

      Beyond Words Series:

      Threads by cartoonist, activist, and author Kate Evans - September 29 at 7:30pm.

      Tanya Tagaq and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory - March 16 and 17, 2018 at 7:30pm.