HSBC City of Bhangra Festival May 30 to June 8 2013

The adventure in Music, Dance and Community-Building continues May 30 – June 8th.

The Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration (VIBC) Society is thrilled to once again host the HSBC City of Bhangra Festival this spring, allowing the organization to build community for all through the celebration and joy of Bhangra. VIBC is also pleased to welcome back HSBC Bank Canada as the event’s title sponsor. This spring marks the ninth year the VIBC has held the festival.

Highlights of the 2013 Festival:

• One of the Festival’s favourite intercultural mash-up events, rePercussion, will be presented in both Surrey and Vancouver this year
• Presenting artists from the UK who have never performed here before
• 20 hours of free programming
• Partnering with Surrey Art Gallery and with Music on Main
• Opportunities for international and local artists and fans to meet and exchange ideas

The HSBC City of Bhangra Festival celebrates the music and dance of Bhangra in all its variations, with its potential to attract disparate communities and shatter barriers between people. It’s about community. Its roots are in harvest celebrations of the northern Punjab. After Partition some of today’s popular rhythms and dances were first developed. The diaspora brought Bhangra out of South Asia. Driven by the dhol drum, performed in eye-poppingly brilliant and detailed costumes, Vancouver and Surrey are home to dozens of Bhangra teams. Once a year this region is a home-away-from-home for Bhangra dancers, musicians and DJs from around the world.

Our popular rePercussion returns – May 30 at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in Vancouver, and June 6 at the Surrey Arts Centre. Vancouver Community College’s Sal Ferreras, widely known for his intercultural work, has once again curated and programmed a stunning percussion mash-up, representing South Asian, Brazilian, and First Nations traditions as well as street music and more.

Featured in repercussion, Sunil Kalyan is returning to HSBC City of Bhangra Festival for a second time. He is famous the world over for his own percussion style. Master of Indian percussion, he has given birth to a 4th dimension in the Punjabi industry, as Punjabi MC in the Bhangra and mainstream industries, featured on “Get Your Freak On” by Missy Elliot, “Beware of the Boys”, and recording with Timbaland.


Sunil Kalyan. Photo VIBC

A Raw Folk singer hailing from Punjab, Saini Surinder was brought forward to the world in 2010 by rapidly expanding label E3UK. Saini Surinder quickly made his name with the release of the singles “Mundra”, “Get Funky” and “Gabru Rangeeleh”, and is set to release a massive collaboration alongside Dr Zeus on E3UK!

A talented producer and musician, Gupsy Aujla has been an ever-present name in the UK Bhangra scene for nearly a decade now. He has been behind some of the biggest singles of the past few years alongside Saini Surinder: “Bhangra”, “Get Funky” and “Sida Sada” all having released on E3UK Records.

For more than a decade, DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid have played a transformative role in the Portland, Oregon club scene. They are most known for incinerating dance floors with the South Asian sounds of Bhangra and Bollywood, but the duo scours the globe for any hard-hitting music that combines local musical traditions with window-rattling production.

DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid Photo VIBC

Bhangra on Main also returns – June 4 at Heritage Hall on Main Street – featuring DSarb. Still a teenager, he was born and raised in Oxford. He first began performing when he was just 3 years old playing Dholak alongside his father at weddings. He then went on to train under Ustad Nafees Irfan where he groomed his vocal, tabla and harmonium skills. His talents caught the ear of Urban Desi music producer D-Boy who signed D-Sarb to his new record label, BeatCircle in 2010.

Spectacular Sangeet is presented in collaboration with VIBC at the Surrey Art Gallery, from April 13 through June 15. Music and dance have long inspired visual artists to make pictures. More recently, South Asian performing arts traditions have sparked visual artists around the world to re-imagine ‘Sangeet’ (music and dance) in a variety of electronic media and innovative forms. This exhibition features artists from Canada and England who engage with South Asian music and dance traditions to illuminate questions about the body and music, the individual and the group, gender and spirituality. Including photo-paintings of Bharatnatyam dance, Bollywood poster collage, and kinetic photo-sculpture, the exhibition incorporates diverse genres of Sangeet: from Giddha to Rock, and classical dance to contemporary movement. Featuring Chila Kumari Burman, Oliver Husain, Harminder Singh Judge, Project Rainbow, Ron Sangha, Jack Shadbolt, Ikbal Singh, and Meera Margaret Singh. Co-curated by Naveen Girn and Jordan Strom.

On Saturday, June 1, InFlux with VIBC’s Media Arts Mehfil is a fabulous evening of live music mash-ups, Hip Hop dance battles, and art projections returns to the Surrey Art Gallery. Featuring a twist on the traditional mehfil style, this informal gathering of digital media artists, musicians and dancers brings together new collaborations grounded in the mehfil’s emphasis on improvisation, collaboration, and a sense of play. Featuring performers Mohammad Assani, DJ A-Slam, Sammy Chien, Tad Hozumi, Rup Sidhu, and others. For ages 19 to 30.

The HSBC City of Bhangra Festival winds up on the weekend of June 7 and 8 with a festival in itself. Downtown Bhangra offers dozens of performers from overseas (including those above), plus Bhangra teams from all over North America and Metro Vancouver in two-days of non-stop concerts and performances on the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza. This open-air festival attracts Bhangra fans, hipsters, shoppers, families, and hip seniors to the incessant, infectious rhythms and colourful sights onstage. Friday, June 7 from 6 to 10pm, and Saturday, June 8 from noon to 10pm.

More exciting artists and activities will be announced in coming weeks!



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