The Sound of Dragon across Time and Space

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If you are curious about blending two very distinct musical worlds, there has probably never been a better place and time than Vancouver and Now. As the city hosts large populations with European and Asian heritage, it seems inevitable that these cultures should mix and create something new and distinctly Canadian. As someone who has lived in the city for nearly 18 years, a city known for its openness and spirit of innovation, it surprises me how little musical cross-pollination seems to be happening. Enter the Sound of Dragon.

Armanini Lan National Concert Hall Taipei 2011

Mark Armanini and Lan Tung in Taipei

With one foot in the folk traditions of China and the other in the wild improvisational aesthetic of jazz, the Sound of Dragon Ensemble is blazing a brave new standard for what Canadian music can be. The first hour of this week’s program presents an intriguing conversation with SODE composers Lan Tun, John Oliver, and Mark Armanini, longtime residents of Vancouver and scholars of sonic alchemy. Catch their spring concert this thursday!

Breaking Sound Barriers: Persian Flamenco!

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Just when you think there ain’t nothing new..  Presenting Farnaz Ohadi, whose sublime new spin on Flamenco is a world of its own.  Farnaz sings in Farsi and incorporates Persian instrumentation, yet her music still remains faithful to the Spanish roots of Flamenco.  Hear an exclusive interview with Farnaz, as she shares brand new music from her debut Bird Dance LP, out October 1st (along with an album release show):

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Matato’a band of Rapa Nui flyin’ high

Also on the program – a tropical trip to Rapa Nui aka Easter Island!

sounds of the home grown

June 21st marks not only the beginning of summer in Canada – it is also our National Aboriginal Day.  In honour of the 20th anniversary of our country’s re-awakening, Wandering Rhythms this week presents an hour of diverse and sublime aboriginal music from Canada (first half) and worldwide (second half).  From traditional drumming to hip hop and many burgeoning scenes in between, these cultures are reclaiming their power and moving into the new age with power and purpose.

Ruckus with Caracas!

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Venezuelan brothers Javier and Victor Badillo of the band Caracas have been rockin’ the Vancouver music scene for years, and the jubilant energy of Latin punk rock still inspires their every power chord and air punch.  Catch ’em on Wandering Rhythms as they perform live tracks, present their electric new Bring on the Playtime EP, and discuss the dire situation unfolding back home in Venezuela.  This is music to uplift!

 

Introducing my bizarro cumbia band.. MNGWA!

Dear far out friends,

Even though posts on this site have been infrequent, the Wandering Rhythms weekly radio show has never missed a beat.  Recent trips through the soundscapes of North Korea, North Ireland, Dominican Republic, and the Cook Islands have kept me inspired in this weekly journey of ever-changing musicians.

But this is something personal, the project that has been my other musical obsession for the past two years.  This band is the embodiment of the music I like to play most on this show; a wild multicultural mashup of styles that never settle into a single rhythm.  We are nine musicians from Mexico, Russia, and Canada that play progressive latin music, jumping from dub to rock, funk to reggaeton, but always settling back into cumbia.  We are Mngwa, and we call our music Vancumbia.

Here is our first music video, shot entirely on Kingsway, home to many immigrant communities and also the oldest strip in Vancouver:

And here is our debut record, the first ever Wandering Rhythms production.