Vancouver Folk Festival features Asian, Celtic, Scottish & Accordion performers

I’ve scoured the list of performers at the
2004 Vancouver Folk Festival and these are the people that caught my
eye. I’ve listed them under the reasons why: Asian fusion/Asian
Heritage, Accordion (my chosen instrument), and Celtic / Scottish

The performer biographies and descriptions are from the Vancouver Folk
Festival website. For more info on the Vancouver Folk Festival and a
program of the artists check out

I’ll be attending on Saturday – Hope to see you there….

Todd Wong

Asian fusion/Asian Heritage

Autorickshaw Ontario

Gorgeous grooves on the trans-cultural
frontier, weaving ancient traditions with a very modern attitude. In
creating their music, Autorickshaw draws from North and South Indian
music, jazz, Western classical and pop. The ensemble's repertoire
includes funky, contemporary arrangements of south Indian classical
compositions, Bollywood tinged jazz standards, and fiery Indo-jazz
originals. Contact

Raghu Lokanathan British Columbia

A special debut performance by a true BC original, with songs to make you smile and sing along. The
melodies are the kind that stick in your head and you find yourself
humming them in the kitchen. The stories are the kind that make your
brain skip. They're not your usual stories and the voices that sing
them are not the voices we are used to hearing from in songs. Yet as
Raghu sings them into being, we feel like we know those voices and
probably have more than a few things in common with them.

Mercan Dede Québec / Turkey

A 21st century dervish,
blending acoustic virtuosity on ancient Turkish instruments and the
rhythms of the rave in a transcendental groove (Friday & Saturday
In 1997, he created an ensemble to bring together what he
had learned about music, dancing and life in both Turkey and North
America. Knowing both worlds, he could see points of convergence mixing
virtuoso live performances of ancient acoustic instruments with an
understanding of trance that predated raves but also included them. “On
one side, I grew up as a Sufi musician and dervish, and on the other,
I'd started DJing. Then I realized that, looking at the turntable, it
was exactly like the skirt of the whirling dervish. I realized that the
materials and instruments are just a bridge.”

Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali Pakistan

The next generation in this beautiful ancient music, led by the nephews of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. They
bring the energy, the passion and sense of risk to the stage that can
make performances by young artists so thrilling, but they are starting
from another place. They are the young inheritors of a family tradition
that goes back over 500 years. Their grandfather and teacher was also
the teacher of their uncle, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. They have also
worked with Funmental and jammed with David Bowie, Patti Smith and
Philip Glass on stage.

Visit the Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali web site


Geoff Berner British Columbia

Not just another lucky buckaroo with an accordion, one of Vancouver's finest songwriters finally flies solo on the beach. Geoff
is on a journey to create new Klezmer music. Geoff and Estrella the
accordion have written many songs together, exploring the tension
between the cheerful chords of the accordion and Geoff's often biting,
humorous lyrics, Visit the Geoff Berner web site

Filippo Gambetta Italy

Beautiful melodic improv and interpretations of Italian melodies on
melodeon, guitar and bass. Filippo is the composer and performer of
glorious, lyrical music. It's based in traditional music and then draws
in other worlds, from the classical to global. As a musical explorer,
Filippo is often found sitting in with musicians from any number of
cultural traditions. He absorbs all those influences and combines them
with a vivid musical imagination. It is not Europe through
rose-coloured glasses; it is Europe through a kaleidoscope.
Collaborating with Filippo this summer are guitarist Claudio de Angeli
and Michel Ballati on Irish wooden flute.

Scottish traditions/fusions

The Duhks Manitoba

A roots riot with fresh prairie attitude, blending Celtic and mountain roots into new Canadian music.If
you've been listening to folk music for many years, you'll find much to
love about The Duhks. They draw deeply on acoustic traditions from
Québec to Appalachia to Cape Breton and their choice of songs includes
some we don't hear often enough, like Woody's “Pretty Boy Floyd.” The
Duhks are winning hearts and spinning dancers at halls and festivals
from coast to coast to coast.

Visit the The Duhks web site

James Graham Scotland

This year's Young Celtic Tradition Award winner brings the pipes and
the old Gaelic songs to Jericho. We are reliably informed that James
grew up in the far northwest of Sunderland in Scotland. His mother
played accordion and the whole family sang at regular ceilidhs with
friends and families. It was his great aunt Seordag Murray who was his
biggest influence: Keen to see the tradition live on, she taught him
every Gaelic song she knew. He also began to learn the pipes.
Performing with James this weekend is pianist James Ross and piper and
step dancer Donald Brown.

Enoch Kent Ontario

A one-man folk revival, from early days in Glasgow with Ewan MacColl
through life in Canada as a workin' chap and artist. He was born in
Glasgow some years ago and you can still hear some of that hard town in
his voice today. There's that trace of an accent, of course, but it's
there too in the songs he chooses to sing and the way in which he sings
them. These are songs written about working life and loving life over
the centuries and he sings them with love and respect, both for the
songs and for the lives lived in them.

Shooglenifty Scotland

The return of the crazed Scottish folkadelic beat masters, ready to set you reeling.It
was 1997 when these acid crofters first flew out from Edinburgh,
bringing their hypno-funkadelic selves to Canada for the first time to
play at this very Park. A decade is a long time in the life of a band
though, especially one that began by defining a new style, drawing
together everything hot about dance culture and melding it with the
power of Scottish music and a full-on live band. Traces of North Africa
and the Middle East weav in and out of those Highland roots now.

Visit the Shooglenifty web site

Dick Gaughan Scotland

One of the most passionate and committed interpreters of traditional
and contemporary songs. He grew up inside the tradition, albeit out in
Leith, a tough town even by Scottish standards. There was both Scots
and Irish Gaelic in the house and often music. His family included
singers, a fiddler, and in the case of his grandmother, an
accordionist. In each of his songs you can hear his respect for the
dignity of the lives he sings about. His voice rings out with honest
love, rage and reverence. Like gospel, his music is filled with the
belief that change is going to come and we're the people to make it

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