Vancouver Sun: Celtic Fest plumbs culture roots… Todd Wong mentioned

Vancouver Sun: Celtic Fest plumbs culture roots.
Great preview story in Vancouver Sun, Thursday March 10th.

Todd Wong is hosting the Afro-Celtic Dance Party on March 18th, Friday at the Edgewater Casino.  This is going to be a fantastic event as the performers are great.  Imagine putting high energy jigs and reels together with hypnotic African drum rhythms.

I am really excited that African guitarist and singer Alpha Yaya Diallo is involved.  He is going to be creating something wonderful with fiddler Stephanie Cadman and accordionist Amy Stephen.  I have always loved Amy's accordion work with Mad Pudding and Jou Tou.

Here is the excerpt from the Celticfest program:
AfroCeltic Dance Party March 18 at the Stadium Club at Edgewater Casino
A night made for dancing!
thrilling cross-cultural mash-up, as brilliant musicians and dancers
fuse the intoxicating grooves of Celtic and African music. It’s one
rhythm-filled night just made for dancing. If you caught the CelticSalsa
spirit in ’09, this is the show for you!

Alpha-Yaya-Diallo Artists include Alpha Yaya Diallo, Amy Stephen, Boris Favre & Allan Dionne (formerly of Mad Pudding), Stephanie Cadman, Boris Sichon, African dancer N’Nato Camera, and powerhouse percussionist Yoro Noukoussi.

to this Vancouver Sun story, about Celticfest… I now play bagpipes???
NOT!!! But… for CelticFest, I am hosting the Afro-Celtic Dance Party
on March 18th (NOT the 19th as printed)…. And I do now play Scottish
& Irish tunes on my accordion with the Black Bear Rebels celtic
ceilidh ensemble

Vancouverites worth their wellies will recognize what comedian Hal
Roach was saying when he declared of his homeland: “You know it's summer
in Ireland when the rain gets warmer.” Apart from our strikingly
similar weather, there are plenty of connections between Canada's Wet
Coast and Ireland's Wet Everything, especially now that the economic
meltdown back home has many young Irish men and women seeking a new
future here.

The buildup to St. Patrick's Day in Vancouver used to
consist of circling March 17 on the calendar and wearing something
green that's clean and ready to spill a drink on. Since CelticFest
arrived in 2004, however, booze takes a back seat.

“We try to stay
away from the myth of Celtic festivals, that you have to drink and get
drunk,” says executive producer Rita Albano. “It's not about that, it's
much more about the culture, the traditions and the artistic component.”

is building toward the big weekend of March 19 and 20, just past
Paddy's Day, when two blocks of Granville Street will be closed to
traffic during the day and a Sunday parade unfolds along Howe Street.
But CelticFest Vancouver 2011 actually kicks off this Friday.

when TV personality Fiona Forbes hosts the inaugural St. Patrick's Day
Luncheon, to be held in the Hotel Vancouver's historic Panorama Roof
Ballroom. The Ireland Fund of Canada sponsors this unique event, which
will see simulcast electronic links to similar luncheons in Toronto and
St. John's.

The next taste of festival events comes Tuesday when
the Colin Grant Band performs in a free lunchtime concert at Georgia and
Granville. Similar noonhour shows will take place all next week, and
the action spreads to places where you can indeed sing Whiskey in the
Jar with a whiskey in your hand: Ceili's Irish Pub, Doolin's Irish Pub
and Johnnie Fox's Irish Snug, all on and around Granville Street.

big day itself will be celebrated next Thursday night with what's
dubbed The World's Greatest St. Patrick's Day Céilidh. The Yale hosts
this traditional social gathering (pronounced KAY-lee), and a dozen
different performers, from Olympic opening ceremony fiddler Daniel Lapp
to Juno-winning fiddler Shona Le Mottée, will offer jigs, airs, reels,
polkas, ballads and singalongs.

Since founding CelticFest in 2004,
Albano has constantly sought new avenues to explore. The AfroCeltic
Dance party on Friday, March 19, certainly fits the bill.

we're creating a night made for dancing,” she says. “It's going to be
amazing -imagine a step-dancer and an African dancer, playing to boran
[Irish drum] and African percussion.”

Juno-winning West African
guitarist and singer Alpha Yaya Diallo will be joined by Irish and
African dancers and musicians. In keeping with the multicultural nature
of CelticFest, the show will be hosted by Todd Wong who, when wearing
his kilt and playing the bagpipes, is better known as Toddish McWong.

The annual St. Patrick's Day
parade takes place on Sunday March 20th.  Take in events before and
after the parade.  As usual, we will have a Gung Haggis Fat Choy parade
entry… past years have seen us put dragon boats on trailers into the
festival.  2 years ago we had a 5 person Chinese dragon boat walking
with the Gung Haggis Pipes & Drums during a snow storm.

Check out my story about the 2009 parade (2010 was canceled due to the Olympics & Paralympics games):
Gung Haggis Pipes & Drums & dragon boat paddlers… brave the snow in the Vancouver Celticfest St. Patrici's Day Parade

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