Silk Road and Friends to perform in Errington

Music lovers are in for a real extravaganza with Silk Road and Friends

The Silk Road duo of Qiu Xia He and Andre Thibault.

The Silk Road duo of Qiu Xia He and Andre Thibault.

A world music extravaganza with Silk Road and Friends promises to entertain, delight, surprise, and dazzle at the Errington Hall April 14.

For over 20 years, the internationally acclaimed, Vancouver-based Silk Road Duo has been smashing stereotypes about ethnic music and taking Chinese instruments in new artistic directions.

Its pioneering musical fusions have merged Chinese folk and classical music with Brazilian, Celtic, Spanish, Arabic, Aboriginal, jazz and blues music.

For the past two decades, Quebecois multi instrumentalist Andre Thibault and Chinese pipa wizard Qiu Xia He, have entertained audiences with music that spans the world. Their latest venture into Flamenco music and dance.

It adds to their copious repertoire of songs from China, the Middle East, Brazil, and Quebec.

Thibault’s main instruments are a virtuoso acoustic guitar and Middle Eastern oud, a guitar-like lute that was the precursor of the Chinese pipa. Over the hundreds of years that travelers and merchants traversed the Silk Road, the oud arrived in China and underwent modifications that made it compatible with Chinese music.

The name pipa describes the up and down hand movement, or strumming technique used to play the instrument.

In his deft hands, the pipa is adaptable to many different styles of folk music from China to Spain to Ireland to Canada.

In their concerts, Silk Road always develops a warm rapport with audiences, engaging them in the music and encouraging their participation.

The duo’s delight in performing is matched by their generosity – for the Errington Hall concert they welcome local musicians and dancers into their show.  Erringtonian Robin Shackleton will accompany them on percussion and Nanaimo’s Lynette Harper and the Island Belly Dancers will enhance the evening with movement and spectacular costumes.

Silk Road and Friends at the Errington Hall is April 14 at 8 p.m.  Tickets are on sale at the Errington Store, Cranky Dog Music in Parksville and Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach. The cost is $20 for adults, under 12 $5 at the door and under five free.