Autumn has officially arrived and while the region celebrates the harvesting of local produce, the Old School House Arts Centre (TOSH) is gathering its own crop of stellar musicians.
The ninth annual Harvest of Music Festival will feature classical music, jazz, and a multicultural adventure among other musical entertainment. It runs Sept 27 through Sept 29 at TOSH.
Around the World in 80 minutes (which actually runs two hours) features the internationally acclaimed Silk Road Trio from Vancouver along with Victoria Eastern European and Russian music vocalist and instrumentalist Tony Booker. They will be accompanied by a dynamic ensemble that includes local pianist Ron Hadley. That concert will happen Saturday, Sept. 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. and costs $16.
Silk Road Music was founded by Qiu Xia He in 1991. She is a master of the pipa, also known as the Chinese lute, which she has been playing since she was a young child. She also sings and plays percussion. Silk Road ranges from a duo to a full troupe, but often three musicians form a trio.
Andre Thibault, Qiu Xia He’s husband, is in the trio. He is from Montreal and has been mastering the guitar for over 40 years. He is also very skilled at playing the our (middle Eastern lute), the hulusi (a Chinese reed flute) and various other percussion and wind instruments. Liam MacDonald is also in the group, specializing in Brazilian and Middle Eastern frame drums.
Silk Road Music has earned two West Coast Music Awards, and a number of prestigious nominations and reviews.
Ron Hadley, director of music programming at TOSH, will be performing with the trio on Saturday. Qiu Xia He said she recently invited Hadley to play with her trio at the Chinese Garden in Vancouver and it was “exceptionally exciting. We have our own repertoire and suddenly we have this jazz pianist come in and suddenly we feel like, wow we’re free,” she said.
“He’s a fantastic player. He’s very sensitive and knows how to approach Asian music.”
Hadley has compiled a group of seasoned musicians to complete the show, with Tony Booker on accordion, piano and vocals, Liam Hockley on clarinets, Jim Cameron on tenor saxophone, Ross MacDonald on bass, and Buff Allen and Liam MacDonald on percussion and drums.