The Firehall Arts Centre and the Vancouver Independent Music Centre (VIM) and are pleased to present the third season of Music in the Courtyard, an exciting and eclectic open air series of music for all ears.
The 2022 Music in the Courtyard series will be held most weekends from Saturday, July 30 to Sunday, September 4. Concerts will take place in the outdoor courtyard of the Firehall Arts Centre Friday to Saturday at 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm, with the exception of the first evening.
Tickets are being offered on a sliding scale from $15 to $25. Capacity is limited, CLICK HERE to get your tickets today!
The performance by Michael Red + Tsimka has been moved to September 1st 7:30 pm due to unforeseen circumstances. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may have caused.
Saturday, July 30, 8:00 pm | Noodle Connection
A pan-Asian stir-fry of music, memories and more featuring Kokuho Rose Prohibited and Inalienable Rice Revisited.
Joyce Chong: vocals, Sean Gunn: bass, John Endo Greenaway: guitar, Linda Uyehara Hoffman: vocals, Rick Shiomi: mandolin.
Kokuho Rose Prohibited was formed in 1977 by a group of Japanese and Chinese Canadians with a shared love of folk and blues music. It was a seminal period for Asian Canadian culture and cross-pollination was rife. Shakuhachi master Takeo Yamashiro co-founded Tonari Gumi. Mandolin player Rick Shiomi coordinated the inaugural Powell Street Festival in 1977. He, along with Linda Uyehara Hoffman, Sean Gunn and others, edited Inalienable Rice, a Chinese & Japanese Canadian Anthology, featuring many important artists including Terry Watada, Joy Kogawa, the late Jim Wong Chu, Tamio Wakayama, and Roy Kiyooka. John Endo Greenaway later became the longest serving editor of The Bulletin, a Journal of Japanese Canadian Community, History and Culture. Members of the group went on to found Katari Taiko, Canada’s first taiko group, and a number of other taiko groups across North America. Noodle Connection reunites five members of the band for an intimate evening of memories shared through songs, stories, poetry, visuals, special guests, and of course food.
Sunday, July 31, 7:30 pm | Niho, Fito, y Marlin
High-energy Latin music and culture.
Niho Takase: piano, Fito Garcia: bass, Marlin Ramazzini: vocals, percussion
JUNO nominated pianist Niho Takase instantly fell in love with Cuban music when pianist Kathy Kidd introduced her to Latin music in college. Niho played in the Latin Jazz Ensemble led by renowned percussionist Sal Ferreras, later led by composer/trumpeter John Korsrud. Those experiences help her achieve her goal of studying music in Cuba and Spain. Marlin Ramazzini, JUNO Award nominee and recipient of the Vancouver Inspirational Latin Awards and Guatemalan Cultural Association Award, is one of the most versatile and accomplished Latin singers on the West Coast with a warm and sensuous voice that can tease out the essence of any song. She studied with Omara Portuondo, one of the greatest Cuban singers. Fito Garcia received a JUNO Award for his participation in El Camino Real by Ancient Cultures. He has been nominated twice for West Coast Music Awards for Best World Music Album. Fito produced a new album Life is For Doing Things by The Tommy Kae Band and Marlin Ramazzini’s second album Amandote.
Friday, August 5, 7:30 pm | Don McGlashan
Thoughtful, literate songs about love, distance and homeware.
Don McGlashan: vocals, guitar
Internationally-revered New Zealand singer/songwriter Don McGlashan is one of the country’s most highly regarded songwriters and musicians, best known as the co-founder and frontman of the iconic and internationally acclaimed The Mutton Birds and frequent Neil Finn/Crowded House collaborator. Award-wining McGlashan has five entries in APRA’s 100 Best Ever NZ Songs and two APRA Silver Scrolls for NZ’s top songwriter. McGlashan released his new album Bright November Morning this spring and it topped the NZ album charts in its first week. Bright November Morning, McGlashan’s fourth solo album, is an essential addition to his remarkable output. It has all the glittering McGlashan touches in place: from the detail perfect narratives of local life, to the strummy melodicism with detours into something, and on to those welcomed and welcoming choruses.
Saturday, August 6, 7:30 pm | Murray Porter Band
Lead by the legendary Mohawk blues man Murray Porter, this band of seasoned musicians gains new audiences every time they perform their soulful blues.
Murray Porter: lead vocals, keyboard, Helene Duguay: harmonies, bass, Rick Boulter: guitar, Darren Harry: drums
JUNO Award-winning Murray Porter may have a blues soul to the core, but he also grew up on rock and roll, R & B and country music and his recent album Stand Up! reflects these early musical influences. This year, he was nominated for the `Blues With A Feeling’ award for Lifetime Achievement from the Maple Blues Awards, Canada’s national blues awards. Porter’s love of performing comes across clear and strong. He has been compared to Dr. John, Joe Cocker and even Elton John! He captivates audiences wherever he performs and makes new fans that never leave his show disappointed. He’s a proud Mohawk man from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in southern Ontario, who now lives on Squamish Nation unceded territory in North Vancouver, BC.
“A master bluesman” (Robbie Robertson).
Sunday, August 7, 3:00 pm | x/o
Experimental, electronic, ambient, industrial, triphop, breakbeat, soundtrack, electroacoustic.
Veron Xio: electronic music producer, vocals
x/o is Veron Xio, the Vietnamese-Canadian electronic music producer, performer, filmmaker and visual artist who spends their time between their native Vancouver and Berlin. Focusing on disrupting gender binaries through audiovisual storytelling, x/o uses hyper-feminine/masculine tropes and butterfly evolution allegories to build new worlds exploring nuances in duality and cyclical emotions. Five years after releasing their debut EP Cocoon Egg, x/o followed up with their groundbreaking sequel, Chaos Butterfly, which is an epic tale of catharsis and self-actualization explored through metamorphosis. It is a free-falling kaleidoscopic journey into a beautiful nightmare, both cataclysmic and tender. x/o has performed internationally including festivals and institutions such as 3HD Festival Berlin, MUTEK Montreal, Palais de Tokyo, House of electronic Arts Basel, and has shared stages with artists such as Chino Amobi, Elysia Crampton, M.E.S.H., and Jlin. x/o is a founding member of s.M.i.L.e, a trail-blazing collective of like-minded artists in Vancouver pushing the boundaries of club experimentation.
“A criss-cross of glitchy textures, grungy 90’s trip-hop beats and heavy metal grit.” – Sonduke Magazine
Saturday, August 13, 7:30 pm | Curtis Clear Sky & Constellationz
Uplifting empowering Indigenous narrative with funky grooves consisting of hip-hop, funk, blues & soul.
Curtis Clear Sky: lead vocals, Tia Taurere-Clear Sky: supporting vocals, Terran Eason: drums, Tai Quinn Whyte: keyboard, Peter Beach, bass, Cass Gregg, guitar
Curtis Clear Sky and the Constellationz captivate audiences with their funky rhythms, thundering percussion, blasting horns, soulful harmonies, dicing & slicing DJ with empowering lyrics that gratify your soul. Curtis and his band’s highly-engaging performances make you “bump with the booming blasting blare” and you’ll be “moving your feet like you don’t care.”
Sunday, August 14, 3 pm | Serenata Mexicana
Featuring the duo of Mexican soprano Lili Nogueras and Cuban guitarist Josué Tacoronte with trombonist Jeremy Berkman.
Lili Nogueras: vocals, Josué Tacoronte: guitar, Jeremy Berkman: trombone
Two years ago, Lili Nogueras and Josué Tacoronte began their duo with the project Opera Flamenca and now they perform a program of traditional Mexican songs, with classical/popular voice and flamenco guitar. For this special performance they are joined by guest trombonist Jeremy Berkman who brings a unique and original musical contrast. As a trio they were featured in “Elementos” for Turning Point Ensemble’s 1+1+1 film project and were recently invited to contribute to the Victoria Flamenco Festival. Pianist and soprano Lili Nogueras began studying music at the age of 6 and has studied and performed around the world. Acclaimed by critics, guitarist Josué Tacoronte has released three albums and in 2013 he was awarded Best Concert Interpreter at the International Festival CUBADISCO Awards. Trombonist Jeremy Berkman currently performs with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, Cappella Borealis, and the Vancouver Brass Orchestra and has contributed to over 30 commercial recordings.
Friday, August 19, 7:30 pm | Kutapira
Zimbabwean marimba with West African and Afro-Cuban percussion.
Sangito Bigelow: marimba, percussion, drums, vocals, Theo Vincent: marimba, percussion, drums, Jeremy Bryant: marimba, percussion, drums, Kai Buchan: marimba, percussion, JeanSe: electric bass
Melding the rhythms of Zimbabwe and West Arica with Reggae, Samba, Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz, Cumbia, Disco and Hip Hop, this fusion of styles is intelligently selected, seamlessly blended and brought to you by Kutapira. What started out thirteen years ago as a youth world music initiative has metamorphosized into the crowd-pleasing percussion explosion known today as Kutapira. The name Kutapira means “Sweetness” in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, a fitting title for a band that plays a fusion of Zimbabwean marimba with West African and Afro-Cuban percussion. For years they performed exclusively as a mallet swinging, skin-slapping quintet but now, in their latest evolutionary form, they feature vocals and electric bass.
Saturday, August 20, 7:30 pm | The Fugitives
Modern folk music with big streaks of storytelling.
Brendan McLeod: guitar, vocals, Adrian Glynn: bass, balalaika, lead vocals, Chris Suen: banjo, vocals, Carly Frey: violin, vocals
A folk collective headed by songwriters Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod, the band has toured extensively through Canada, Western Europe, and the UK. Over the past twelve years, they’ve earned a reputation for unforgettable live shows, brimming with complex harmonies, infectious storytelling and top-notch musicianship. Trench Songs, The Fugitives‘ fifth record, was nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards and a JUNO Award for Traditional Roots Album of the Year. Their previous album, The Promise of Strangers, won Best Folk Album of 2019 from the German Music Critics’ Association and before that, 2013’s Everything Will Happen spent ten weeks on the top ten Canadian folk charts and earned them a support slot across Western Canada with Buffy Sainte-Marie and an appearance at UK’s Glastonbury Festival.
“This show is simply brilliant” (CBC)
Sunday, August 21, 3:00 pm | Public Dreams
Zheng and drums manifest a momentary cross-cultural conversation.
Andrea Wong: zheng, Spencer Schoening: drums, Shruti Ramani: vocals, Nikko Whitworth: bass, Meredith Bates: violin
Public Dreams is an experimental musical group that explores the convergence of different musical traditions and cultures through free improvisation. Drawing on folk, rock, and jazz influences, they meet in a playful space for public dialogue between distant soundscapes. Public Dreams’ exchange of eclectic grooves and vulnerable melodies are driven by the fleeting nature of improvisation with hopes to define a present moment.
Sunday, August 28, 3:00 pm | Omianan, featuring Thad Bailey-Mai
Original music blending elements of jazz, rock, avant-garde, and pop.
Sara Kim: vocals, Thomas Hoeller: guitar, Nikko Whitworth: bass, Jesus Adrian Caballero: drums, Thad Bailey-Mai: trumpet
Omianan is a Vancouver-based band that was formed with the intention of playing a variety of music together. Their debut album Paper Dream was released in February thanks to the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. The band was recently nominated for Global Artist of the Year at the 2022 Western Canadian Music Awards.
Thursday, September 1, 7:30 pm | Michael Red + Tsimka
Deep meditative soundscapes and atmospheres inspired by dub, nature and non-physical life.
Michael Red: live electronics, sound objects, Tsimka: vocals
Michael Red is a Vancouver-based music producer, composer, curator, performer and DJ. He is founder and lead for Low Indigo, ambient/experimental artist under the name Souns, one half of LA FE, one half of Chambers, former collaborator and touring artist with throat singer Tanya Tagaq, founding member of Lighta! Sound, and collaborator with a long list of other notable artists. Michael’s performed across Canada, and internationally and has been written about in The Wire, XLR8R, Resident Advisor, and Vice’s Thump. Tsimka Martin, rooted in nuučaan̓uł territories, morphs millennia-old oral and drumming traditions into contemporary sonic vibrations. Inspired by the dualities of the ancient and the modern, Indigenous and settler identities, ƛaʔuukʷiʔatḥ and English languages, Tsimka playfully reinterprets spiritual wisdom, natural elements, and cultural stories to remind listeners of the rhythms alive in us all – breath, heart, and joy.
This performance has been moved from August 12 to September 1 due to unforeseen circumstances. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may have caused.
Friday, September 2, 7:30 pm | Saxophilia
Home-Grown Saxophones: Canadian music for classical saxophone quartet, with works by Fred Stride, David Branter, Violet Archer, and Beatrice Ferreira.
Julia Nolan: soprano saxophone, Kris Covlin: alto saxophone, David Branter: tenor saxophone, Colin MacDonald: baritone saxophone
Formed in 1996, the Vancouver-based saxophone quartet Saxophilia has been committed to giving the highest quality performances of classical saxophone repertoire. All of the quartet members are active performers in Vancouver’s music community, as soloists and as band members in a wide variety of styles from classical to jazz to popular music. This appreciation of a diversity of music informs the group’s choice of repertoire, which ranges from the standard repertoire of classical saxophone quartet, to contemporary music, to jazz arrangements and lighter fare. In 2018, the ensemble released their self-titled recording Saxophilia, featuring the music of BC composers Dorothy Chang, Peter Hannan, and Colin MacDonald.
Saturday, September 3, 7:30 pm | Matt Cook-Contois & Eagle Ex Machina
Alternative rock and roll with blazing fiddle solos.
Matt Cook-Contois: vocals, fiddle, guitar, Erik Severinson: vocals, lead guitar, Tom Kuzma: bass, Mark Kerrey: drums
Eagle Ex Machina is an alternative rock band founded in 2020 by multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Matt Cook-Contois as a vehicle to combine his love of rock music with a traditional fiddle upbringing. The soundscape of Eagle Ex Machina pays homage and draws on influences such as the Foo Fighters & City and Colour while incorporating a modern approach to Canadian Fiddling. Their debut album features an aggressive approach to song writing, guitar and violin proficiency, and a diverse set of influences to create a unique sonic signature. Matt Cook-Contois’s musical journey started on his traditional territory of Misipawistik Cree Nation through the Frontier Fiddling Program. A combination of classroom learning, the tutelage of his musician Grandfather, and years of practice culminated in back-to-back finals appearances at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship.
Sunday, September 4, 3:00 pm | Whelming
Bohemian rock music for the overworked and under-stimulated.
Erik Severinson, guitar/ vocals; Mark Kerrey, drums, electronics
Whelming is a Vancouver music outfit developed for the purpose of exploring the creative capabilities of its members Erik Severinson and Mark Kerrey. With 20th century rock music as a jumping off point, the band lets their aesthetic wander with the current of each piece; landing elsewhere, feeling at home.