Instruments Beyond Borders, a Vancouver based registered society that delivers used musical instruments to youth orchestras in disadvantaged communities at home or abroad, is producing a benefit concert in support of Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra of Cateura and Vancouver’s St. James Music Academy.
Popular Canadian actor Dan Payne and Global TV personality Lynn Colliar will co-host the event at the Fei and Milton Wong Theatre at SFU’s Woodward’s downtown campus on Wednesday, May 13.
The program will feature the highly acclaimed Borealis String Quartet, the versatile gypsy jazz group Van Django with local MP Don Davies and the St. James Music Academy Senior Orchestra. Together, they’ll all be on stage and demonstrating the power of music with some of Vancouver’s finest vocal talent: Ryan Guldemond, Jasmin Parkin, Colleen Rennison, Chin Injeti and Tonye Aganaba.
Founded in Vancouver, British Columbia in the fall of 2000 and rapidly establishing a stellar reputation, Borealis has toured extensively in North America, Europe and Asia, and performed to enthusiastic sold-out audiences in major cities, including New York; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Rome; Mainz; Shanghai; Taipei; Beijing; Toronto; Montreal; Ottawa and their hometown of Vancouver.
Although Borealis feels strongly committed to the great traditional quartet literature, they actively seek to promote new works and are strong advocates of Canadian music.
Van Django is an acoustic string ensemble made up of four of Canada’s most talented and eclectic musicians: violinist Cameron Wilson, guitarist Budge Schachte, guitarist/cellist Finn Manniche and bassist Brent Gubbels.
Django’s music is punchy, driving and rhythmically inventive, combining a wealth of musical influences while maintaining their roots in the gypsy jazz made famous by the 1930’s Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Since the group’s formation in 1998, they have toured extensively in Canada as well as international forays to the USA, Europe and China.
Davies began violin lessons when he was six years old and played in a number of orchestras, string quartets and bands; he also plays the piano, viola and oboe (very badly). His claim to fame is being a seat-mate with Cameron Wilson in the Edmonton All-City Strings for three years in the 1970s.
Ryan Guldemond founded Vancouver indie pop/rock group Mother Mother in 2005. Helming production and songwriting duties on most of Mother Mother’s releases, in addition to his role as frontman, Guldemond’s efforts yielded the group eight Top 10 alternative pop singles to date, as well as Guldemond’s first Juno nod as producer for the group’s fourth LP The Sticks.
Now with Universal Music, Guldemond and Mother Mother’s success continues with LP5, Very Good Bad Thing, as the band is nominated for Group of the Year at this year’s awards. Guldemond has further honed his craft on projects by Juno Award winning artist Hannah Georgas, up and coming pop songstress Willa, Rykka, Rococode and more.
Jasmin Parkin is a singer/songwriter from Vancouver. She was born on Vancouver Island and spent her early childhood studying classical and jazz piano in the Comox Valley. Parkin made a full-length recording of jazz standards and originals with father and son duo Art and Lee Ellefson, called No Reason Why.
Parkin joined Mother Mother in late 2008 shortly after the release of Oh My Heart. She never looked back, and has been touring the world and making albums ever since.
Tonye Aganaba is a citizen of the universe, undefined by geographical, cultural or stylistic boundaries. It’s a distinction that suits her well, for a woman who has lived and performed around the globe. Her pure, lush voice dances across addictive melodies, flows with undeniable groove, and slides effortlessly between the genres she loves — including R&B, FutureSoul, Funk and Hip-Hop!
“Eclectic” is one word to describe Chin Injeti, the ultra-talented producer associated with two GRAMMY Award-winning projects, who is also a multi-instrumentalist, co-founder of the innovative JUNO Award-winning R&B trio Bass Is Base and current Universal Music Canada A&R consultant.
Among the superstars that they’ve recently written for and produced: Detroit rap icon Eminem; Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae; multi-million-seller P!nk; and LA’s Aloe Blacc. He has worked with rapper Drake, hiphop icon Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, The Clipse (featuring Kanye West) and Vancouver’s Swollen Member contributor Mad Child Born Pranam Injeti in India.
In Injeti’s most recent solo album, The Reverb, he’s looking to uplift the human spirit and to unify listeners who refuse to place barriers between their favourite music genres.
Colleen Rennison is an actress and singer born and raised in Vancouver. She has appeared on many TV shows and feature films including The Story of Us (1999), The Outer Limits and Down River (2013). In 2008, she relocated to New York to attend Circle in the Square Theatre School, leaving after one year to pursue her career in music. Since returning to Vancouver, Rennison has released a critically acclaimed debut EP Boo Hoo Hoo with her blues-rock band No Sinner and a solo album See the Sky About to Rain.
Check out the video from 60 minutes on Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra of Cateura:
SJMA believes in social transformation through the power and love of music. Through the inspiration and joy of collaborative music making within the framework of the orchestras and choirs, it gives young people in the Downtown Eastside and beyond the opportunity to explore their creative potential, gain self-confidence, get an academic head start and become role models within their family and community.
IBB is a registered non-profit society dedicated to delivering musical instruments to youth orchestras in disadvantaged communities at home and abroad. Founded in 2013, Instruments Beyond Borders has delivered close to $40,000 worth of donated instruments to the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, Paraguay (Landfill Harmonic), and St.James Music Academy of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. “There are thousands of dormant musical instruments unused in people’s closets just waiting to come alive in the hands of aspiring young musicians”, said Janos Maté of IBB. “We aim to help harness the power of music to better children’s lives one instrument at a time“.
When: Wednesday, May 13
Where: Fei & Milton Wong Theatre, SFU
Tickets: $30 online and $35 at the door – buy online