The eighth annual City of Bhangra Festival (May 31-June 10) is in full swing across Vancouver this week, celebrating lively bhangra music and dancing from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. With high-energy, infectious songs and colourful dance routines, bhangra has caught on across North America and especially in Vancouver.
And one of the biggest stars in contemporary bhangra, the UK’s Dalvinder Singh, is coming to Heritage Hall on Main Street on Tuesday, June 5. If you’re a bhangrahead – or just a fan of great world music performed at the highest level – this is one show you shouldn’t miss.
Bhangra music has its roots in traditional songs from the Punjab region. But it actually originated in Britain in the 1980s, when Punjabi immigrants took those folk sounds and incorporated contemporary rock, R&B and – later – hip-hop – instruments and beats. It is in many ways a music of identity and protest – focused on affirming a positive sense of self and Punjabi culture.