International sounds abound at third annual Vancouver World Music Festival

Tonya Aganabe performs with the B.C. World Music Collective at the Vancouver World Music Festival.

The third annual Vancouver World Music Festival takes place April 6-8. The three-day events features musicians originally from Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Africa, and London, and who now make their home in B.C.

Here are some highlights.

BC World Music Collective – Adonis Puentes, Celso Machado, Tonye Aganaba, Kurai Blessing, Locarno, and First Nations (Stō:lo/St’át’imc/Nlaka’pamux Territories) rapper, Ostwelve make up this collective. It’s made up of musicians who originally came together in 2015 at the Vancouver Island Music Festival.

H’Sao (Africa/Montreal) – Montréal-based but with members originally from Chad, H’Sao blends modern sounds and traditional African musical influences. Brothers Caleb (guitar), Mossbass (bass) and Izra L (keyboard) began singing together in 2001 and then added instruments, along with their childhood friend Dono (drums), to their sound. The brothers continue to weave their a cappella harmonies into their live performances.

Locarno (Mexico/Vancouver) – Described on their website as “a groove heavy mix of Mexican folk, Cuban son and Latin soul,” the Vancouver band includes Vancouver World Music Festival co-founders Tom Landa and Robin Layne as well as Pedro Mota, Liam MacDonald, Nick La Riviere, Kalissa Landa, and Ronnie Swirl.

Other acts at the festival include Farnaz Ohadi and the Mashregh Ensemble (Iran/Spain/Vancouver),  Toque Flamenco (Spain/Vancouver), Tanga (Guatemala/Mozambique/Vancouver) and Breaking Boundaries (Colombia/Vancouver).

Festival venues include Guilt & Co. (1 Alexander St.), Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings St.), Vancouver Academy of Music (1270 Chestnut St.). Workshop and performances will also take place at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music (138 E. 7th St.). The latter are all-ages and free of charge and will take place at SoM on April 8 between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

Tickets prices are only $25 per night or $45 for a weekend pass and are available through and at Highlife, Zulu and Red Cat Records. Visit the Vancouver World Music Festival website for more info.

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