Asian Heritage Month


China's Long Song | Episode Two

Monday, May 4, 2009 | 06:08 PM ET


“May you live in interesting times.” Both a blessing and a curse in China. This saying captures the essence of China’s turbulent twentieth century. Victim and product of the whirl of revolutions and evolutions, music has been a barometer in China. It has championed political ideologies and signaled changes in the tolerance for dissent as the winds of history swept through the Middle Kingdom. On Inside the Music you'll hear the second in a two-part series called China's Long Song. Host Mei Han, a musician and scholar, takes us on a personal journey inside China’s twentieth century and through its musical revolutions. With additional narration from Vancouver music producer Matthew McFarlane.

Episode Two airs Saturday May 16th on Inside the Music on CBC Radio Two.

Tandava in Studio 40

Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 08:30 PM ET


Tandava is four piece ensemble that mirrors the cultural diversity of Vancouver in its music. Elements of Chinese, South Asian, African and European music all harmonize with astonishing ease in the hands of Tandava.

What makes their music work is the skill with which they fuse their musical backgrounds and cultural references. But ultimately, like good chefs or any artist, they just have something to say and they know how to say it. It's music that pleases the ear.

The concert will be broadcast on May 25th at 8pm on CBC Radio Two.

Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble

Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 08:22 PM ET


The Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival supports active cultural traditions in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In 2008, the Festival honoured one of their founding communities with a day celebrating Asian-Canadian artists.

CBC's mics were in the Great Hall at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden to bring you this ensemble's eclectic blend of popular and traditional Chinese music. These accomplished instrumentalists play erhu (Chinese violin), dizi (Chinese flute), pipa (Chinese lute), yangqin (Chinese hammered dulcimer), zheng (Chinese harp) and ruan (Chinese guitar).

The concert will be broadcast on May 25th at 8pm on CBC Radio Two.

Vancouver: Powell Street Festival Society presents Rhythm Clash

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | 06:04 PM ET


RHYTHM CLASH: A collaboration with Total Constructive Interference (taiko) and no luck club (electronics) at the 32nd annual Powell Street Festival.

Rhythm Clash collaboration: no luck club with Total Construction Interface. Taiko drumming meets electronics - total madness to ensue.

The Powell Street Festival took place on August 2 and 3, 2008 at Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver.

View our photogallery from the Powell Street Festival on the CBC British Columbia page

Continue reading for more information, or visit:
Powell Street Festival | no luck club | LOUD

Ottawa: China Doll

Friday, May 30, 2008 | 07:48 PM ET
china doll.jpg
China Doll, aka Ed Kwan (Ming Wu /

Ed Kwan - better known to karaoke lovers as China Doll - is the karaoke drag queen on the Somerset Strip. She makes an appearance each Saturday at The Shanghai Restaurant. The restaurant was first started by the Kwan parents. Now the kids run it. A few years back, CBC network producer Bob Carty brought his own microphone to karaoke night to meet China Doll. More recently, China Doll stepped out of the Shanghai Restaurant to perform at The Chutney n' Chopsticks Cabaret at Club Saw in Ottawa.

CBC Radio's All In A Day spoke with China Doll ahead of the show. Listen Audio (runs 5:30)

Ottawa: Punjabi Drumming

Friday, May 30, 2008 | 07:41 PM ET

In Ottawa, dhol players are often relegated to the basement or the garage when they want to practice - at least that's what happened to Inderpal Bal when he took up the Punjabi drum. He's played it for six years, now and performs with a bhangra team. Recently he took his instrument out of the basement and into Club Saw's Chutney n' Chopsticks Cabaret night.

CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning went down to capture the sounds. Listen Audio (runs 2:32)

Vancouver: CBC Radio Battle of Beethoven winner Jovian Cheng

Monday, May 19, 2008 | 07:12 PM ET
Fifteen-year old Battle of Beethoven winner Jovian Cheng

The CBC Radio Battle of Beethoven was fought in Vancouver’s CBC Studio One. Students aged 13 to 18 from around BC competed for fame, glory and national broadcast exposure on CBC Radio Two. Competitors were asked to perform their most compelling rendition of music written by the brooding 19th century Viennese composer.

The winner of the contest was fifteen-year old Vancouver pianist Jovian Cheng. Jovian started piano lessons at six with Peggy Yip and now studies with Dr. Sasha Starcevich, Last year, he won first prize at the Canadian Music Competition (Piano 14 years and under). He recently had his debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performing the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto. Jovian plans to continue his studies and pursue a career in music.

"Jovian Cheng shows a musical maturity far beyond his 15 years. The power and elegance of his playing and the expression in his musical voice set Jovian apart from the other competitors. I'm sure we'll hear more from this fine young pianist in the years to come" - Matthew McFarlane, judge and producer, CBC Radio Battle of Beethoven

Hear Jovian Cheng’s performance of Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata Watch audio (last movement) (runs 10:33)

Organized in conjunction with the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festivals

Ottawa: Yadong Guan

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 06:49 PM ET

On Tuesday May 6th, Jill LaForty of CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning interviewed Yadong Guan, a virtuosa pipa (or Chinese lute) performer who's seeking a way to bring this ancient instrument to a western audience. Jill spoke with Yadong at her home in Gloucester last week. Listen Audio (runs 8:17)

Ottawa: Taiko Drumming

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 06:18 PM ET

On Tuesday May 6th, CBC Radio's All in a Day spoke with Yurika Murakami, Listen Audio (runs 9:01) a member of Oto-Wa Taiko, a Japanese drumming group. Murakami left her home in Japan ten years ago, but it was in Ottawa that she rediscovered a part of her Japanese culture through Taiko drumming.

For more information, visit Oto-Wa Taiko.

Ottawa: Mushfiq Arts Company

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 05:16 PM ET

On Monday May 5th, CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning celebrated Music Monday, a day to celebrate the learning of music. As a part of its coverage that day, Ottawa Morning spoke with students and teachers Listen Audio (runs 5:01) at Mushfiq Arts Company, a performing arts society that specializes in classical and light classical Indian and Afghani folk music and arts.

For more information on the company, visit the Mushfiq Arts Company online

Toronto: Autorickshaw

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | 12:55 PM ET

music lies on the cultural cutting edge, as contemporary jazz and funk easily rub shoulders with the classical and popular music of India. Formed in 2003, Autorickshaw has swiftly risen to become one of the most intriguing acts on the Canadian world music and jazz landscapes.

Their sound showcases the sultry, vocals of Suba Sankaran, anchored by the melodic bass-lines of Rich Brown, over a bed of intricate Indian percussion by Ed Hanley and global rhythms by Patrick Graham. The group's repertoire draws from the classical music of north and south India, jazz and popular music. After garnering a 2004 Juno nomination for World Music Album of the Year and winning a Canadian Independent Music Award in 2005, autorickshaw has once again been nominated for a 2008 Juno Award in the World Music Album of the Year category for "And So the Journey Goes." Autorickshaw's original composition "Heavy Traffic" recently won the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize in World Music.

For more details: |

Toronto: Gundecha Brothers

Thursday, April 24, 2008 | 12:41 PM ET
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Umakant and Ramakant Gundecha: leading Dagarvani Dhrupad singers

Gundecha Brothers

Umakant and Ramakant Gundecha are India's leading exponents of the Dhrupad style, the spiritual heart of Indian classical music. Among of the most internationally active performers of Dhrupad, these dedicated and immensely talented artists have helped to keep alive this ancient and profound tradition; a musical legacy which freshly resonates today amongst yoga and meditation enthusiasts as well as classical music fans. The Gundecha Brothers have sung great Hindi poetry by Tulsidas, Kabir, Padmakar, and Nirala in Dhrupad style. They have numerous recordings on H.M.V, Music Today, Rhythm House, Senseworld Music, Sundaram Records, IPPNW Concerts Berlin, Navras and Audio Rec London. As well as being an integral part of all of India's most prestigious music festivals, the Gundecha Brothers have performed at many important international festivals and institutions in Europe, the U.S., Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.

For more information visit: |