We cap off an incredible second season of our Live at Massey Hall series with Toronto based, Halifax-bred rock quartet Sloan on Friday, September 11, 2015 with special guest Zeus.
Living in one of the world’s most diverse cities, the idea of the coming together of different cultures, peoples and ethnicities is part of our everyday reality. But the way the Silk Road Ensemble actually embodies that idea – and the idea that there are unrecognized, essential and exciting connections between cultures – is extremely rare.
The trade route that inspired the group’s name began seeing traffic just over 2000 years ago. That traffic, which went both Eastward and Westward, brought more than just products that fueled the ancient world’s economy: It brought people, ideas and art, linking together Europe, Africa and Asia in ways difficult to measure, but easy to imagine. The Silk Road has become shorthand for a cross-cultural meeting point, but it wasn’t until celebrated cellist, veteran of many Roy Thomson Hall appearances and the only French-born Chinese-American cellist to have a Toronto street named after him, Yo-Yo Ma, put the group together in 2000 that the concept of the cross-cultural meeting was truly brought to life.
Tonight, Beijing-based Mongolian-folk-meets-rock act Hanggai performs as part of the Live on the Patio at Roy Thomson Hall series. It’s a free afterwork music series with artists performing two sets -at 6:30pm and 8pm with doors opening at 5pm. Food and drinks are available for purchase.
You know how you feel about that artist you found way back when, before they got big/sold out/played Massey Hall? That’s how I feel about Hanggai, who I’ve seen evolve from a straight-up Rage-Against-the-Machine-fuelled hard rock band into one that delves deep into the Mongolian traditions of its members – and one that hasn’t forgotten how to rock. That combination has driven their rise through the Chinese rock underground and into the mainstream – and the international festival circuit.
Hanggai’s members are a minority in a homogenous country, eager to express their identity. They are equally excited and inspired by ancient Mongolian traditions and the last thirty years of rock and roll. Residents of Beijing, one of the world’s most intense cities, they are deeply connected to the Mongolian grasslands. Their music expresses all of that and more, and offers a unique, and important window into China today. To set the scene for this memorable musical evening, I’ll be hosting a pond-side gathering to talk about the band and the scene and country from which they emerged. I hope you’ll join us.
Guest contributor Jonathan Campbell lived in Beijing, China from 2000-2010 and worked as a promoter/presenter of local and international artists in China and of Chinese bands in the West while writing for a range of international publications and playing in a number of bands. His book Red Rock: The Long, Strange March of Chinese Rock & Roll (Earnshaw Books, 2011), describes the history and development of Chinese rock music. He is currently Special Projects Associate at the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.
To celebrate the release of Bry Webb and the Providers‘ Live at Massey Hall LP, we are thrilled to offer Soundboard readers (courtesy of Idée Fixe Records) the chance to win a copy of the limited edition 3D/red vinyl album (which comes complete with 3D glasses!) and a pair of tickets to see the band when they perform at The Great Hall in Toronto on July 16.
On May 30th at Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Massey Hall presents Torn from the Pages: Miriam Toews, hosted by writer and musician (and Rheostatic) Dave Bidini. The evening will feature new and original pieces created and performed by John K. Samson, Christine Fellows, Tom Wilson, Grand Analog, Scaachi Koul, and Mustafa the Poet, all inspired by the works of Governor General’s Award winning author Miriam Toews. Toews will also read, giving us a preview from some of her newest work, to close the evening.