MARCH 2021 | Volume 201
Queers as Funk. Photo by FUBARFOTO.
Musicians, poets, and scholars join Khari Wendell McClellandfor three genre-bending performances this April!
The Cultch and Soft Cedar are thrilled to present The Essentials, three online performances incorporating live and pre-recorded elements, for a unique concert experience, April 16-18, 2021.
For three days only, live from The Cultch's York Theatre, renowned Vancouver musician, Khari Wendell McClelland returns to The Culch stage, joined virtually by local and international musicians, scholars, and poets in a multidisciplinary performance exploring the question: What is essential and needed in these times? With the help of award-winning poets (Cecily Nicholson and Hari Alluri) as well as acclaimed scholars (Mia Birdsong, Jarrett Martineau, Ashon Crawley, Kathleen Gallagher, Andrew Kushnir, Harsha Walia, Seth Klein, and Toshi Reagon) Khari, and the musicians joining him each night, probe the pressing questions facing us today as we encounter unprecedented societal, environmental, and public health challenges.
While the full allotment of poets and scholars will be a part of each performance—along with sound bath artist Faye Mallet—other musical guests will be different each night. Friday, April 16 sees Wendell McClelland joined by the gospel trio The Sojourners (of which he is a member), Kwakiutl Hereditary Chief Henry Seaweed, the St. James Music Academy, as well as the folk duo,Twin Bandit. Saturday night brings another night of incredible performance with JUNO award-winning oud/guitarist, Gordon Grdina, as well as Soul/R&B heavy hitter, Tanika Charles. And closing out the incredible weekend will be Inuit style throat singing duo, PIQSIQ, and Vancouver's favourite high energy dance band, Queer As Funk.
Since 2018, The Cultch and Soft Cedar have been linked together in their mission to create unforgettable performances on the three Cultch stages, and beyond. Now, with The Cultch's experienced video and tech teams—who have been creating innovative performances over the course of the past year—Soft Cedar is creating meaningful shows for people to enjoy from their own homes. Whether audiences join for one, two, or all three shows, they are sure to have their hearts expanded as they reflect on these beautiful mélanges of reflection, wonder, hope, and celebration—bringing people together in this time of isolation.
WHEN: APRIL 16-18, 2021
APR 16: 7:30PM OPENING
APR 17: 7:30PM
APR 18: 2PM
*all showtimes in PDT
WHERE: ONLINE - Streamed live from The Cultch, includes a mix of pre-recorded and live performances
TICKETS: Tickets from $29. Single tickets on sale now through The Cultch's Box Office: 604-251-1363 or thecultch.com/event/the-essentials.
Musicians: Khari Wendell McClelland, The Sojourners, PIQSIQ, Queer As Funk, Faye Mallet, Hannah Walker, St. James Music Academy, Tanika Charles, and Gordon Grdina
Poets: Cecily Nicholson and Hari Alluri
Scholars: Mia Birdsong, Jarrett Martineau, Ashon Crawley, Kathleen Gallagher, Andrew Kushnir, Harsha Walia, Seth Klein, and Toshi Reagon
Each performance, Khari Wendell McClelland will be joined virtually by different musical acts:
April 16 featuring The Sojourners, St James Music Academy, Twin Bandit, Faye Mallett, Kwakiutl Hereditary Chief Henry Seaweed, Cecily Nicholson, Hari Alluri, Mia Birdsong, Jarrett Martineau, Ashon Crawley, Kathleen Gallagher, Andrew Kushnir, Harsha Walia, Seth Klein, and Toshi Reagon
April 17 featuring Gordon Grdina, Tanika Charles, Faye Mallet, Cecily Nicholson, Hari Alluri, Mia Birdsong, Jarrett Martineau, Ashon Crawley, Kathleen Gallagher, Andrew Kushnir, Harsha Walia, Seth Klein, and Toshi Reagon
April 18 featuring PIQSIQ, Queer As Funk, Faye Mallet, Cecily Nicholson, Hari Alluri, Mia Birdsong, Jarrett Martineau, Ashon Crawley, Kathleen Gallagher, Andrew Kushnir, Harsha Walia, Seth Klein, and Toshi Reagon
ABOUT KHARI WENDELL MCCLELLAND:
Khari Wendell McClelland is a diversely talented and ever-evolving artist. Originally from Detroit, Khari has become a darling on the Canadian music scene with reviewers lauding his performances as a clever mix of soul and gospel. Khari's songwriting crosses genres and generations, joyfully invoking the spirit of his ancestors who straddled the US-Canadian border in efforts to escape slavery and discrimination. His music draws from this rich history, integrating the rhythms and folklore of early African-Americans with contemporary sounds and stories of struggle. Recently, Khari received critical acclaim for his Freedom Singer project, recreating the music fugitive slaves carried on their journey north into Canada. Khari also performs with the Roots Gospel group The Sojourners. Whether on stage or in the studio, Khari's passion for community, equality and justice is palpable, as is his belief in the redemptive power of music.
ABOUT SOFT CEDAR:
In 2018, Soft Cedar began by presenting work on all three of The Cultch's stages in order to provide opportunities for local musicians to produce unforgettable concert experiences for their audiences. Soft Cedar exists to provide support and create opportunities for artists, communities and organizations who want to push the boundaries of their performance practice and make a difference. They do so through live music events; developing new musical works; supporting communities through unique initiatives and curating musical performances for other inspiring organizations. They are a values driven organization committed to diversity, gender equality and accessibility. In all these activities they are committed to upending conventions to make a difference in this world. softcedar.com
ABOUT THE CULTCH:Since 1973, The Cultch (formally the Vancouver East Cultural Centre) has been one of Vancouver's most diverse and innovative arts and cultural hubs. The organization operates three theatrical venues, a gallery, and various ancillary spaces in the heart of East Vancouver. The Cultch offers dynamic contemporary programming in theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts, bringing world-class cultural presentations to thousands of citizens each year through its own programming and through providing rental opportunities for community users. Our purpose is to provide a venue for performance that serves a diverse and engaged public and provides space for artistic experimentation and development, building an audience for local companies and presenting cutting-edge national and international work. thecultch.com
get in touch with vancouverplays:
Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews