Yeah, I know–technically it’s Brooklyn Rider and Kayhan Kalhor at Tully Scope, but even the Lincoln Center website lists Kayhan Kalhor first. But after a slightly negative review of Brooklyn Rider at the Washington Post, maybe it’s better this way as Evan Tucker only had great things to say about Kalhor:
Brooklyn Rider also performed four pieces that its violinist Colin Jacobsen wrote or arranged to include the legendary Iranian musician Kayhan Kalhor. After mere seconds from Kalhor’s kamancheh – an Iranian viol- one realized what Brooklyn Rider lacks. The moment Kalhor’s bow crossed the strings, the synagogue was transformed from a trendy venue into a musical shrine. Whenever Kalhor was spotlighted, Jacobsen’s music changed from ethno-kitsch to profound rumination.
Midway through the concert, Kalhor gave as extraordinary an improvisation as any music lover could wish to hear. All it took was one instrument, one man, and one melody extracted from one chord to uncover thousands of possibilities constructed from simple means.
A musician this brilliant should not have to play second fiddle – or, in this case, second kamancheh. Asking Kayhan Kalhor to play with Brooklyn Rider is like asking W.C. Handy to play with Blues Traveler. Both Brooklyn Rider and Blues Traveler are enjoyable groups that popularize great musical traditions. One immediately hears how distant their music is from greatness, however, when confronted with the real thing.
Thursday March 3, 2011 at 7 pm
Vancouver Public Library Central Branch
350 Georgia St.
Alice MacKay Hall (Lower Level)
But what really sold me to this group–other than the fact they are doing what I would love to be doing with an ensemble, is this:
For the third presentation in the 2010-2011 edition of our educational series Music of the Whole World, the VICO is proud to feature the future of intercultural music, in the making: student composers from Seycove Secondary School in North Vancouver will present new pieces they have written for tar, oud and santur, performed by VICO musicians. This event is part of VICO in the Schools, an innovative workshop program through which VICO musicians and instructors introduce students to a selection of non-Western instruments and impart techniques for composing intercultural music.
This is something I can stand behind and fully support. The type of outreach, especially for such an “unorthodox” ensemble that I would think should be part and parcel of any performing groups’ activities. If anyone reading is on the left coast and near the border of Canada I would highly recommend this concert just out of principle!
He elaborated on a variety of topics, outreach being perhaps the most critical. With much of country “two to three generations beyond routine arts education,” the task falls to arts organizations. Jazz at Lincoln Center, he said, is “basically an education machine with programming.”