Jazz in the Plaza – Huu Bac Quintet with Jou Tou at the Civic Plaza North Vancouver

Event Details

event, jazz, Music and Dance
Civic Plaza

FREE Jazz concert in Civic Plaza!!

The Huu Bac Quintet blends jazz and world music seamlessly. Vietnamese born Huu Bac Quach uses everything in his cultural palette, from the Chinese fiddle and the Andean flute to the jazz guitar creating a sound that is simultaneously familiar and mysterious. The quintet will be joined by Vancouver based world music ensemble Jou Tou.

The Huu Bac Quintet

Huu Bac arrived in Quebec from Vietnam at the age of two, and absorbs with great enthusiasm life in his new homeland. His musical journey starts in Montreal (McGill University) with a sound foundation in jazz guitar. In 2002, he discovers the beauty of the vietnamese monochord, the Dan Bau, under the guidance of master Pham Duc Thanh. He works on traditional repertoire all the while integrating western pieces. His curiosity for ancient string instruments leads him to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he learns the chinese fidlle, the Erhu.

Back in Montreal in 2006, he encounters renoun peruvian composer Lucho Quequezana who invites him to a musical journey in Peru with the group Sonidos Vivos. This intimate contact with afro-peruvian music and music from the Andes is a source a inspiration in his artistic itinerary. Learning to play the andean bambo flute, the Quena, Huu Bac expands his talents of performer to a new instrument.

From 2009 to 2015, he collaborates twice with the Cirque du Soleil, recording for the shows “Totem” and “Toruk”. He also recorded for “Canotgraphie”, a show by artistic director Robert Lepage. In 2010, he distinguishes himself as finalist for the “Montreal Arts Council Diversity Award”. Recipient in 2011 and 2012 of a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts as a composer, he is as well invited in 2011 to take part in the festival “Africa-Asia Encounters”, in Paris.

Nourrished by his travels and encounters, he dedicates himself to the composition and performance of a present day jazz music blending eastern and western colours. The waters of the Mekong River flows in his compositions, expressing his asian cultural heritage in the North American backdrop.

In november 2013, he founded the Huu Bac Quintet, which has since toured in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario, as well as garnered various awards : “RIDEAU/ROSEQ Award 2014”, “Entrées en Scène Loto-Québec 2015-16”, “Stingray Rising Stars Award 2015”.

His fisrt album as a composer/performer, “On the Steps of St-Paul’s”, will be released in 2016.

Jou Tou

JouTou (pr. Joo-Too) is a supergroup of world music veterans lending their formidable chops to French music from around the globe — and adding their own global twist! The band’s name derives from the French words “joue tout,” which mean “play everything,” and indeed, the group’s repertoire includes everything from French and North African music to Gypsy, French Caribbean and Quebecois songs and originals based on this diverse array of styles.

JouTou launched in 2002 with a nationally-broadcast CBC Studio One session and has gone on to perform at major Canadian festivals like the Ottawa, Mission and Vancouver Folk Festivals. It has also become a favourite of French Canadian presenters like l’Association Francophone de Winnipeg, l’Association francophone de Saskatchewan, and Le Festival du Bois in Vancouver. In 2006, the ensemble was invited to China to perform at the 50th Anniversary of the Guangzhou Business Association.

JouTou was founded by Juno-nominated guitarist and oud player Andre Thibault, a Montreal-born musician of Acadian ancestry with deep roots in the world’s French repertoire. A passionate student of flamenco since his teens, Andre discovered Arabic music through its connection to flamenco and was inspired to master the oud, a key instrument in the repertoire of French North Africa. In the 90s, he collaborated with the late Egyptian percussionist Adel Awad in Vancouver. He also recorded three solo albums that blended North African and Spanish sound, earning a West Coast Music Award nomination for 1998’s Samar. Later in the 90s, Andre teamed up with the late French hurdy gurdy master Pierre Imbert to form Cordes en Folie, a West Coast Music Award-nominated group that explored French, Spanish and Arabic music. He also joined the Juno-nominated multicultural ensemble, Asza, with whom he performed music from all over the world — including the French world.

It was when Asza disbanded in 2001 and Cordes en Folie folded that same year – due to the untimely death of Imbert – that Andre assembled the stellar roster of musicians that form JouTou and pledged to continue both Cordes en Folie’s revival of French music and Asza’s global vision. JouTou’s self-titled debut album featured Chinese pipa virtuoso Qiu Xia He and Uruguayan percussionist Pepe Danza — both alumni of Asza — and Celtic multi-instrumentalist Amy Stephen of the group Mad Pudding. In addition to French, Gypsy, and Quebecois songs, the album featured Spanish and Arabic music and a “francophied” version of a Chinese folk song they called “La danse du peuple Yi.”

Today, JouTou tours either as a duo featuring Andre and Qiu Xia or as a trio with the addition of Irish percussionist Liam MacDonald. It has also developed an educational program for elementary school performances. Wherever it plays, the band’s unstoppable energy and totally unique take on French repertoire continues to delight audiences of all ages.

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