Western Canadian World Musicians Converge

Great Canadian music from around the world

Trio Bembe was recently nominated for the 2011 Western Canadian Music Awards “World Recording of the Year”. We thought we better have a look at our competition – they’re pretty cool!

Indian maestro – Cassius Khan

Cassius Khan is a tabla player and vocalist to be reckoned with! The tabla are East Indian percussion instruments that are incredibly difficult to play. They have about a million tones each, and every tone corresponds with a verbal sound (tik-ti-ta-ta-tu). Tabla players learn to sing each rhythm before playing it on the instrument. We love this music that is all about rhythm! It seems he likes to jam, so hopefully we’ll get to meet him.

Global pop – Pacifika

With catchy tunes in French, Spanish, and English, Pacifika‘s artful blend of indie rock, bossa nova, Afropop, and dub production put these Canadian musicians at the top of the heap. Pacifika’s global fusion works precisely because it is not a fusion. There is no sense of trying to blend one thing with another; this is the work of three musicians, coming from Peruvian, North American, and Barbadian families, for whom rock, Latin, Caribbean, hip hop, and jazz are all part of a single international musical language – a kind of musical Esperanto. We’re happy to have some Latin neighbors at the Western Canadian Music Awards!

Flamenco-Gyspy-Jazz Fusion – Tambura Rasa

Musically, think dark chocolate with cayenne. A little bitter, a little spicy and sweet, but oh so addictive. Ivan Tucakov, the ringleader comes from a Serbo-Croatian background, but was raised in the cultural myriad of Turkey, a melting pot for global culture. Ivan is flanked by his counterpart Michael Fraser, a gypsy rockstar on the fiddle with a passion for flavor.  These two fine looking fellows are backed by Trevor Grant, a jazz rock drummer, John Bews, a bass player who is one of the coolest cats around with a wit so sharp it hurts, and Robin Layne a globe trotting mad hatter percussionist who is known to bust a few lady killing dance moves when inclined. I guess we’ll have a dance party when we meet in the Yukon!

Environmental music – Matthew Lien and Yin-chung Huang

A traveler at heart, Matthew Lien has lived all over the world, and now calls the Yukon home. He is known for his environmental music and his work with aboriginal and traditional cultures. He composed and played for the film “Spirit of Orchid Island”, set in Taiwan, where Lien has a huge fan base. Nature and the environment play a huge part in Lien’s music. He’s traveled the Yukon and BC, working with musicians, photographers, and sound engineers to catpure and record amazing footage. We hope he’ll take us for a hike!

Latin World Music – Trio Bembe

Well, you already know all about us. We’re excited and very honored to have been nominated for the World Recording of the Year Award, and can’t wait to meet these great Canadian musicians!

Trio Bembe is looking forward to drinking Turkish coffee, eating East Indian curry, trying Peruvian chocolate, and Taiwanese soup at the Western Canadian Music Awards. We’ll bring the mojitos! Want to help us get there?


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