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City of Bhangra drives the beat downtown June 6 & 7

Darpan News Desk VIBC Society, 06 Jun, 2014 02:45 PM
    Downtown Bhangra has been the Festival’s finale for a number of years now. It’s a smorgasbord of all that is “bhangra.” BC's best, national and international talent take to the big stage on the Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery for a day and a half. Like the Pied Piper, the beat of the dhol attracts downtown shoppers, teens, seniors, and bhangra fans from across Metro Vancouver. And it’s absolutely free!
     
    Friday evening, June 6, the entertainment gets underway with Surrey-based PANJ Girls Bhangra team, Northern California’s Ankiley Gabroo, and Detroit’s Furteelay Shokeen. The bhangra teams are alternated with bhangra singers and other features. After singer Luv Randhawa, you get a chance to work on your bhangra moves. Don’t know any? You’re in very good hands with Hardeep Sahota of Royal Academy of Bhangra, who will make you look like a star!
     
    A little later VIBC Society presents the exuberant Karima Essa, who excels at all kinds of Indian dance. Friday evening also features some of our best local and international recording artists: Amy D, Hans Mann and Inder Kooner.
     
    From 8pm, Downtown Bhangra is LIVE on Shaw TV! Feel the rumble of Vancouver’s very own DNA Dholis, led by Rayman Bhuller. Since 2003, this exceptional group of dholis has been thrilling audiences around the world, including opening for bhangra superstars Sukshinder Shinda and Jazzy B, performing at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, and sharing the stage with Abhishek Bachchan at The Times of India Film Awards in Vancouver in 2013.
     
    Friday's headliners include Surrey’s IndoPak Band, naQsh–who were also featured at the Winter Olympics, opening for Blue Rodeo–appearing this night with guest Pakistani pop artist, Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch (aka, “QB”). The night wraps up with Balkan Bhangra. What’s the connection between India and the Balkans? The short answer is… the Roma. While most Roma (gypsies) have been settled in Europe for hundreds of years, no one doubts that their roots are in India. Orkestar Slivovica represents the Balkan Roma tradition of Southern Serbia and Macedonia, while Vijay Indian Brass Band demonstrates India’s version. Adding visual elements are Luciterra Bellydance and the Vancity Bhangra Dancers.
     
    Just in case you missed it, Balkan Bhangra also opens Saturday’s program at noon, followed by a number of energetic bhangra teams, and an interactive bhangra session. The day is packed with bhangra teams of all age groups from Metro Vancouver. 
     
    Local artist DJ A-Slam will be featured on the Downtown Bhangra stage launching his newest song live! “Gaddi” is written in honour of this year’s #BhangraLove theme. The track features DJ Reminisce on vocals, and music by DJ EQZT.
     
    The Saturday night finale features UK Punjabi music rising star, Jay Status, with a live band, followed by his colleague and producer DJ SANJ, whose career started while living in Toronto. He produced several hit Desi mix tapes in the late 90′s, and in the past decade he’s escalated from local DJ to international superstar. In early 2000, DJ SANJ moved to the UK to produce full time for Envy Entertainment, an establish-ed UK label producing Desi and Asian flavours. After 200-plus songs and over 18 albums to his credit, DJ SANJ shifted his sights to Bollywood. Since his move to Mumbai in 2007, DJ SANJ has racked up a heap of collaborations and hits in the Bollywood film industry. He worked on “Love Aaj Kal,” one of the highest grossing Bollywood films of the last decade, and is currently the most sought-after Desi producer and DJ in the world.
     
    Downtown Bhangra
    Friday, June 6, 5-10pm 
    Saturday, June 7, noon to 10pm
    Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza

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