A huge round of applause to the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, the Presenting Sponsor of Cherry Jam Downtown Concerts, and other event sponsors, G&F Financial Group and QuadReal, for standing by us through these unprecedented times. The sponsors and artists have worked hard to share cherry blossom joy with you online. We’ll be posting performances on our social media platforms and this page starting next week, so check back later!
“The Downtown Vancouver BIA has been a longtime supporter of Cherry Blossom Fest, and although we wish we could celebrate this beautiful annual tradition together in-person, we are so happy to see the music and fun of “Cherry Jam” moving online for all to enjoy. Thank you to Cherry Blossom Festival organizers for taking the Cherry Jam concert into the digital realm, and for helping us connect with nature and music during these challenging times!”
-Charles Gauthier, President & CEO, DVBIA
|2020 Artist Bios|
|Jim Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri – that’s blues country. He grew up on the city’s north side. By age thirteen, he was singing and playing blues guitar. His first professional gig was in 1964. Over the years, he has had the great good fortune to appear with a virtual who’s who of the blues. From Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker to Taj Mahal and Robert Cray, Jim has been on the blues highway for 45 years.
Byrnes moved to Vancouver, BC in the mid-70s after years of drifting, working odd jobs and playing music. In 1981 he put together a band that became a staple of the local music scene. In 1986 the Jim Byrnes Band played 300 nights.
|Cheondoong (Thunder) Performing Arts Society has delivered over seventy performances at various multicultural festivals and events. In hopes to further demonstrate the richness of Korean culture and performing arts, and to contribute to the enrichment of the variety of art in Vancouver, Cheondoong became incorporated as a non‐profit performance organization in April 2008 under the name of Cheondoong Performing Arts Society. Cheondoong has successfully debuted and grown as one of the most powerful Korean performing arts societies through its annual theatre performances. Cheondoong’s fame and popularity is rapidly growing, and the team’s goals and objectives extend beyond any religious or cultural boundaries or differences.|
|Mohamed Assani is an award-winning sitar player and composer, known for being a proactive ambassador for his rich musical tradition. He has brought the sitar to new audiences through innovative, genre-bending collaborations. According to the Georgia Straight, “Assani is both deeply rooted in the artistic traditions of South Asia and a one-of-a-kind innovator.”|
|Kotojiro World Music “Kotojiro” incorporates the koto/guzheng, a traditional Asian instrument, into contemporary music, as well as playing it alongside a ubiquitous Western instrument, the guitar. Their music shows how traditions from different cultures can be adapted for modern styles, and be combined to perform together, as well as maintaining and continuing connections to the past.|
|Royal Academy of Bhangra is the first Canadian not-for-profit academy to offer a formal Punjabi Folk Dance education with a syllabus consisting of three grade levels. The Academy’s Dance Director, Hardeep Singh Sahota, was key in the development of the bhangra syllabus program for all Canadian Dance Teachers, BC Branch. The Academy successfully uses the art form of bhangra as a creative outlet to promote skills, discipline, physical fitness, and provide team building and leadership initiatives for youth. The Academy offers training in Punjabi Folk Dances such as Bhangra, Jhummar, Dhamal and Malwai Giddha, Sammi, Luddi and Kikli along with traditional Punjabi Folk Instruments.|
|Kiyoshi Iio (Handpan Journey)
Kiyoshi performs mysterious and soothing sounds with ancient and new-age instruments including Handpan. He has travelled through 40 countries and moved to Vancouver in 2018. Kiyoshi has performed at numerous events including the Powell Street Festival, West End Car Free Festival, Kamloops International Busker Festival, St. Andrew Wesley Church event, Cultural Days at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Nitobe Memorial Garden event, and at yoga and private events.
|Vancouver Okinawa Taiko has been performing in numerous cultural festivals, charity functions, sports and anniversary events for some over 15 years. The group’s aim is to promote and preserve Okinawan style drum-dancing called Eisa and to share Okinawan cultural heritage. Our membership consists of a mix of several generations to reflect the presentation of grassroots folk art.|
Stephan Stewart-Imbert was born listening to the Hurdy Gurdy! He was born in France but moved to Canada with his family at the age of five. By the age of ten, he was already composing music for the piano and soon after joined the marimba group Jabulani. With them, he performed regularly, thus honing his performance skills. Stephan is now a very proficient player of the two instruments he inherited from his father, one acoustic and one electro-acoustic, which can sound like a cello, an electric guitar and everything between! He also inherited a great singing voice, which blends so beautifully with his instrument.
Programs subject to change.
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