City of Bhangra Drives the Beat Down town


Downtown  Bhangra  has  been  the  Festival’s  finale  for  a  number  of  years  now.
It’s  a  smorgasbord  of   all  that  is  “bhangra.”  Our best  BC,  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  we  present  the  exuberant  Karima  Essa,  who   excels  at  all  kinds  of  Indian  dance.  Friday  evening  also   features some  of  our  best  up-­‐and-­‐coming  recording  artists:   Amy  D, Hans  Mann  and  Inder  Kooner.

From  8pm,  we’re  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.

 Our  Friday  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.

Vocalist  Hans  Mann  was  born  in  India,  but  lived  in  Canada,  and  has   a  background  in  both  Western  and  Indian  classical  music.  He’s   worked  as  a  producer  and  most  recently  recorded  as  a  singer   himself  with  a  sophomore  release  on  the  horizon.  He’ll  play  mid-­‐ afternoon,  followed  by  more  bhangra  teams,  including  a  delightful   trio  of  pint-­‐sized  dance  groups.

DJ  A-­‐Slam  takes  the  stage  just   before  5pm,  followed  by  Raju  Johal  and  band,  more  bhangra   teams–including  Anakh  E  Gabroo  from  the  NY  Tri-­‐cities  area–and   the  Now  or  Never  hip  hop  crew,  who  were  part  of  our  opening   TransFusion  show.

 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.

Lapis  is  a  distinctive  collaboration  between  Rup    Sidhu–a  DJ  who  uses  arts  as  a  way  to  support  social   justice–and  sitar  player  Mohamed  Assani.  They’re  followed  by   an  Inder  Kooner  concert  set,  and  more  of  our  guest  bhangra   teams.


 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  90ʹ′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.


We  hope  you  enjoy  the 10th  Anniversary  City  of  Bhangra  Festival  2014  and  find  a  new  rhythm  in   your  step.  Make sure to head back in 2015.