Named after the 2,000 year old overland passage that was as much a cultural journey as a trade route, the band personifies the connections formed over the centuries between the music of east and west. For example, Qiu Xia’s main instrument is the pipa, a Chinese lute that evolved from the Middle Eastern oud that Montreal native Andre plays along with the guitar. Both artists are talented multi instrumentalists.
Over the 20 years of their partnership, Qiu Xia and Andre have ventured far beyond Middle Eastern and Chinese music, merging Chinese folk and classical music with Brazilian, jazz, Celtic, Spanish, Arabic, Aboriginal, and blues music. Most recently, they have begun exploring Spanish flamenco music and dance.
For this concert, we asked them if they’d be interested in collaborating with local artists familiar with their repertoire. They’ve invited Errington percussionist and instrument builder Robin Shackleton to accompany them on his locally-crafted Middle Eastern frame drums. Also gracing the stage will be Nanaimo dancer and teacher Lynette and members of the Island Belly Dancers. The concert promises to be a treat for the eyes as well as the ears and is easily one of the most interesting and unusual presentations of this year’s concert series.
Silk Road has earned a Juno nomination, two West Coast Music Awards and two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations. Their website is www.silkroadmusic.ca.