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Khac Chi Ensemble presents Sounds of Vietnam, an intriguing glimpse into the rich musical heritage of Vietnam

Toronto, April 5, 2007óPerforming on unique instruments native to Vietnam, the Khac Chi Ensemble explores Vietnamís rich 4000 year musical tradition in the spectacular performance of Sounds of Vietnam. The performance, part of Harbourfront Centreís Music with Bite family concert series, takes place on Sunday, April 15, at 1 p.m., at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Admission is free. For information, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com.

Based in Vancouver, the Khac Chi Ensemble features two extraordinary musicians: Chi Khac Ho is a world virtuoso on the dan bau (one string zither) as well as a composer and music researcher; Bic Hoang is an exceptional vocalist, arranger and multi-instrumentalist who specializes on the dan bau and other rare instruments from Vietnamís rural and mountainous regions. Extremely versatile, their concerts may include a combination of styles or feature any one style of Vietnamese traditional music, Vietnamese folk music or contemporary music to world music. The ensemble has released three CDs: The Sound of Dan Bau (2006), Spirit of Vietnam (1999) and Moon Light in Vietnam (1997).

Sounds of Vietnam is a unique performance in that the ensemble offers a program of music on the Vietnamese traditional instruments found only in Vietnam. The music they perform is that of the people of Vietnam, the instrumentation, songs and stories are related to the roots of some of the 50-minority group of peoples that populate the country. Sounds of Vietnam has a highly educational value while incorporating audience participation and lighthearted humor into the performance, which has been performed for over a thousand schools in Canada and the U.S.

Chi Khac Hoís and Bic Hoangís rare talents and superb musicianship have won them numerous awards for excellence, as well as many invitations for national and international appearances. Bic Hoang was the first woman to receive the First Prize for the dan bau in the 1988 Vietnam Competition of Professional Instrumentalists. In 1989, she won the Golden Award at the International Folk Festival of World Youth in North Korea and she is also credited as the first woman to perform on the Koni (a unique stick fiddle found only in Vietnam). Chi Khac Ho has been presented with many awards in both composition and performance, including: First Prize in the 1982 Vietnam Competition of Professional Instrumentalists, the Golden Award at the 1985 International Folk Festival of World Youth in Moscow, and First Prize in the governmentís annual Improvement of Traditional Instruments of Vietnam in 1988. Currently, they teach Vietnamese music at the University of British Columbia.

Music with Bite is an interactive concert experience in which children can sit up close to the artists and, after the concert, ask them questions, while enjoying a complimentary Natrel milk beverage and cookies. Music with Bite is a co-production with Jeunesses Musicales Ontario, an organization dedicated to musical excellence and the promotion of young artists and music for young people.

Music with Bite is produced with the support of the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

After each Music with Bite concert, continue the fun with family-oriented arts activities. From 2 to 5 p.m., visit Miss Louís Room for the Puppet Theatre, an interactive puppet area where kids stage their own productions on our beautiful, hand-painted puppet stage. Working in partnership with International Readings at Harbourfront Centre, Miss Louís Room also features the International Readings Childrenís Library, a cozy space where kids can read from a great selection of childrenís books from around the world. The library features books in their original language.

The entire family can engage in exploring contemporary art! Gallery Kids combines facilitated tours of exhibitions at York Quay Centre followed by hands-on interactive activities. Itís all a family friendly discovery of contemporary art. Families must meet in Miss Louís Room at 2 p.m. to begin the gallery tour, afterwards they return to Miss Louís Room for a creative activity that relates to the galleryís exhibition. (Gallery Kids is suggested for ages 6 and over).

DESIRE: Our Lens. Your View.
Harbourfront Centre questions all that you desire. Every act of creation begins with a desire. But is desire by its very nature unattainable? Are you careful what you wish for? If it feels right, is it wrong? Through May 2007, Harbourfront Centre invites you to satisfy your cultural cravings. DESIRE is part of an ongoing focus on ideas in programming at Harbourfront Centre.

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Media Contact:
Linda Liontis
416-973-4381
lliontis@harbourfrontcentre.com
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