2008 DRAGONBOAT FESTIVAL / THE TREWS CONCERT

Dragonboat Race
Go go go!

I must admit that I can’t seem to find a way to get into the action at the dragonboat race portion of the festival (just my opinion…).  We’re never that close to the racers and when they do get close, the fun lasts but a few seconds.

But I could rave all day about the excellent music the festival had in store for us later that evening (Saturday June 21st*): The Trews, a great Canadian rock and roll band were in town to offer us a free concert in the park next to the dragonboat finish line.  I had heard great things about their shows and, let me tell you, it’s all “Trew.”  Great showmanship and quality rock and roll from the boys; they really know how to work a crowd.  As the evening came to a close, we were so not ready to go!

(*EDIT: I just found out that Rumba Calzada was also part of the dragonboat festival; another fantastic, Latin inspired act)

The Trews
Singer/guitarist Colin MacDonald

The Trews
Lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald

The Trews
Technical glitch: the lights unexpectedly went out for a few songs and people started bringing out
cell phones and lighters to help out, including the singer! lol

The Trews
Bassist Jack Syperek and lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald

Body Surfing
You know people are having a great time when body surfing is on

The Trews
Drummer Sean Dalton

The Trews
Make some noise!!!

Visit their official Website or their MySpace page to listen to some of their songs.

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2008 JAZZ FEST – RUMBA CALZADA

Rumba Calzada
Left to right: unknown guest; Rolando Preza; Raphael Geronimo

The party was already on as I joined a crowd of ecstatic concert-goers, halfway through Rumba Calzada’s set.  The Latino beats and grooves had many people dancing and cheering at the Maple Tree Square in Gastown.  I was amazed to see how band leader Raphael Geronimo was able to send the groove into hyperspace with his small percussion set.  The solid rythm section was quite enjoyable to watch and hear too.

It’s too bad I didn’t have time to write this article earlier for you guys, as the band was set to play another free show at the CBC Studio One Jazz stage on Tuesday (yesterday).  I’m sure many people took note of it when the band announced this other gig of theirs. :)  Let’s hope they come to your neighbourhood soon! ;)

 

Rumba Calzada
Raphael Geronimo  (multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Apivor in the background)

Rumba Calzada
Miguel Valdez and Rod Murray

Rumba Calzada
Let’s dance!

Rumba Calzada’s Official Website

2008 JAZZ FEST – MOTHER MOTHER

Like Montreal’s “Jazz” Fest, Vancouver’s “Jazz” Fest is not just about “Jazz.”  This past Sunday, June 22nd, it was Vancouver’s own Mother Mother‘s turn to light up the stage with their energetic blend of pop/rock/indie music:

Mother Mother
left: Ryan Guldemond (guitar/vocals); top-right: Molly Guldemond (vocals/synth); bottom-right: Debra-Jean Creelman (vocals)

Mother Mother
Sassy Molly Guldemond

Mother Mother
Ryan Guldemond shredding the fretboard

Mother Mother
Expressive Debra-Jean Creelman backed by Ryan Guldemond on guitar and Ali Siadat on drums

Mother Mother
Ali Siadat

Mother Mother
Jeremy Page (bass/horns)

Check out their official website or listen to their music on MySpace.

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2008 JAZZ FEST – DAL RICHARDS AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Festival Banner in Gastown
Free Jazz in Gastown! :)

I had an excellent first show as I went to Gastown Saturday to enjoy some of the free concerts happening there this weekend.  At 90 years young, Dal Richards is one cool cat on stage and his orchestra is very talented indeed.  There was not one weak number in their set, consisting mostly (if not all) of jazz standards, usually leaning on the uptempo swing style.

If you live in Vancouver or are passing by this Summer, why not check the orchestra out at the Fair at the PNE this year?  Mr. Richards was telling us that they will be playing for us every day at noon and 2PM there, throughout the fair.  Don’t miss out on this entertaining performance!

Dal Richards and his Orchestra
Dal Richards and his Orchestra

Duet
Duet

With All His Heart
Dal had to wave a white towel at him so he wouldn’t overheat from his smokin’ rendition
(I forgot the name of the song — “it’s not on the CD”, Dal said :) )

Sax Player
Saxin’ it up

Battle Of The Drums Raging On
Battle Of The Drums raging on — lol!

Dal Richards
Dal Richards

2008 PACIFIC RIM KITE FESTIVAL

I never thought flying a kite could be this much fun! If you’re lucky enough to read this on the day I posted it, do yourself a favor and go to Vanier Park in Kitsilano to check out some very cool kite flying action at the Pacific Rim Kite Festival, including performances by multiple kite world record holder Ray Bethell and the quad line kite team iQuad:

Ray Bethell, Multiple Kite World Record Holder
Ray Bethell, multiple kite world record holder, manning 3 kites at once

Ray Bethell Show
Part of Ray Bethell’s performance

Ray Bethell Show #2
Part of Ray Bethell’s performance

Ray Bethell Show #3
Part of Ray Bethell’s performance

iQuad
The iQuad team, with special guest Lam Hoac (3rd from left)

iQuad Small Circle Formation
Part of iQuad’s performance

iQuad Show #2
Part of iQuad’s performance

iQuad Show #3
Part of iQuad’s performance

Colorful dancing dummies
Colorful dancing dummies

Vanier Park
Vanier Park

I felt like buying myself one of those acrobatic kites after watching this event. :)

ABOUT MY FOOD POSTS

Finally! I’ve just posted my first of many dining-related posts. My approach to those articles will be fairly simple: I went to some restaurant and liked what I ate? I’ll tell you about it… No negative posts. I’ll probably mention briefly some things about the service, ambiance, etc. but I don’t plan on making a thorough assessment of every restaurant/place I go to, though. I’ll leave that part to the professional critics.  Oh, and for the purists out there…  I’m more interested about how food tastes than whether it’s authentic or not.  If it tastes good, that’s good enough for me.  Hope it is for you too.

Note: Vancouver was recently rated the 10th best restaurant city in the world.  So: Best city to live in (2005), one of the best places for food, and home to the 2010 Olympics — we’ve got it pretty good around here! :)

HOW SWEET IT IS!

(2008-06-10) My girlfriend and I have a thing for desserts and we’re always on the lookout for “sweet spots.” After trying a few, we’ve been most impressed with the excellent, Parisian inspired Ganache Patisserie in Yaletown. Personally, I’d have their “Caramel-Chocolat” dessert every day if my system could handle it. That caramel topping and subtle crunch in every bite of chocolate/caramel mousse is to die for! :D

(2009-05-12) More recently, we’ve been impressed with their “Mango-Chocolat” also. Lighter taste than the “Caramel-Chocolat”, but just as flavorful.

Anytime we need to buy a cake for someone this is the place we go to — it’s just that good. :)

In a nutshell:

Name Ganache Patisserie
Address 1262 Homer St. (Yaletown), Vancouver
Phone 604-899-1098
Food *****
Service N/A (at the counter… They do bring the desserts to you in a jiffy though :) )
Ambiance Nice. Casual. Relaxed. Modern.
Price Varies greatly, depending if you’re going only for an individual dessert (about 6$) or a humongous wedding cake ($$$$)

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Directions: