Gordon Grdina’s Haram

Saturday June 24 @ 6pm at National Arts Centre Back Stage


Gordon Grdina - oud
Kenton Loewen - drums
Tommy Babin - bass
Tim Gerwing - darbuka
Liam MacDonald - riq
Jp Carter - trumpet
Jesse Zubot - violin
Chris Kelly - saxophone
Francois Houle - clarinet
Emad Armoush - vocals/nay

Like a number of his fellow members of Vancouver’s improvised music community, guitarist Gordon Grdina keeps many balls in the air. Ottawans are as likely to know him as a member of singer-songwriter Dan Mangan’s ensemble as for his contemporary quartet. Meanwhile, his 2006 trio album, Think Like the Waves, with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian remains one of the most impressive debut albums of the past 20 years. One of his longest-running projects, Haram, is actually a West Coast supergroup in disguise, including a who’s who of Vancouver improvisers such as François Houle, J.P. Carter, Jesse Zubot and Tommy Babin. Featuring Grdina on Iraqi oud, Haram combines elements of Arabic music with electronics, noise rock and free improvisation. As the Georgia Straight noted, “The music’s backbone is traditional, but wild outbursts of free improvisation and subtle injections of noise make it quite unlike anything you’d hear in the shisha dens of Cairo or Baghdad.”