Pop-up Performances 2020


Pop-up Performances 2020

Date: 2020
Price: Free with Museum Admission

This event is cancelled. All our scheduled events and programs up to and including June 30 have been cancelled or postponed. Please go here for more information and updates on the Museum’s response to COVID-19.


Interested in becoming a pop-up performer? Submit your application here.


The Aga Khan Museum provides a platform for emerging and established award-winning artists to showcase their craft, initiate cross-cultural dialogue, and engage new audiences.


Throughout the season, experience poetry, music and dance that reflects the rich tapestry of diverse world regions, from the Balkans to the Nordic countries, from the Middle East to Asia. Enjoy informal performances – of jazz, Latin, Persian, traditional Asian music, and more – by a range of captivating artists in the Museum’s public spaces and galleries.


Join us every week for a new Pop-Up experience

Wednesdays at 5 pm, 6 pm, and 7 pm.

Saturdays and Sundays at 12 pm, 1 pm, and 3 pm.



January Performers


Nuno Cristo
Portuguese guitar
Jan 1, 3, 4, 5 (Jan 3 performances at 12pm, 1pm & 3 pm)


A musician, instrument-maker, and ethnomusicologist, Nuno Cristo was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and holds a Master’s degree in Music from York University, Toronto. Cristo specializes in Portuguese guitar as a solo artist and plays fado with ensembles Banza Duo and Anima Fado. A recipient of grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts, Cristo has self-produced two CDs, collaborated with Nelly Furtado, Béla, and others, recorded live for CBC radio, and played internationally in the US, Macau, and Portugal.


Cassandra Norton
Jan 8, 11, 12

With Tristan Murphy, accordion, trumpet, Jan 8, 12

With Patrick O'Reilly, guitar, Jan 11



Toronto-based singer-songwriter, violinist, composer, and improviser Cassie Norton has released two full-length albums as a solo artist and recorded with numerous other musicians in Canada and abroad. Her current project and new EP, Lullaby for the end of Time, incorporates elements of improvisation, jazz, and folk music and features respected musicians from Toronto's eclectic music communities.


Judith Cohen
Spoken word with traditional instruments
Jan 15, 18, 19



Judith Cohen is a singer and ethnomusicologist. Known as a specialist in Sephardic Jewish music, she weaves together ballads and stories from Spain, Portugal, the Balkans, medieval Europe, and French Canada. Her old-world music focuses on vocals, embellished by instruments that follow the tone and melody of the voice. She has given talks at the Museum and teaches part-time at York University.


Bea Labikova
Fujara (traditioanl Slovak flute) and electronics
Jan 22, 25, 26


Bea Labikova is a Slovak-Canadian saxophonist and improviser. Her music draws from avant-garde, modern jazz, and Slovak folk music to explore the boundaries between free improvisation and composition. She is a founding member of new music ensembles future proof, Wow & Flutter, Lila Ensemble, and Quartet Pronk, and is the saxophonist for Triio and Afrobeat Ensemble. In her solo project Mt. Joy, she combines wind instruments with electronics to create sounds inspired by the Canadian Arctic.

Amin Reihani
Iranian santoor
Jan 29, Feb 1, 2


Drawn to the santoor from an early age, Amin Reihani has dedicated himself to discovering every aspect of the instrument. Since mastering his technique at the University of Tehran he has been composing his own music, as well as teaching in Iran. On moving to Toronto he became involved with the local music community, playing with Sarv Ensemble, and has performed at festivals and in concerts across North America. He now plays with the Navak Ensemble, which he founded.


Soodabeh Badie
Persian classical music, gehychak
Feb 5, 8, 9


Soudabeh Badie, orginally from Isfahan, Iran, started piano at the age of five. She pursued violin, studying in the classical style with Hovik Baghoumian, and took lesson with Ali Tajvidi, Masoud Hasankhani, and Saeed Farajpouri in traditional musical genres. In 2005, she began studying the traditional gehychak alto with Reza Abaee. Badie has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra(VSO), Khojasteh Band and Hasankhani Band and with the musical band of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran.


Shirlita La Pili and Mark Rainey
Flamenco song and dance
Feb 12, 15, 16


Singer and dancer Shirlita La Pili dove into the world of flamenco at the age 12, and has studied with many master singers and dancers. She has performed at flamenco festivals across Canada and is deeply involved with the Toronto flamenco community, working with leading companies and local projects. 


Anita Katakkar
Tabla (leader of Rakkatak)
Feb 19, 22 & 23


Merging classical Indian rhythms and melodies with contemporary music to create a mesmerizing sound, Rakkatak comprises tabla percussionist Anita Katakkar, bassist Oriana Barbato, vocalist Pratik Rao and multi-talented musician Zaynab Wilson. These eclectic musicians aim to change the perspective that Indian classical music is a male-dominated art form and are currently producing their fourth album.


Roa Lee
Korean gayageum
Feb 26, 29, Mar 1


Roa (HyunYoung) Lee is a gayageum musician from Korea, and has studied the music both of Asian and Western traditions. She won the ChoonHyang National Korean Music Competition, and has performed as a gayageum soloist with Daegu Municipal Korean Music Orchestra and Daejeon Municipal YeonJeong Korean Music Orchestra. Passionate about world fusion music, she enjoys performing in a variety of styles and genres.


March Performers:


Global Fusion Quartet
Mar 4, 7, 8


Turkwaz combine and rearrange tunes from international musical traditions to create a unique sound of their own, merging everything from mysterious Sufi devotional love songs to Thracian dance music. Each performer in Turkwaz brings their own flavour to the group. Maryem Hassan Tollar draws on her Arabic language heritage, Jayne Brown and Sophia Grigoriadis bring their experience with Greek music, and Brenna MacCrimmon adds her fascination with Turkish music.


Kianoush Khalilian
Mar 11, 14, 15


Kianoush Khalilian is a composer and a highly skilled player of the ney (Persian reed flute). He began his studies with distinguished Iranian masters, including Hasan Nahid, and within five years ranked first in the nationwide Iranian school competition for ney performance. Khalilian has performed in Iran, Canada, and across Europe, and has won awards for outstanding teaching. He is about to publish his first book, a guide to learning the ney.


Colin Fisher
Fusion – jazz and Arabic music; guitar
Mar 18, 21, 22


Colin Fisher is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser, a teacher of the Alexander Technique, and a tarot reader. For him, music can heal, serving as biofeedback to bring the organism back into balance/homeostasis. He has appeared on labels such as Tzadik, Healing Power Records, Merge Records, Sub Pop, Tombed Visions, Medusa, Inyrdisc, Barnyard Records, and many others.


Paromita Kar
Classical Indian and central Asian dance
Mar 25, 28, 29


Paromita Kar is the lead dancer of the Toronto-based Ensemble Topaz. With a PhD in dance, Kar is the custodian of classical Indian Odissi dance, and a student of Guru Durgacharan Ranbir of Odisha, India. Kar also performs Central Asian dance forms, including Afghan, Iranian, and Uyghur dances, as well as those hailing from Middle Eastern and Romani heritages.


April Performers:


Janice Jo Lee
Song & spoken word
Apr 4, 5


Janice Jo Lee (she/her), aka Sing Hey, is a Korean-Canadian artist from Kitchener, on Haldimand Tract treaty territory, who is passionate about building communities based in justice and joy through art. She tours nationally as a folk singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, spoken word poet, playwright-actor, and educator, and is a hard femme, queer, radical, comedian, truth-teller and trickster. She is working on her upcoming albums Ancestor Song, Lonely is the Lullaby, and a bouffon musical satire about the climate apocalypse.


Wendy Zhou
Apr 11, 12


Wendy Zhou began studying the pipa at the age of five. After immigrating to Canada in 2001, she studied with renowned pipa soloist Gui-Lian Liu and joined the B.C. Chinese Orchestra as Section Leader. She won multiple awards in the Kiwanis Music Festival and the S.K. Lee Scholarship for Ethnic Instruments. In 2010, she co-founded Spire and began exploring the boundaries between Eastern and Western music through arranging and composing for the group.


Tabla Youth Ensemble
April 18 & 19


Toronto Tabla Youth Ensemble (TTYE) was established with the aim of becoming an elite pre-professional training and performance group for youth percussionists aged 8-16. TTYE uses tabla and percussion instruments from around the world to create an electrifying contemporary listening experience. Apprentices and members are hand-selected from the Toronto Tabla Ensemble school and attend weekly training and rehearsal sessions led by artistic director Ritesh Das and senior Ensemble members.


Laura Swankey
Voice and electronics
Apr 25, 26


Toronto-based vocalist, improviser, and electronic sound artist Laura Swankey hails from Vancouver, BC. Calling Toronto home since 2012, she is known for her rich voice, wide range, and imaginative spirit. This solo performance combines dry and processed voice to create soundscapes beneath melodies and stories that draw from deeply personal experiences and observations about rapidly shifting culture, and concerns for our environment. 


May Performers:

Maryem Tollar and Dawne McFarlane
May 2 & 3


Professional storyteller Dawne McFarlane has been telling stories around campfires and kitchen tables, in classrooms, and at international festivals. She teaches the art of storytelling to teachers in Canada and abroad and is the Artistic Director of the Toronto Storytelling Festival. Tollar is an Egyptian-Canadian vocalist, composer,and performer. She is a member of Al Qahwa, a quartet that performs traditional Arabic and original music, and the group Turkwaz, whose recording Nazar was nominated for a Juno for World Music Album of the year in 2017.


More listings to come. Please check back regularly for updates.


Interested in becoming a pop-up performer? Submit your application here.


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