Well-known local musician Vanya Popov—aka “Johnny” Popoff —is releasing a new recording: Vignettes.
Born and raised in Grand Forks, Popoff displayed a musical gift yet as a toddler, improvising original melodies “by ear” on a toy keyboard, and “arranging” songs he’d heard or sung within his native Doukhobor culture.
He later studied music extensively, graduating with honours at the conservatory, college and university levels.
In between, he’s played in various bands and sung in, formed and directed several choirs. In 2001, Vanya released his debut solo piano album, Soul Sketches, which sold out two pressings. Several informal recordings of Vanya’s music followed, as well as numerous choir CDs.
Making five world tours with various choirs, Vanya also fulfilled a lifelong dream to see New Zealand, where he met a musical “Waldorf ” family, the O’Connors, and formed the acoustic folk/pop band—LAVA.
In 2011, they released an album, Dream Love Dare, and toured New Zealand, North America and Europe, including performances in Grand Forks and at Nelson’s Capitol Theatre.
Now in his second year as music teacher at the Nelson Waldorf School, Vanya continues composing, directing choirs and tutoring music students throughout the Kootenay-Boundary.
He occasionally squeezes in a rare “live” performance, such as on Dec. 21 at the Kaslo United Church, an evening concert that coincides with the official release of his new CD.
Vignettes features an eclectic assortment of original piano compositions and arrangements portraying key moments in this musician’s life.
Vanya’s intensely personal solo performance of his musical creations is intended to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for listeners, a stirring glance into his creative soul and irrepressible persona.
Vignettes is available at various outlets in the region. For more inform3a 5ti/o1n6 ,x v5isit www.vanyasmusic.com.