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Ute Lemper.

Handout

Hot Ticket - Ute Lemper

Travel back to the era when Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf sang tales of love and despair, when Kurt Weill penned scathing political critiques and Astor Piazzolla revolutionized tango as famed cabaret chanteuse Ute Lemper returns to Vancouver.

Just this week the smoky-voiced German singer, along with the esteemed Vogler Quartet and pianist/clarinetist Stefan Malzew, released Berlin Nights, Paris Days – an album that pays homage to the rich cultural melting pot of 1920s Europe, and hints at the political tumultuousness of the time.

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"Part of her focus is the impact of war – and it's a style of music that really suits her, but it also is subject matter that touches her," says Chan Centre co-managing director Joyce Hinton. "She is presenting music from a certain point in history, but if you think about places like the Middle East, it actually has a lot of relevancy today."

Born in Munster, Germany in 1963, Lemper – who will also be making stops at the Kennedy Centre in Washington and Carnegie Hall – has recorded more than 20 studio albums, played brassy dames in stage productions of Cabaret and Chicago, and landed myriad awards for her darkly witty and sophisticated performances.

"She's an incredible musician, but she's also extremely theatrical, so it's this beautiful combination," says Ms. Hinton. "You just can't take your eyes off her."

Ute Lemper plays the Chan Centre Saturday (ticketmaster.ca).

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