The performance series kicked off on September 21 and ended on October 1, featuring special guest hosts and your favourite First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists!
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Mary Black and Harley Richardson (N0 L1M1T) are a hip-hop musical duo known as Bloodliine Entertainment, who create music to raise awareness for topics that plague Indigenous peoples due to colonization such as: addictions, recovery, abuse, suicide prevention, and more. The two are proud to represent a life of sobriety, breaking inter-generational cycles, and providing support and advocacy for Indigenous youth who are healing from similar traumas. Mary and Harley travel across Canada sharing motivational stories, presentations, spoken word poetry and hip-hop music for all ages!
At 50,000+ streams & views across platforms, Indigenous (Cree/Sioux) R&B powerhouse vocalist Hazely is set to impact the national music scene as we know it. Fusing acoustic pop melodies and soulful hooks with traditional Indigenous Round Dance songs, this rising star creates a moment of freedom and connection through her music.
Her debut single “Feel Free” quickly garnered more than 40,000 views on her Facebook page and hit Top 10 on the NCI FM Indigenous Music Countdown hosted by SiriusXM Canada. Hazely is set to release her debut album, “All Good Things”; a sonic journey through haunting round dance originals & contemporary pop hits in early 2021.
Aysanabee’s family is from Sandy Lake First Nation where he spent time living as a child, but later moved to rural Kaministiquia, located outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario. His grandfather taught him how to bow hunt and his brother taught him how to play the guitar. With no real reference for producing music, Aysanabee developed a unique guitar style involving string tapping, harmonics and rhythmic percussion all while singing lyrics inspired by love, loss, dreams and lived experience.
An engaging storyteller, singer-songwriter and performer, three-time JUNO Award nominee Don Amerohas been tirelessly touring, performing and speaking across Canada for the last decade, earning the respect and attention of the Canadian Music industry and fans alike. With a proven ability to effortlessly and genuinely connect with his audience, his talents have been much sought after, and in early 2019 he became a part of the MDM Recordings Inc. roster. Don has also been recognized for this work as an amplifierof Indigenous thought and ideas. Amero, who is of Cree and Metis heritage, hopes to continue the work being done when it comes to building bridges between all communities in Canada.With uplifting beauty across seven albums, Amero creates a lasting impression, with an artistic focus in making music that he hopes will be medicine for others. For more information on Don Amero please visit https://donamero.ca/.
There’s a tendency these days to try to pigeonhole any artist that attempts to breach the boundaries. Chalk it up to the restrictions of radio playlists or the media’s attempt to strictly define musicians by the music it believes artists ought to be making, creative instincts be damned.
Nevertheless Crystal Shawanda opted to defy those demands and chart her own path forward. Initially signed to RCA in 2007, she hit her stride as a country singer and songwriter when she scored a top 20 hit with her song “You Can Let Go” and subsequently tallied sales of over 50,000 copies of her debut album Dawn of a New Day and subsequently debuted in the Billboard Top 20. Nevertheless, she began to realize that the blues had captured her muse, and with that, she left the label, shifted her stance and began recording albums that reflected her love of blues and her natural affinity for that sound.
The Johnnys are a high-energy rock'n'roll band, founded by partners Veronica Johnny (2Spirit, vocals, guitar) and Dave Johnny (drums). Veronica’s nehiyaw (Cree/Métis) heritage is reflected in some of the band’s lyric content, with Indigenous influences on topics such as the environment, social justice and political change.
The band’s early recordings are more punk influenced, characterized by fun, up-tempo songs while later releases have a classic-rock feel. Their first three albums were all nominated for national music awards in Canada, and they've been featured in television and film. Songs Time to Shine and Have a Good Time, All the Time both reached #2 on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown radio charts. Their fourth album, Leathers and Feathers, was released in June 2020.
Multi-award winning, chart-topping Indigenous artists Twin Flames build bridges across cultures, continents, and styles. The husband and wife duo of Jaaji, Inuk and Mohawk from Nunavik, and, Chelsey June, métis (Algonquin Cree) from Ottawa are long celebrated for their sonic landscapes spanning Canada and the Arctic, and honouring their ancestors through song in English, Inuttitut and French. They have to date released three full-length albums and have established themselves a Canadian Household name. Twin Flames, brings together a richness of personal history and musical experience, 2x Canadian Folk Music Award recipients for Aboriginal Songwriters of the year and 3x Native American Music Award winners their songs tell stories of courage and survival. A beloved powerhouse couple with 25 Music award Nominations, they have played more than 1000+ shows throughout Canada, Greenland, the United States, Australia and France.
Originally from Maliotenam in Northeastern Quebec, the singer-songwriter Shauit, sings honest and committed songs that ingeniously combine his native language and traditional rhythms with other popular trends such as folk & reggae. In 2018, Shauit received the Indigenous Songwriter of the Year Award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards and best album in an Indigenous language at the Indigenous Music Award.
Felipe The bass invader is an award winning musician, adventurer and educator , who has taken the troubadour concept to a whole new level, cycling across Canada with a 6-string bass and amp. For the last years, Felipe have been touring Canada as part of his ongoing project called The Bike and Bass Tour. The Bike and Bass Tour is a pedal-powered art adventure, sharing music and stories with communities across Canada. His mission is to inspire people to explore Canada, experience the outdoors, and embrace the wide diversity of art, cultures, landscapes, and wildlife that Canada has to offer.
Jeremy Parkin is a 23 year old music producer from the Kwanlin Dün First Nation in Whitehorse, YT. Jeremy began his venture into music at the age of 11 when he picked up a guitar, a few years later he started music production with FL Studio. He released his debut album 'Black Dog' on Oct. 24th, 2017 which peaked at number 3 on the Canadian iTunes Electronic Music Charts and is currently working on finishing the debut album from his Hip Hop duo "LOCAL BOY" with Kelvin Smoler.
Jeremy Koz is a Juno nominated songwriter. He currently sings in Men in Cheap Suits, Big City All Star Band, Deep Dark Cave, Big Top Radio and Indian City which won Pop Album of the Year at the Indigenous Music awards. His previous original rock band Floor Thirteen played throughout North America and Europe and opened for Canadian collectives including Our Lady Peace, Buckcherry, Default and The Guess Who to name a few. Floor Thirteen's debut album “Mmmm” was played on radio stations throughout North America and earned Koz a nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal at the L.A. Music Awards. He has performed in 13 productions at Rainbow Stage and a run of 16 shows at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre in Oh Canada! What A Feeling. You may also recognize Koz from Canadian Idol in the Top 22 live shows.
Matt James is from Mattagami First Nations, near Timmins Ontario. Matthew has been involved in music from a very early age. He was encouraged by his Grandma Naveau to keep singing, and she would say “Matthew, you go and share that beautiful voice; that is your gift from the Creator.” Matt is also a songwriter, composing more than 200 songs, some of which have been published by other recording groups.
Mary Bryton is an 18-year old aspiring First Nations singer, songwriter, and musician who is a member of the Whitefish River First Nation. She is a recent graduate of the Vocal Arts Program at Canterbury High School in Ottawa. Mary is a multi-talented artist who sings as a soloist and in a choir, as well as plays drums and guitar. She has also completed her Grade 8 in Voice and Music Theory with the Royal Conservatory of Music. Mary is a recipient of a 2018 SOCAN Foundation and SiriusXM Young Canadian Songwriter Award for her original song “Clegg Street”. She performed the National Anthem in three languages (English, French and Anishnaawbe) at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto and in 2019 at Ottawa Senators games in honour of Reconciliation.
PJ is a Yaqui/Mexican award winning producer, writer and alternative RnB artist, from Los Angeles, CA. Best known for his sultry vocals and gritty content, PJ is a MTV VMA winner for “Best Video With a Message” and is also the son of Pat Vegas, member/founder of legendary Native American rock band Redbone.
Developing her art form authentically in numerous bands provided Napoleon the opportunity to open for acts such as Buffy St.Marie, Kai Mani Marley, Ani Difranco and The Aggrolites. With the ability to transform on stage like an ancient shapeshifter, she consistently delivers a performance that can alter the energy in a room and continues to build her well-earned reputation as a genre-hopper. Niska Napoleon’s bloodline consists of healers, chiefs and Indigenous leaders. Armed with a given name meant for the stars, she breeds music from the soul of Mother Earth, which she is committed to protecting using music as her weapon.
Ashaa Takook Bird Singers
Bird Singing incorporates traditional knowledge of the history and land with philosophical and moral teachings of the Kumeyaay Indigenous people of Southern California and Northern Mexico. “They speak to who and what we are, and our ancient connection to this land”. Ashaa Takook is a multi-generational Bird Singing and dance group led by Ral Christman.
International Three Time Native American Music Award Winner, Three New Mexico Music Award Winner, Four Time Indian Summer Award Winner, Three Time Finalist at the Indigenous Music Awards, Steven Rushingwind, Native American Flute Musician, has been playing Native Flute for 12 years. His music is defined as Native American, World Beat and Native Fusion. Steven, a California Native, raised in a small house with one bathroom and a large family in South Pomona, a city 25 miles east of Los Angles, has had a passion for music since he was small. His family couldn't afford musical instruments nor lessons although Steven longed to express himself musically. His father, full blooded Opata and Cahuilla and his mother from Chihuahua Mexico maintained a solid tight family and those bonds remain today.
Murray Porter’s music career has taken him all over the world for the last 40 years. He’s a proud Mohawk man from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in southern Ontario, who now lives on Squamish Nation territory in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Murray may have a blues soul to the core, but he also grew up on rock and roll, R & B and country music. Porter’s first CD since his 2012 JUNO Award for ‘Aboriginal Album of the Year’ is titled, “STAND UP!” and reflects these early musical influences. He strongly feels that this album is some of his best music to date. This album was nominated at the 2019 Native American Music Awards for ‘Best Blues Recording’ and ‘Best Male Artist of the Year’, last Fall. His song, ‘Love Will Find A Way’, was number one on the Indigenous Music Countdown the week of June 27, 2020.
Dalannah Gail Bowen
There are many faces and many personalities to Vancouver based blues singer Dalannah. All of those personalities have something in common – a spark, joy, determination and a fire inside. She is more than a singer – she is woman through and through. Dalannah is all women – beautiful, tough, talented, nurturing and spiritual. Born of African-Canadian/Cherokee heritage, Dalannah has been music-making for forty years in the Canadian blues, rock and soul scene. Dalannah started her musical career with the all-female group The Feminine Touch touring Canada and the USA, opening for acts such as The Monkees and The Guess Who.
Raye Zaragoza (pronounced ray zay-rah-GO-zah) is an award-winning singer-songwriter who Paste Magazine called “one of the most politically relevant artists in her genre.” First-generation Japanese-American on her mother’s side, indigenous on her father’s side, and raised in New York City, Raye shares her unique perspective and stories through songs that are both inspiring and thought-provoking. Her forthcoming sophomore LP Woman In Color produced by Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, First Aid Kit) will be released on October 23, 2020.
Justin “Jah’kota” Holness made history for being the first Native Hip-Hop Artist to drop a verse in the Senate 2016. He is an award winning entrepreneur receiving the 2018 CBC Trailblazer Award for TR1BE Music. Jah'kota was nominated for best rap hip hop album of the year for WOKE at the 2019 Indigenous Music Awards. His song WOKE hit number one on the Indigenous Music Countdown August of 2019. Justin's life purpose is to help his people achieve self-determination through music, culture, and entrepreneurship.
In 2019, the duo Neon Dreams, Kadillac and Adrian Morris, released Sweet Dream till Sunbeams—an album comprising nine uplifting songs about not fitting in and overcoming adversity—and have continued to drop new material this year. Though they consider themselves to be “alt-pop,” Neon Dreams’ music can’t be pigeonholed. Kadillac likes to describe their sound as “if Adam Levigne and Gym Class Heroes made a band that was influenced by early 2000s, late ‘90s inspirational coming of age movie soundtracks.” In 2020, Neon Dreams won a JUNO Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year!
With soul and voice well beyond her years, folk artist Ila Barker captures audiences with her sweet melodies and dynamic presence. Ila is of mixed Anishinaabe and settler heritage with roots running deep in the prairies, bringing tones of rich history and texture to her craft. Fusing authentic and timeless notes this singer songwriter will surely connect with her audience and leave a lasting impression. Ila has brought her craft to an array of festivals and stages including the Regina Folk Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the sākihiwē festival. In the summer of 2019 Ila opened for Jeremy Dutcher at the Indian River Festival. Currently, Ila is working on new tunes to be released in 2020.