2024 Performers

Bela Fleck Zakir Hussain Edgard Meyer and Rakesh Chaurasia standing next to each other. The picture is slightly blurred

As We Speak: Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, feat. Rakesh Chaurasia

Playing Friday night in the Concert Bowl

The first time banjo legend Béla Fleck, tabla master Zakir Hussain, and double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer got together to make an album, it was to write, not to play.

When Fleck and Meyer were looking for a third partner for a triple concerto they had been commissioned to write to mark the opening of Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, they thought of Hussain, who was quite interested in orchestral writing. “We thought we could learn a whole lot from this guy!” says Béla. The result was The Melody of Rhythm (2009), recorded with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin.

Leo Kottke

Leo will be performing on Saturday Evening

The words iconic and legendary are thrown about far too often. However, there are players that come immediately to mind when you think of a specific instrument and those who have contributed to it’s development. These artists are truly the icons and legends of the music world. They are the inventors of styles and techniques that become a part of the  techniques for their instrument for everyone who follows.  For example, trumpet = Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong; bass = Lee Sklar; banjo = Earl Scruggs & Bela Fleck; tenor sax = Charlie Parker and acoustic guitar = Leo Kottke!

Acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke was born in Athens, Georgia, but left town after a year and a half. Raised in 12 different states, he absorbed a variety of musical influences as a child, flirting with both violin and trombone, before abandoning Stravinsky for the guitar at age 11.

After adding a love for the country-blues of Mississippi John Hurt to the music of John Phillip Sousa and Preston Epps, Kottke joined the Navy underage, to be underwater, and eventually lost some hearing shooting at lightbulbs in the Atlantic while serving on the USS Halfbeak, a diesel submarine.

Picture of Leo Kottke standing and playing his guitar
Black and white photo of Daniel Lanois. He is wearing a black leather jacket, with a Harley Davidson shirt underneath and chain type necklaces. He is also wearing a white felt cowboy hat adorned with a ribbon around the hat.

Daniel Lanois

Daniel will be performing Sunday Evening.

Daniel Lanois is a name that deserves to be mentioned alongside the finest sonic experimenters of the 20th century – and the 21st century too. Yes, he’s been willing to step back into the background as others take the limelight, but that shouldn’t diminish his contribution, which ripples throughout practically every style and sound of the modern era. Whatever you’re listening to – whether it be acoustic or electronic, roots or futurist, underground or pop – if you listen closely you’ll hear traces of the sonic signatures of Daniel Lanois. And what’s more he’s still experimenting as eagerly as he ever has. At a point when most musicians with anything resembling his level of success would be resting on their laurels and playing on old successes, he still has more hunger for the new than people a third his age, and as a result is creating music as beautiful and new as ever before.

Daniel grew up in Hull, Quebec, a town known best for gambling and drinking – “on the left side of the tracks” as he puts it. 

Milk Carton Kids

Milk Carton Kids will be performing Friday Evening.

Completing their seventh studio album was a hard-won victory for The Milk Carton Kids, but I Only See the Moon was worth the effort for Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan. “It feels like returning to something that’s natural and comfortable, and also just as inspiring and new as when we first met,” says Pattengale, who formed The Milk Carton Kids with Ryan in 2011.

What started as a three-week recording session in the fall of 2021, with Pattengale producing the contemporary folk duo himself for the first time, stretched into a months- long project that found the pair digging deeper into their craft than ever before. With a new studio of their own in Los Angeles and the realization that they were in no hurry, The Milk Carton Kids took the time they needed to be fully satisfied with I Only See the Moon.

Milk Carton Kids duo black and white picture with both holding instruments.
Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams 

Lucinda will be performing Saturday Evening.

“I wanna feel that moment / When the song can find me I wanna feel that moment / When the song can save me” from “Where the Song Will Find Me”

Lucinda Williams’ music has gotten her through her darkest days. It’s been that way since growing up amid family chaos in the Deep South, as she recounts in her candid new memoir, Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I told You. Over the past two years, it’s been the force driving her recovery from a debilitating stroke she suffered on November 17, 2020, at age 67.

Her masterful, multi-Grammy-winning songwriting has never deserted her. To wit, her stunning, sixteenth studio album, Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart, brims over with some of the best work of her career. And though Williams can no longer play her beloved guitar – a constant companion since age 12 – her distinctive vocals sound better than ever.

Les Aunties

“The Chadian woman does not live, she survives.”

The conflicts and structural challenges that have predominated in Chad over the last 60 years are responsible for a serious deterioration in the living conditions of women. Chad has 18 million inhabitants, 52% of whom are women, and only 1 % of whom have access to education.

This Show is the story of a country, Chad, but also that of many other countries where the fundamental rights of women are denied by the government, society, the community, the family and even in the streets. It is these wise and determined women who are the main characters.

Their history goes beyond that of Chad and directly interests all peoples through the power of their story and the heroines they represent.

Ten women clad in orange dresses holding wooden bowls. They all are sitting beside a riverbank
BCUC - Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness gathered together for black and white picture standing and crouching with their instruments

BCUC – Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness

2023 Womex Artist Award Winners

“without a doubt the best live act I saw”- Gilles Peterson

“Loved their set, it was one of my highlights of a great weekend” – Nick Dewey, Glastonbury Festival

“guaranteed to touch untapped corners of your soul” – Okayafrica

“the most impressive newcomers this year” – The Guardian

BCUC: Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness. Indigenous funk, hip-hop consciousness and punk rock energy from Soweto, South Africa.

Café Olé

“Great pan-Hispanic repertoire delivered with grace and passion.”

–  Lucas Schuller, Highway 19 Concert

Drawing inspiration from a beautiful tapestry of musical styles from Spain and Latin-America, Café Olé is a versatile duo known to captivate and transport audiences through time and place. Vocalist Brittany Christina Bowman (from Vancouver Island) and guitarist Oscar Robles Diaz (from Mexico) met in 2007 in Mexico City and have been collaborating in music and in life ever since. Singing in Spanish, they accompany their voices with nylon-string guitar and palomas (rhythmic handclaps). Their energy is infectious and conveys a deep respect for a variety of rich musical cultures, both traditional and contemporary. Through creative collaboration and humble reflection, a sincerity and alchemy arises, permitting each musician’s unique spirit to shine through. Café Olé’s sound is heartfelt, engaging, deeply expressive and very much inspired by a sense of connection with the natural world. Café Olé is currently based in the Comox Valley, the Unceded Traditional Territory of the K’ómoks First Nation, the traditional keepers of this land.

Musical influences from Spain and Latin-America. Vancouver Island based duo
Chola Y Gitano duet sitting creekside in red and blue outfits

Chola Y Gitano

Chola y Gitano is a Chilean global music duo consisting of Belén Rojas and Damián Gallardo and based in Punta Brava, on the beautiful coast of Valdivia. Its contagious vitality comes from Latin American and flamenco rhythms, and lyrics that derive from a particular concept of the Mapuche people called “itrofill mongen” (all life without exception), which asserts that many lives simultaneously share the same space. Chola y Gitano’s live performances are highly multidisciplinary, incorporating poetry and flamenco dance.

The duo formed in 2013, and initially built its repertoire through Latin American song compilations that spotlighted various traditions such as the Peruvian waltz, cueca, landó, and Cuban son. In 2017, Chola y Gitano released its first EP Mi Estrella La Tierra which is an exploration of hybrid sounds such as tonada (a Spanish folk form), transposed guitar and Latin fusion. In 2018, the band took this album to the theater with the production Perfo-concert Mi Estrella La Tierra, in which it collaborated with folk music duo Camila y Silvio and toured across cities in the south of Chile and Argentina.

Stephanie Chou

“One of New York’s most socially relevant and ambitious jazz talents…”

Stephanie Chou is an American composer, saxophonist, and singer based in New York City. She blends Chinese musical influences with Western jazz and pop to create a unique and vibrant musical world. Chou has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, B.B. King’s, Joe’s Pub, Miller Theater, and at music festivals in New Orleans, Chicago, Vermont (Discover Jazz), Pennsylvania (Musikfest) and NY (Lake George Jazz Festival). She also tours with her band in Europe and China, where her music creates immediate cross-cultural connections and continues to expand her fanbase.
She was mentored by legendary songwriter/musician Allen Toussaint, who encouraged her to develop her own artistic voice. She later founded the Stephanie Chou Ensemble, a chamber quintet that combines saxophone and vocals in English and Mandarin with Chinese violin (erhu), viola, and a jazz rhythm section.

Stephanie Chou sitting on a piano bench in front of a piano, with a saxophone in her lap. She is highlighted by light in a darkened room that contains turquoise curtains. Credit photo Emra Islek.
A picture of Marianne Grittani sitting on a porch playing a guitar

Marianne Grittani

Seasoned singer/songwriter Marianne Grittani has drawn fans for over fifty years. She is known for her warm, engaging stage presence and thoughtful, compelling songs. Marianne knows how to take her audience deep into the story lines of her intriguing songwriting style with soulful and compelling vocals. Her music is infused with thoughtfully crafted lyrics and catchy rhythms informed by her musical influences which range from folk, roots and blues to swing and R &B. Her stunning and intimate CD ‘Into The Shimmering’ was nominated for a West Coast Music award as Best Folk/Roots album.

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Marianne grew up with the emerging folk music of the 60s and 70s. At age 14 she began writing her own songs and never stopped.

Working as a waitress in the coffeehouse environments of Smales Pace in London and the famed Riverboat in Toronto, Marianne soaked up tips and tricks from some of the great musicians that came through – Taj Mahal, Stan Rogers, Ry Cooder, Bruce Cockburn and literally countless others. 

The High Bar Gang featuring Barney Bentall and Shari Ulrich

The High Bar Gang is:

Dave Barber: banjo, mandolin and guitar, vocals
Kirby Barber: vocals, guitar and bass
Rob Becker: bass
Barney Bentall: vocals and guitar
Wendy Bird: vocals, guitar
Colin Nairne: guitar, mandolin and vocals
Shari Ulrich: vocals, fiddle and mandolin

Since the band was formed in the summer of 2010, the High Bar Gang has been bringing its unique take on old time bluegrass to the people of Western Canada.

Vocal harmony is key to the band’s sound, and the blend of Shari Ulrich, Wendy Bird and Kirby Barber along with guitarist Barney Bentall and banjo player Dave Barber is simply stunning. Supported by Rob Becker on bass, and Colin Nairne on guitar and mandolin, the band’s repertoire stays firmly rooted in the golden age of bluegrass music with songs by the likes of Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers and Del McCoury.

The High Bar Gang standing in front of wooden kegs standing and holding instruments
Bluegrass meets Irish with JigJam Four musicians standing in front of a brick building with a green door, holding instruments


When virtuoso Irish playing jumps the pond running naked through the wide open fields of bluegrass/Americana JigJam is born. Bluegrass and American Folk music originated from the group’s home, and now JigJam is here to take it back!

JigJam made its Grand Ole Opry Debut in Nashville in March 2023 to critical acclaim receiving a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd on Country Music’s biggest stage. The group was joined on the night by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Steve Earle, Lauren Alaina, and many more. This Offaly and Tipperary-born band has started the first wave of attack in the new Irish invasion of Americana.

‘Foot stomping’, ‘high energy’ badassery is what you’re in for when you see this musical powerhouse live in concert.

Rachael Kilgour

“I think I’m gonna make a Dad album,” songwriter Rachael Kilgour heard herself blurt out one afternoon in an Asheville recording studio. She was in the final days of tracking her EP Game Changer (2019), and in the final months, as it would turn out, of her father’s life. She had just written a new song, “Dad Worked Hard.” “I hadn’t written any other songs about him at that point – I certainly hadn’t considered making an entire album in his honor. I had no way of knowing how little time he had left or how much his death would transform me. But when the producer suggested recording ‘Dad Worked Hard’ for the new EP, I just knew I needed to hold onto it. So I said it: no, I think I’m gonna make a dad album.” And she did.

Kilgour’s exquisite fourth full-length collection, My Father Loved Me, is a tribute to her late father, produced by JUNO Award-winning songwriter Rose Cousins and recorded in the senior Kilgour’s native Canada. In the spare, often gutting language for which she is known, Kilgour gives us a complex portrait of a man as seen through his daughter’s eyes.

Rachael Kilgour in a forest, sitting on a downed forest log in a autumn like setting in the background
black and white photo of Wayne Levesque partially in shadow standing next to a microphone

Wayne Levesque

Wayne Levesque is an Ojibwa recording artist. A member of the Michipicoten First Nation in WaWa, Ontario, he was born and raised in B.C. Wayne’s been doing the music thing for over forty years. He has also spent a good part of his life as a Creekwalker.

“Its a job you probably haven’t heard a lot about.

Basically, a creek walker counts fish, estimates of salmon populations, help the science folk manage fisheries and monitor overall health of returning fish to their natural streams.

It pays a moderate wage for a job that requires you pack a firearm to defend yourself from wildlife. No such thing as danger pay, understandably some would leave early. Even if things don’t go sideways it is still a challenge knowing you’re three hours from any help getting to you . Always but one boat problem away from spending the night on a beach somewhere or worse, one grizzly bear encounter away from the headlines and folklore of your locality.


Locarno is a fusion band, blending contemporary with traditional elements. “It’s danceable, it’s fun and it’s Latin music, without being a straight-up Salsa or Meringue band.”

Locarno is the Latin project of JUNO Award winning musician, Tom Landa. Like him, the music is equal parts Mexican and Canadian. Tom was born and raised in Mexico City and moved to Canada in his teens. In the mid nineties he formed the Folk Roots band, The Paperboys, who have been touring world-wide for over 20 years. Tom has always dabbled in Latin music, and in 2005 decided to immerse himself more into genre and started working on material for an album. In 2006 he was awarded a Canada Council Grant to study traditional Mexican Music in Veracruz, Mexico. Tom spent his days learning the jarana (an 8-string guitar), and learning songs from the Son Jarocho repertoire. Upon his return to Canada, Tom started working on what would be Locarno’s debut CD.

six piece band Locarno standing on beach with various instruments in their hands
Michael McGovern headshot with a gold blurred type background.

Michael McGovern

“I love it. What an unexpected gem.” – Paul Brady

Album of the Week, July 2021 – BBC Radio Scotland

✰✰✰✰✰ – Irish Music Magazine

My name is Michael McGovern, I’m a songwriter and performer from Glasgow, Scotland.

Music has been my life since an early age, I grew up on my Grandparents music, Sinatra, Buddy Holly, Ella Fitzgerald, the stuff that played in the kitchen on a Sunday morning. Then, when I picked up the guitar, I started to discover people like the Beatles, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. Amazing artists that still inspire my music today.

Fast forward about 18 years and I released my debut record ‘Highfield Suite’ in 2021. It was a bedroom Covid project to keep me sane, and it became an album right under my eyes. ‘Isle of May’ and ‘I’m Not Myself Today’ address nostalgia, friendship, and love and ‘I Let You Down’ recalls a nightmare I had.

John McLachlan

British Columbia born folk singer/songwriter John McLachlan’s original folk songs are hand-woven from his own roots, and the history and salty air of Canada’s west coast.

Over the next 20 years he toured his original songs in many corners of British Columbia—from Nazko to Kyuquot, Fort St. John to Princeton, Prince George to Vancouver— presenting hundreds of performances as community concerts and programs for schools about Canadian history. He took a school show to Saskatchewan, played folk clubs across Canada and performed in Bogotá, Colombia.

John took a hiatus from touring and worked as a graphic designer, arts administrator (BC Touring Council, Creative City Network of Canada) and arts grant coordinator before returning to music in 2014. 

John McLachlan standing by a beachside. He is wearing a brown jacket, khaki pants and holding a guitar with a brown finish
Moira and Claire sitting on floor with beige wall behind them that contains dried flowers affixed to the wall

Moira and Claire

“Sometimes I think that Delaney’s Dad is the most important song of the year. Because of the simplicity and honesty of Moira & Claire’s special vocal delivery, it just seems like an overdue eleventh commandment for inter- generational respect, kindness, and courage”

Paul Corby – rootsmusic.ca

Moira & Claire: Born on one side of Canada and now living on another, Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Moira & Claire write lighthearted, indie folk-pop songs that appeal to East and West Coasters and everyone in between. The sisters have been singing together for longer than their professional careers, their voices harmonizing in the kind of familial magic that only living together your entire life can attain. 

“We’re two sisters that couldn’t stop singing after discovering that harmony is a thing”


Alexis Normand

For over a decade, Alexis Normand has forged herself a path of authenticity with her down-to-earth sound and demeanour.  With Mementos, her new and most personal album to date, the singer-songwriter sheds an honest and vulnerable light on herself. Drawing inspiration from the infinite horizons of her Saskatchewan home, she explores the dualities of a francophone identity on anglophone soil with a velvety voice and a candid approach to the contemporary folk sounds which suit her so perfectly. The result is a collection of delicate songs, each exploring an important moment of her life; overcoming a challenge, a defining moment in time, a deep understanding of the inherent contradiction that is her life.

While her previous opuses emphasized the fracturing of her two cultures, Mementos marks a turning point in her artistic approach. Alexis now embraces the dualities of her identity – she is bilingual, anchored in the Canadian Prairies, proudly resisting linguistic, commercial, and political diktats. 

Alexis Normand is standing in a grassy field.
Grace Petrie standing in front of recycling type centre wearing a leather toolbelt with her arms crossed in front of her

Grace Petrie

‘She writes the sort of songs you want to pin the lyrics of on your bedroom wall, or on the office door, to remind you and everyone else who might read them what is important and true’

Buzz Magazine

 ‘A millennial’s Billy Bragg’ Songlines

More than a decade after first emerging, protest singer, LGBTQ+ activist, comedy audiences’ favourite and folk star Grace Petrie stands out as one the most important songwriters working in the UK today.

Exploding onto the folk scene in 2010 with the low-fi acoustic guitar/vocal release Tell Me a Story, Petrie quickly attracted attention with her polemical folk anthems, acerbic lyricism and open-hearted performance style. Support slots for the likes of Billy Bragg and Emmy The Great soon followed, with The Guardian declaring her “a powerful new songwriting voice”.

Lester Quitzau

“Lester Quitzau rattles and reverberates the cornerstones of folk, jazz, blues and rock…”  (FFWD magazine).

Meet Canadian roots music artist and snowboarding pioneer and organic apple farmer Lester Quitzau, a mellow guy who throws down a heavy groove. In a field where intangibles like feel and integrity count for so much, Quitzau has forged an exemplary career.

Distilling the experience of the past 33 years of writing, recording and performing his music, Lester has come up with an approach that is his own. His unique style and fluidity on slide, acoustic and electric guitars, coupled with his well crafted songs and warm vocals, are the fruits of this musical journey. Many of his followers have watched his career with love and loyalty in what began as a solid traditional folk/ blues foundation, that has branched out into myriad of influences and a sound that is his own.

What began with a solid blues apprenticeship in the funky working-class bars of Alberta’s capital city has grown into an eclectic and constantly evolving musical journey for the guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer and producer.

Lester Quitzau standing against black background with a guitar held over his shoulder
Black and white picture of Benj Rowland playing an accordian. He is standing in front of a brick wall

Benj Rowland

Surrounded by a captivating ensemble of musical instruments, including the bouzouki, tenor guitar, hurdy-gurdy, accordions, and a foot keyboard synthesizer, Benj Rowland creates a mesmerizing sonic experience that beckons audiences to immerse themselves in his world of music.

As a self-described “community-trained” musician, Benj Rowland approaches folk music with a deep-rooted reverence for tradition, having honed his instrumental and performance skills within the vibrant tapestry of his culturally rich upbringing. Hailing from this musical heritage, Benj’s compositions reflect an amalgamation of various influences, such as Celtic, Cajun, Old-time, and Balfolk. After an extensive journey spanning over 15 years, during which he was a member of various musical ensembles, Benj embarked on a solo career following the release of his 2022 album, “Community Garden,” produced by Joel Plaskett.

Throughout his career, Benj has shared the stage with a plethora of renowned artists and contributed his musical talents to numerous albums by fellow musicians. Additionally, he has recently ventured into the realms of scoring and live performance for theatre and dance, expanding his artistic horizons.

Sacred Steel Summit Revue featuring the Lee Boys and Living Legend, Calvin Cooke

The Lee Boys:

The Lee Boys are one of America’s finest African American sacred steel ensembles. The Lee Boys grew up in the church where their father was a pastor and a steel player himself.

“Sacred steel” is a type of music described as an inspired, unique form of Gospel music with a hard-driving, blues-based beat. The musical genre is rooted in Gospel, but infused with rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop, country and ideas from other nations. 

When The Lee Boys bring their joyous spiritual sound to the stage, audiences instantly recognize that this is not “sitting and listening” music: dancing, shouting out, and having fun are considered essential parts of their tradition. Founder and bandleader Alvin Lee explains “The inspiration and feeling that comes along with our music is the reason that people feel good.” 

collage of photos of Sacred Steel Summit Revue featuring the Lee Boys and living legend, Calvin Cooke

Second Moon

Korean Pansori Meets Irish Music

Evoking Korean traditional Pansori sounds and mixed with Western instrumentals, Second Moon is a dynamic 7-member band that has been making waves since their formation in 2004. With a unique blend of traditional Korean Pansori and Western instrumentals, their sound is truly one-of-a-kind. Incorporating Irish whistle, bodhran, and mandolin into their music, Second Moon has created a captivating fusion of musical styles that will leave you spellbound. Their groundbreaking approach to music earned them recognition early on, winning “Rookie of the Year” and “Record of the Year” at the Korean Music Awards in 2006. Their music has also been featured in hit K-dramas like ‘Princess Hours’ and ‘Goong S.’

Song Warriors of the North

A collaborative trio of independent artists, uniting musical forces to knock some socks off your festival this summer…

Kym Gouchie
With ancestral roots in the Lheidli T’enneh, Cree and Secwépemc Nations, Kym Gouchie is fostering change through her music and art. 

Rachelle van Zanten
Rachelle van Zanten is a roots-rock-blues warrior known for her “straight from the heart, gutsy, and intimate” songs that “give voice to thunder and fire the hearts” of all who join her in a passionate calling to protect mother earth (Wade Davis, National Geographic). 

Naomi Kavka
Naomi Kavka is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who demonstrates a fearlessness and diverse range as a performer. 

The Band Song Warriors of the North trio singing and playing guitar
Eight piece band Stealing Dan all sitting down on steps and amplifiers holding their instruments

Stealing Dan

Stealing Dan represents a collaboration featuring some of the North Islands finest, joining forces to celebrate the music of a band they all admire.

Stealing Dan is the result of a lifetime dream of lead singer Jim Papp. He reached out like-minded ‘Dan Fans’ from across Vancouver Island, starting with John Mang (keyboards) and Jeff Gillespie (guitar) … and the journey began.

Together, they recruited superb saxophonists Claudio Fantinato and Rachel Cooper, Jeff Drummond on bass and Art Van Volsen on drums. With stellar background vocals from Colleen Brooks, Trish Horrocks, and Miranda Hopkins, the picture was complete.

Stealing Dan brings to life the music, tonal character and sound of the original Steely Dan recordings.  The result is an authentic homage to the greatest pop-jazz band in modern music.

Christine Tassan et les Imposteures

With nearly 20 years of bringing their special blend of Gypsy jazz and revisited cover songs to audiences, Christine Tassan et les Imposteures have made a name for themselves on the music scene.

Pioneers in a domain usually reserved for men and precursors of the gypsy wave that swept across Québec, this quartet led by guitarist Christine Tassan continues to reinvent this timeless music while integrating new ideas and influences with an originality and flair we have become familiar with. From standards to original compositions, the Imposteures’ musical arrangements innovate, rejuvenate and leave room for unbridled creativity from four talented and accomplished musicians.

With 7 albums and more than 600 concerts in various venues and festivals, including numerous appearances in major events and tours across Canada, Europe, USA and China, they have cultivated the adoration and loyalty of an ever growing fan base.

Chrstine Tassan and her band standing with their instruments with blades of tall grass in front of them
Picture of Curley Taylor with an accordian and tipping his hat

Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble

Curley Taylor’s bluesy, soulful vocals and his band’s hard driving Zydeco beat blend to create high-energy dance music for all audiences. Curley’s music is true to its roots in Louisiana Zydeco, but contemporary enough to appeal to a broad range of music lovers. With seven CDs of original music, Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble play their own style of Zydeco, infused with old school R&B, Blues and Southern Soul. Louisiana native Curley Taylor has been around music all of his life.

Born into a musical family, Curley started out playing drums in his father’s band, Jude Taylor and the Burning Flames, a band deep in Louisiana Blues, Soul and Zydeco. He went on to play with some of Louisiana’s musical legends. In his late twenties, Curley took up the accordion and began composing music in anticipation of starting his own band.

Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane

2023 International Acoustic Music Award (IAMA) winners Gordie Tentrees (Yukon) and Jaxon Haldane (Manitoba) met in 2005 (Fred Eaglesmith Picnic, Ontario) and swapped records before hitting the road with disparate musical aspirations. Gordie performed over 3000 concerts around the world, often touring as Eaglesmith’s opening act, learning about the music business, and leveraging his previous experience in the boxing ring (3x Golden Glove champ). Tentrees also toured with James Cotten, Mary Gauthier, Kelly Joe Phelps, Steve Poltz, and Ray Wylie Hubbard, to name a few. 

Jaxon was meanwhile tearing up stages from Churchill to Belfast (D.Rangers bandleader/banjo player), producing records for his indie label (Dollartone), and touring with the likes of Petunia, The Sadies, Jon Spencer, and Romi Mayes.  His close relationship with lifelong musical hero and mentor Willie P. Bennett led to Haldane recording Willie’s last record, Sharpen The Plow, just prior to Bennett’s passing in 2008.  

Gordie Tentrees & Jaxon Haldane in a sitting position next to each other, Oversize clocks sit in the background
Kathryn Tickell and her band the Darkening standing in a dry grassy field

Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening

Kathryn Tickell is the foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes; a composer, performer, educator and successful recording artist with many releases to her name, whose work is deeply rooted in the landscape and people of Northumbria. 

Kathryn’s extraordinary career began with learning tunes from old shepherd friends and family, and evolved to traverse genres from jazz and global music to large-scale orchestral works. Exploring and cultivating her bountiful native heritage of Northumberland have been a constant throughout.

From her first album, released at the age of 16, Kathryn has carried the voices of her family and her Northumbrian traditions in her pipe and fiddle playing. 

Leon Timbo


Some write music as a creative release. Others feel compelled to perform. For country-soul singer-songwriter Leon Timbo, music is used as a form of growth and healing. Growing up the son of two pastors in Jacksonville, FL, music was integrated into his life from the very start, as a way to communicate spiritual experience. At sixteen, Timbo began singing and by age twenty, he began playing the guitar and performing in a serious way, inspired by artists Bill Withers, James Taylor and Tim Miner.  Timbo’s country sound incorporates equal measures of vintage soul, gospel, folk, R&B and even modern blues making for a unique experience that some have described as ‘transparent soul.’ Timbo is currently on the road supporting his new music and has just finished touring with 2x-Grammy Award-winning bassist, Marcus Miller, during his residency with Blue Note New York, which included two sold-out shows.

Leon Timbo leaning on a white brick building. Behind him is a white painted door with peeling paint.
Tio Chorinho with Flavia Nascimento standing by a tree holding various musical instruments

Tio Chorinho with Flavia Nascimento

Brazilian choro music – “New Orleans jazz of Brazil.”

Tio Chorinho is the first ensemble in Canada dedicated to performing choro music, the “New Orleans jazz of Brazil.” Exciting, intimate, nostalgic and virtuosic, choro is an infectious urban folk style whose universal appeal belies its musical complexity. Tio Chorinho embraces the authentic spirit of choro and extends it, thrilling audiences of all backgrounds with astonishing musicianship and easy-going charm on stage.

Flávia Nascimento joins Tio Chorinho, Canada’s first ensemble dedicated to performing Brazilian choro music. Flávia is a favourite at street parties, famous events, major festivals and concert halls.

 Whenever there is a need to make a show burst with excitement, it is time to call Flávia. 

The Umbrella Collective

The Umbrella Collective is a six-piece band based in Abegweit (Prince Edward Island). Ranging in age from 24-47, the Collective’s members are also diverse in culture. Hailing from PEI, Nova Scotia, Ontario, India, Nigeria and Rwanda, these six musicians have united in Charlottetown to create a unique sound.

Drawing inspiration from Hip-hop, R&B, Reggae, Neo-Soul and Afrobeat, The Umbrella Collective defies the boundaries of musical genres and are on a journey radiating love and integrating community through their music.

UC is building themselves as individuals, as a group, and working together with creatives from the community, and has recently released their debut tape “WELCOME TO STUDIO UC!”

The Umbrella Collective, a six band members playing in a studio type room full of instruments.
Peter Paul Van Kamp standing in front of a wooden armoire holding a homemade book

Peter Paul Van Camp

And now, what shall we say about PETER PAUL VAN CAMP [“A Name You Might Very Well Have Trusted, Since 1972”] that you have not heard before, or at least lately?

We could tell you that he is a past recipient of the DISTINGUISHED RHYMING CROSS, and Nine-Time Runner-up for the “COVETED PAT PATTON AWARD FOR COHERENCY IN ELOQUENCE”.

 It may also be worth mentioning that he is Short, For A Tall Man, but Tall, For A Short.

We should surely inform you that the veteran versemonger, who turned a vibrant 70 some time ago, has reached a momentous decision ~~~ after over 50 years of toiling in the Poetry Corner of the folk world, Mr. Van Camp unequivocally asserts the following:…

“Now that I have some background in the Show Game, I might as well confess that I am ‘in this thing for keeps’, and will entertain all reasonable offers to declaim, so long as there is a handy place provided for my water glass, and a chair in which to rest after my platform exertions.”

Christy Vanden 

was born to traveling musician parents in the interior of British Columbia and grew up home schooled, moving from place to place.

Her family made yearly winter road trips from Canada to Baja California Sur, Mexico in their Volkswagen van, where she learned to play on her tiny orange classical guitar given to her by her mother.

From age seven onward, she was mentored by her talented father who inspired her to play the guitar in the first place. Between Christy’s mother and her sister Amanda, she learned how to sing, and picked up harmonies by listening in on her parent’s band rehearsals.

Over the years, Christy has become a beloved local instructor at Long & McQuade and performer/composer.

During 2015 Christy joined Brodie Dawson on a recording of Brodie’s song “All This Time”, which was nominated in the 2015 Vancouver Island Music Awards for Roots/Blues Recording of the Year.

Christy Vanden sitting on a group of suitcases holding her guitar.
Jing Xia holding a Chinese guzheng instrument

Jing Xia

Jing Xia is an award winning guzheng artist and ethnomusicologist based in Newfoundland. Born and raised in Hunan, China, Xia started to study the guzheng at six years old and holds degrees in music performance (B.A.), arts management (M.A.), and ethnomusicology (Ph.D.). Xia’s recent accolades include winning the 2023 East Coast Music Award “Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year” and the 2023 MusicNL Award “Album of the Year” for her solo album, “The Numinous Journey”. She was named the 2023 MusicNL “Solo Artist of the Year” and 2022 MusicNL “Rising Star of the Year”.

As a performer of all styles, her musical journey on the guzheng has encompassed Chinese traditional and folk music to intercultural ensembles, improvisational music, and beyond. Her 2022 guzheng CD “The Numinous Journey” shows her diverse musical pathways and presents the guzheng in a wide range of musical genres.

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