2019 lineup | AL SIMMONS | ANGELICA POVERSKY | BELLFLOWER | BERNICE | JENNY BANAI | JOËLLE | LAUSA | LEAF RAPIDS | LONELY HEARTSTRING BAND | LUGE | MAMA’S BROKE | STOLȻEȽ John Elliott | ROBERTALANFUTUREHEARTS | THOM GILL | WEST MY FRIEND | AND MORE…
Al Simmons Anola, MB
He's a musician! He’s an inventor! He's a nut! He’s been called the Thomas Edison of entertainers, a wizard of one-liners and a lightning bolt of lunacy. His astounding gadgets, preposterous songs, and impeccable comic timing have thrilled and entertained all ages for close to half a century. Young or old, you cannot fail to appreciate this man’s frenetic stage antics and mind-boggling lovableness.
Angelica Poversky Vancouver, BC
Angelica "Angeliquoi?" Poversky is a poet, rapper and media artist. Her work frequently is situated between art and activism. She's shared the stage with clowns, comedians, politicians, scientists and rabbis. She's performed poetry at the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial, environmental conferences across Vancouver and at social justice events like the CHIMO Voices Against Violence Against Women Conference. She's the coach of the UBC slam poetry team and is part of the clown-poetry nationally touring trio, The Tiny Tricycle Poets. Her cine-poem "Entropy of Forgiveness" has featured at international festivals. She's Vancouver's Top 24 under 24 and a City of Richmond Arts Award Winner.
Bellflower Montreal, QC
Bellflower has a sound that is as unique as it is powerful. The music is driven by a creative collaboration of eight musicians assembled around singer-songwriter Em Pompa, whose beautiful voice transports us with poetic lyrics and organic vocals. Bellflower’s ingenuity seems limitless; it’s not quite jazz, and it’s not quite alternative. The ensemble’s music lies somewhere in between the hybrid aerial jazz of Cinematic Orchestra and the seductive complexity of Sufjan Stevens’ neo-pop. The music cleverly alternates between ambient and energetic moods to deliver an unforgettable and vibrant musical experience. They will be releasing their 3rd album titled Upside Down in October 2019.
Bernice Toronto, ON
Bernice is a band from Toronto Canada. They’ve been pleasantly confusing people with their space-filled, oddly shaped songs about things like flowers and aliens since 2011. You’ll hear electronic drums and two vocalists and lots of different synth. They’re currently working with Canadian label Arts & Crafts, spent most of 2017 opening for Martha Wainwright internationally, late 2018 touring across Canada & the US, and are currently working as a fake medieval band for a collaboration with the Toronto Dance Theatre in Toronto. Bernice, made up of Robin Dann, Thom Gill, Felicity Williams, Phil Melanson and Dan Fortin, are currently touring their most recent LP, entitled Puff: In the air without a shape which the New York Times called ”A monument to ephemerality”.
Jenny Banai Vancouver, BC
FVMA Folk Artist Of The Year, Jenny Banai, is a fresh and authentic voice who pairs powerhouse vocal abilities with unique and clever pop arrangements. ‘Her voice is agile and expressive, with uncommon power and control,’ stunning audiences ‘with her intriguing songs and her charming, unpretentious presentation’ (Canadian Rapper, Shad).
Joëlle Toronto, ON
Born in a port city in southern France, Joëlle spent her formative years in the wilds of Hastings County, Canada. A profoundly personal, tactile experience of music infuses her work with colours and shapes drawn directly from lucid dreams. These rich soundscapes wrap Joëlle's resonant alto vocals in unexpected sonics (a flourish of flute, a gut punch of sub bass) to shape a singular listening experience. Crafted in Toronto and featuring a bevy of magical musicians, Joëlle's exciting first solo album, Exit West, is slated for a June 2019 release.
Laüsa Gascony, France
Laüsa offers current folk music from Gascony (La Gascogne is a cultural region of South West France), deeply rooted in, and enriched by the multiple cultures that surround today's musicians. The Gascon song is presented with a myriad of instruments (violin, accordion, tenor guitar, Bouzouki) which leave ajar doors to the Iberian, Celtic and North African worlds
Leaf Rapids Winnipeg, MB
The project Leaf Rapids is Keri Latimer’s (previously from JUNO recipients Nathan) opportunity to croon about vultures circling their prey, barbershop stabbings, and love letters from smallpox quarantines in her disconcertingly sweet voice. Their sound has been described as ‘Cinematic Folk’ and includes the eerie sound of the theremin. Add in a stellar band: Chris Dunn (Ridley Bent) on guitar, Joanna Miller (Scott Nolan, Corin Raymond) on drums, and Devin Latimer on bass for a sonic treat not to be missed.
Lonely Heartstring Band Boston, MA
Nourished by deep roots in the expansive canon of traditional American music, The Lonely Heartstring Band embodies the modern American condition—an understanding and reverence for the past that informs a push into the future. George Clements (guitar, vocals) Patrick M'Gonigle (fiddle, vocals) Charles Clements (bass, vocals) Maddie Witler (mandolin) and Gabe Hirshfeld (banjo) bring together their own musical styles to create a sound greater than the sum of its parts.
Luge Toronto, ON
Toronto art-punk outfit, Luge formed in 2015 and have since released three independent recordings, most recently Tall Is Just A Feeling. Luge explore mixing musical styles while keeping a dancey, noise-rock backbone. Ultimately the eclectic shifts in genre feel consistent and seamless. Luge invites you in with a hook to guide you through the chaos.
Mama’s Broke Halifax, NS
Mama’s Broke is a unique and powerful folk duo that both honours and defies tradition with their original compositions. Two strong voices blend to create haunting harmonies, while they artfully juggle fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin, and incorporate traditional dance and foot percussion as part of their performance.
robertalanfuturehearts Toronto, ON
robertalanfuturehearts is a music and poetry dedicated to exploring the disposition of our words, the dancibility of the rhythm of speech, and the human qualities of the instruments we use to make music. The stories of robertalanfuturehearts dissect specimens of the deeply unsettling and the cosmically whimsical, while the musical compositions make earworms of the abstract spaces no words can inhabit. Equal parts Allen Ginsberg and Andy Kaufman; equal parts traditional Norwegian village music and modern American free improvisation; a hint of Gestalt therapy and the suggestion of early 2000's horror films – robertalanfuturehearts is a celebration spoken and sung of all the things we forget to talk about and a commitment to cultivating hope from whence we excavate melancholy.
STOLȻEȽ John Elliott, Tsartlip First Nation, WSÁNEĆ Territory, Brentwood Bay, BC
An amazing orator, knowledge keeper and historian we are thrilled that WSÁNEĆ elder, STOLȻEȽ, John Elliott has agreed to open the Festival stages, located on WSÁNEĆ traditional territory. STOLȻEȽ is Co-Chair of the First Peoples Cultural Foundation, co-founder of First Voices.Com, chair of the Saanich Native Heritage Society and a tireless worker for WSÁNEĆ cultural and language revitalization. This is a rare opportunity to learn WSÁNEĆ history and stories of the Islands. Be there!
Thom Gill Toronto, ON
Thom gill has been a freelance musicmaker for the last 10 years. He most often plays with Bernice, but also with Knower, Sam Amidon, Martha Wainwright, and Toronto Dance Theatre. Recently his solo venture has been recording and performing the long-lost collaborative songs of Norma Tanega and Dusty Springfield, but also wanderings down other song lanes.
West My Friend Victoria, BC
Described as everything from indie-roots to chamber-folk, West My Friend has an acoustic blend of instruments and three-part harmonies that challenges the conventions of popular music. The band features pure and thrillingly elastic vocals with catchy arrangements of guitar, mandolin, and accordion that draw from jazz, classical, folk, and pop influences. Inspired by artists such as Owen Pallett, the Barenaked Ladies, Joanna Newsom, the Beach Boys, The Decemberists, and the Punch Brothers, and forged from a sonically adventurous acoustic music scene on Canada’s west coast, West My Friend is proving to be a key part of a new generation of grassroots folk music. Watch for their much-anticipated fourth album in the fall of 2019, produced by Joby Baker and accompanied with full orchestra arranged by Adrian Dolan.