JUNE 2-4 LAROCHE PARK, MECHANICSVILLE, OTTAWA
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From her remarkable beginnings in an orphanage in India to her battle against breast cancer, Bif Naked has consistently defied the odds and continues to do so with her new album The Promise – written and recorded while undergoing 13 months of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Her previous albums, including the self-titled Bif Naked, I Bificus (certified Platinum at the beginning of 2009), and Purge, are all noted for their introspective, powerful, and infectious hits that have garnered rave reviews around the world. Her hit single “Spaceman” from I Bificus, made Canadian history with a #1 position on National Charts and #2 position on Billboard’s International Charts making it the highest spun independent song in the history of Canada.
Lucie Idlout lived much of her early life in the High Arctic on North Baffin Island, Northwest Territories as it was known at the time, now Nunavut. Of Inuit heritage, Lucie has obvious ties to the culture of the North and the struggles that come with its unique geography. Her honesty and poetic candor flow through her songs and carry the listener to the very depths of their heart and soul. Lucie is a vibrant and talented singer songwriter with a very promising future. She draws in the listener with the strength of her voice and the power of her words. Her songs cut through the surface and head straight into that place only true artists can touch.
You could say that the Mighty Popo is a Rwandan/Burundian refugee/survivor whose music is steeped in African tradition, but you’d hardly be getting at the whole story of one of Canada’s greatest rising stars. Popo is a person of enormous charm, wit, resilience and joie de vivre who fuses his love of the traditional music of Rwanda and Burundi with rock and roll, blues, jazz, R&B, Reggae and folk traditions. His music reflects his immersion in a world culture which he has navigated with grace, sensitivity, an enormous sense of exploration and fun, and enriched by many traditions.
The Pack a.d. is an unassuming duo who introduce listeners to a blistering assault of scuffed, scarred bluesy riffs, pounding drums and unholy howls -- rock 'n' roll as it was meant to be played. Their latest album, we kill computers, represent The Pack a.d’s raw and urgent live show, and is a glorious testament to the power of animal magnetism, bound up in some of the finest swaggering garage rock you're likely to hear.
Marc Charron is a Canadian musician born in Constance Bay, Ontario. He is best known for his engaging stage presence, large song catalogue, powerful voice and use of acoustic drums he plays with his feet! He performs a wide range of music styles including folk, bluegrass, house and reggae, just to name a few. Multi-instrumentalist Marc Charron's music will be sure to get you on your feet and grooving to an unforgettable sound.
The Murder Plans are an Ottawa foursome whose brooding, cathartic sound has garnered them comparisons to the likes of Wilco, Constantines, The Talking Heads and Leonard Cohen. Formed in a basement apartment in the winter of 2007, Nicholas Descarie, Joel Jacques, Connor McGuire and Michael Simon have become known for their evocative harmonies, vibrant keys and autumnal lyrics inspired by the wind-whipped cityscape of the Nation’s Capital.
Ottawa based Silver Creek is one of the city's hardest working bands. Having twice toured Canada since their formation four years ago, they have recorded two albums and have opened for the likes of Lucinda Williams, Further and Blue Rodeo. Fresh off of a three week tour of the UK, and the release of their third record, this summer is sure to be a busy one for this Canadian rock outfit.
The Flats are a six piece, Ottawa-Chelsea based indie rock band that bridge the gap between folk traditions, raucous live energy, and harmonious melodies. The band’s influences range from 60’s folk to 70’s rock n' roll to more contemporary indie rock. It has been said that attending a Flats show is like standing in the path of a freight train melodically building speed toward an explosive finish – energetic, raw, and dynamic!
The Jeers play original music fueled by the momentum of rock, punk, reggae, hip-hop, and folk music of the planet. Formed in 2010,their high energy delivery allow this four-piece to travel easily between genres, while establishing a distinctive and fearless sound that is quickly gaining a reputation in the Ottawa music scene. The Jeers create music that is at once serious, thought-provoking and fun.
Ottawa’s DJ CPI began as a noise/ambient/performance artist in the mid 90s, started DJing in 1999 and expanded her repertoire into abstract hiphop, downtempo, IDM and electro. Known for her "aggressive blending" mixing style, she has been promoting her own underground Divergence dance parties since 2004. In 2006 she started a monthly movie series called Divergence Movie Night, and has been hosting an MP3 blog since 2007.
Kaiva ("spin" in Inuktitut) is a cultural performance group made up of young artists from Nunavut's remote communities. Using the art of bboying/bgirling (break dancing) to highlight some of their traditions in a fun and dynamic style, Kaiva is passionate about sharing their culture, knowledge and skills through performances, workshops and unique collaborations!
‘Indescribable’ is not an appropriate word to begin an artist’s bio, nor is it suitable as a description of a musician. The problem is this: when Tanya Tagaq’s music fills your ears, she is one of those rare artists whose sounds and styles are truly groundbreaking. ‘Inuit throat singer’ is one part of her sonic quotient, and so are descriptions like ‘orchestral’ ‘hip-hop infused’ and ‘primal’. Although these words are not usually used collectively, in the case of Tanya Tagaq– they are.
Tumivut, "our footsteps" in English, is the name of this musical project that marries traditional Inuit throat singing with multiple contemporary styles of music. Tumivut borrows from a wide range of music styles, including hip-hop, trip-hop, classical, rock and new frontiers of the avant garde, while timeless and beautiful traditional Inuit throat singing seamlessly weaves in and out of gorgeous musical soundscapes.
Taqralik Partridge is a lyric-addicted, melody-smitten artist with an omnivorous appetite for music and poetry. Her body of work often paints a street-level wordscape of the Montreal neighborhoods she so lovingly references. A throat singer as well, Taqralik brings the haunting cadences and northern sensibility of this Inuit form to her spoken word poetry, resulting in a refreshing and fascinating blend of the urban and the tundra.
M.O.(Eskimocentricity), Canada's first Inuk rapper, is originally from Iqaluit, Nunavut. Previously a spoken word artist, his first hip hop performance was for Her Excellency Michaelle Jean in 2007. Since then he has performed across Canada from the Great Northern Arts Festival, the Aqpik Jam Music Festival in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik to Weesageechak Begins To Dance XXIII in Toronto. M.O. recently teamed up with Geothermal MC for the 2011 album String Games.
DJ Mad Eskimo is a producer of original electronic music and mixes diverse and divergent sources such as Inuit throat singing, ethnic chanting, raw electronica, spoken word, and Inuktitut raps. He has performed for the Vancouver Olympics, on national television, for various national aboriginal celebrations and in Berlin, Germany. His sound has found itself in various promotional media presentations, including television, radio, film soundtracks, and even an art show with his video mixes in Bern, Switzerland.
Fronted by the charismatic presence of six-foot, leather-clad Cree Veronica Johnny, The Johnnys' sound is an eclectic mix of punk, garage, '70s hard rock and '50s rock'n'roll. Originally from the Northwest Territories, the band has built a reputation as an incendiary live act, blasting rapid-fire barrages of lightning-quick anthems featuring catchy hooks and tongue-in-cheek lyrics.
Hexes & Ohs throw bittersweet boy/girl harmonies into the slippery mix of post-punk thud, newfangled dancefloor electronics and unapologetic pop savvy pioneered years ago by ancestors such as New Order and Depeche Mode. The duo, comprised of Edmund Lam and Heidi Donnelly, released their latest album in 2008, entitled Bedroom Madness. Since its release, the album has generated four-star reviews and high praise from music critics across the country.
With one foot firmly planted in electronic music, and the other slipping and sliding through a deep puddle of rock ‘n roll, Akash Sinha’s diverse music upbringing brings a fun-tastic energy to the dance floor. Westfest goers can expect everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown into the mix to make the boogie woogie happen.