2018 Artist Schedule

Jun
1
Fri
Larry Kurtz & The Lawbreakers With Special Guest Lisa Hutchinson @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 1 @ 8:00 pm

larry kurtz & lisa hutchinson

Larry Kurtz

Larry Kurtz grew up singing in the church. He started playing harmonica at the age of 15 after hearing Little Walter on the radio. He is a solo artist with his band the Lawbreakers and co-front man in the award winning band Trouble & Strife. They were voted Favourite Blues Band in the Canadian Independant Music Awards and nominated New Artist of the Year at the Maple Blues Awards. Larry is the founder & Artistic Director of The Orangeville Blues Festival. In 2016 he was named Blues Booster of the Year at the Maple Blues Awards in Toronto.

Larry has play hundreds of shows , events and Festivals including The Southside Shuffle, Tremblant International Blues Festival, Beaches Jazz Festival, Canal Bank Shuffle, Lighthouse Blues Festival, Wasaga Beach Blues Festival, Collingwood Jazz Festival, Blues at Blue Mountain, and Orangeville Rib Fest.

Over the years Larry has opened for or performed with numerous artists including James Cotton, Lee Oskar, Muddy Waters drummer, Willie ” Big Eyes” Smith, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Texas Blues Legend WC Clark, Jeff Healy’s Blues Band, Downchild, Jack DeKeyzer, Fathead, David Gogo and may others.

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Lisa Hutchinson

Lisa has been entertaining music enthusiasts for over two decades with her soulful delivery of blues, jazz and R&B standards. With a powerful voice she interprets the music with passion and authenticity. Influenced by a wide variety of genres, Lisa was drawn to the rich melody lines and lyrics inherent in jazz, the infectious grooves of R&B, and the soul of blues music. Lisa draws inspiration from vocalists past and present such as Etta James, Big Mama Thornton, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Beth Hart and Susan Tedeschi. She has performed in the International Blues Challenge, Southside Shuffle – main stage, Wasaga Beach Blues Festival, Orillia Spring Blues Festival, Orangeville Blues Festival, and Kempenfest.

Raoul and The Big Time @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 1 @ 9:30 pm

raoul and the big time

For the last 20 years Maple Blues Award winners (and six time nominees) Raoul and The Big Time have been a top Toronto based blues act, awarded NOW Magazine’s Best Toronto Blues Artist in 2007.This 7 piece band recently returned from The International Blues Challenge in Memphis where they were semi finalists and frontman Raoul Bhaneja performed a ten date tour of California with an all star line up of West Coast guitar blues masters.

Co founded with long time guitarist Darren Gallen they have released five records to critical acclaim, performed on the mainstages of many major festivals across Canada and performed or recorded with the likes of Bettye Lavette, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Downchild Blues Band, Junior Watson, Big Dave Mclean, Rick Holmstrom, Kirk Fletcher, Fred Kaplan, Curtis Salgado, Richard Innes, Rusty Zinn, Mark Hummel, Big Joe Maher and many more. Last April they headlined Koerner Hall with their show DOWN IN THE DELTA featuring Big Dave McLean along with Graham Guest and Mississippi’s own Big A Anthony Sherrod and Super Chikan.Raoul and The Big Time are thrilled to return to Orangeville after many years away.

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Jun
2
Sat
Angelina Hunter Trio @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 2 @ 12:00 pm

angelina hunter trio

The artists behind this blues/funk power trio are founding members of Ottawa’s extraordinary Bluestone and Bluestone & The Memphis Moonshine. Backed by a driving rhythm section, Angelina brings her signature sound of soul-infused vocals and dynamic guitar solos to new levels in this latest line up. If you are looking for true blues/funk, this is a show not to miss.Angelina’s career spans hundreds, if not thousands of shows, from intimate clubs to major festivals. She has toured throughout Canada and the United States multiple times. The Angelina Hunter Trio is made up of Angelina Hunter, Sandy Hunter, and Adam Bell. Performing as a trio has created a musical space that has allowed Angelina to bring forward the best of her expert tone and touch on guitar and vocals alike. The overwhelming crowd response to the passion presented on stage leaves everyone wanting more.

Justin Saladino @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 2 @ 1:30 pm

justin saladino

Guitarist / singer-songwriter Justin Saladino was born and raised in Montréal. Early on, he began taking guitar lessons from his uncle and by age 9 was starting bands, playing tunes by artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Led Zeppelin. At 11 years of age, Terry DiMonte of C.H.O.M. FM invited Justin to perform live on air, where a solo-instrumental version of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) made waves.Later, with two cousins, Justin formed the band Runaway Slide. The group had a successful run performing at major blues festivals in Québec & Ontario, also, opening for Frank Marino in Omaha, Nebraska at the Playing with Fire festival. In 2008 they received the award for “Upcoming Band of the Year” at the 5th edition of the Quebec Blues Awards.

After leaving Runaway Slide he ventured on his own with the Justin Saladino Band. Some of the highlights that followed were a summer of festivals that included a hometown appearance alongside Paul Deslauriers and Jack de Keyzer’s “Guitar Explosion” at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Orillia Blues & Jazz Festival, Farnham Blues Festival, Trois-Rivières en Blues & Victoriaville Blues Festival. Throughout the years, Justin has had the honour of sharing the stage with artists such as Victor Wainwright, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Steve Strongman, Frank Marino, and many others. In 2012, he returned to the Jazz Fest stage debuting the Justin Saladino Band’s debut EP: “Sometimes Called the Blues.”

In 2016, the Justin Saladino Band launched an all-original EP “No Worries.” With members A.J. Aboud (Drums), Gabriel Forget (Bass), and Felix Blackburn (Guitar), the band brought their widely influenced funk/blues sound around Quebec and Ontario, performing at: the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Tremblant International Blues Festival, Rogers Cup, Trois-Rivière en Blues, and Limestone Blues Festival in 2016.

Jenie Thai @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 2 @ 3:00 pm

jenie thai

Born in Chiang Mai Thailand, and raised outside of Edmonton, Jenie Thai is building a musical presence throughout the country through the electric energy she displays on stage and the old soul that’s conveyed through her songwriting. Her studying of music began at age five; she took private piano lessons for fifteen years. Through her classical training she spent her early school years performing difficult repertoire at various workshops, camps, and yearly round festivals receiving national accolade.Graduating at seventeen, she continued her musical development, studying classical piano at Augustana University. In 2008, Jenie diversified her education attending Grant MacEwan Jazz and Contemporary Music Program as a performance major. Upon graduation, Jenie was offered a part-time teaching position at Grant MacEwan University and gained acceptance into Paul McCartney’s international music school based in Liverpool.

In 2011, Jenie released her EP “Lady Flower”. With the titled track she received an “honourable mention” as a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) under the performance category (a category of 13 finalists out of 16, 000 submissions from around the globe). With the EP, she has been heard on many festival stages including both the Edmonton Folk Music Festival (2011) and the Canmore Folk Festival (2012).

Both solo and with her trio, Jenie has shared her songs across the country on festival stages, in blues bars, theatres, lounges, and living rooms. In spring of 2012, Jenie started the “Couch Concert Series”, a continuing project where she arrives on strangers steps to play a living room show in exchange for donations and a couch to sleep on.

In April 2013, Jenie Thai released “Only The Moon” which is “a beautifully crafted nine-song album of original songs showcasing a voice that has warmth and beauty…” writes David Farrell, writer for Toronto’s New Canadian Music. The organic and vibrant music has been unearthed through the stereos of CBC Radio 1, 2, and 3, CKUA, CJSR, and other various stations from coast to coast and internationally being aired in states such as Flordia and New York. With the album, Jenie was nominated for several Edmonton Music Awards (2013, 2014) for “Artist To Watch” and “Female Artist of the Year”.

Furthermore, in January 2014, Jenie Thai represented Northern Alberta as a semi-finalist in the 30th International Blues Challenge held in Memphis. Most recently, she was nominated for a 2016 Maple Blues Award for “Best New Artist of The Year”.

Vocally, she has been compared to Eva Cassidy, but soaks in the musical influences of Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Memphis Slim, and Nina Simone. .A performer, song-writer, singer, and instrumentalist: Jenie Thai combines her love of the traditional piano blues, sixties r&b, and great American songwriters to produce a unique charm as a roots and blues musician on the national and international scene.

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Jimmy D Lane @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 2 @ 4:30 pm

jimmy lane

At the age of 52, Jimmy D. Lane has already led quite a full life. The musicians he knows makes for an impressive resume. He has worked with Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Jim Keltner, Keith Richards, B.B. King, Van Morrison, Jonny Lang, Gary Moore, Double Trouble, Taj Mahal, Stephen Stilles, Jeff Healy, Jimmie Lee Robinson, Lowell Fulson, and Snooky Pryor, Kim Wilson, Pinetop Perkins, Johnny ‘Big Moose’ Walker, Johnnie Johnson, Kim Wilson, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Harry Hypolite, George ‘Wild Child’ Butler, David ‘HoneyBoy’ Edwards, Weepin’ Willie Robinson, Little Hatch, Nancy Bryan, Willie Kent, Henry Gray, Lazy Lester and Eomot RaSun. He has also worked with venerable blues greats such as Sam Lay, Hubert Sumlin, Carey Bell, Dave Meyers and his father, the legendary Jimmy Rogers.Born July 4th, 1965 in Chicago, he grew up in a household where he became acquainted with a veritable who’s who of Chicago bluesmen. Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Mabon, Little Walter and Albert King, to name a few, would all stop by the house to visit the “old man.” Coming from this environment has instilled in Lane the deepest respect for elder statesmen of the blues. “I feel blessed and fortunate, to have known all those cats, and I do not take it for granted.”

At the age of eight, he began playing his dad’s guitar, which he wasn’t supposed to do. “I would break a string and put it back in the case like he wasn’t going to discover it,” Lane recalls. Shortly after that, Lane received a Gibson Acoustic from John Wayne. The Duke gave it to Shakey Jake, who was Wayne’s driver, to give to Lane. “I would try to play along to a Bobby Blue Bland album” Lane states. He also wanted to join in with his dad and all those old cats that stopped by to “drink, tell lies and jam.” Lane, however, would not get serious on the guitar until much later. Lane got discouraged from playing after the Gibson got smashed, and didn’t play for a while.

In 1983, Lane had a life changing experience. “I was laying on the bed with the headset on, trying to figure out what to do with my life, and that song, “Hey Joe” (the Hendrix version) came on the radio and I heard that song like I’ve never heard it before”.
At that time, Jimmy knew exactly what to do. He took his last $59 to a pawnshop, bought a Harmony guitar and learned “Hey Joe” by ear. For the next four years he worked construction and roofing jobs, but would spend every other waking moment playing guitar. He would play along to blues as well as AC/DC and Journey records.
By 1987 Lane was good. He became lead guitarist of the Jimmy Rogers Band as well as forming his own band, Jimmy D. Lane and The Hurricanes and later Blue Train Running. Lane toured extensively with his dad’s band while juggling his own solo career.
In 1993, The Jimmy Rogers Band toured Europe, where they made a stop to perform at the BBC. In ’94 they performed at the W. C. Handy Awards and in ’95 they appeared on the Conan O’Brien show, as well as the Chicago Blues Festival.

Jimmy made his solo recording debut in 1995. The self titled disc on Blue Seal Records features 12 fine originals and one of his dad’s tunes. In 1993, however, he would meet the people who would put his recording career into high gear. During the sessions for Bluebird for Analogue Productions, with the Jimmy Rogers Band, he met Producer John Koenig and head of Acoustic Sounds, Chad Kassem. Koenig saw the Jimmy D. Lane band at B. B. King’s Club in Universal City and was floored. Koenig and Kassem got together and Jimmy recorded Long Gone for Analogue Productions in 1995, at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles, which was released in 1997.
His second recording, Long Gone, showcases Jimmy’s guitar virtuosity on originals like “Whiskey,” “Oh What A Feeling” and the title cut. The Hendrix/Vaughn influence can be heard in his searing guitar solos but listen and you will hear his feet are firmly rooted in the blues. His versions of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” and Jimmy Rogers “I’m in Love” show his deep love for, and respect of blue tradition.

Lane can stretch out on his own, but is equally at home in a support mode as can be heard by comparing his playing on Long Gone to Bluebird. Lane plays on and co-produced Hubert Sumlin’s I Know You, also on Analogue Productions, where as he states “You can hear Hubert’s guitar, not some guy with his amp cranked up.” In fact, it was Hubert Sumlin who gave Jimmy his first Strat in 1986.

Off stage, Lane’s positive outlook on life is reflected in one of his favorite phrases “It’s all good.” This was originally the title of his third release, but changed it to Legacy in honor of his father’s memory and the rich blues heritage he grew up with. Legacy, released in May ’98, features guest appearances of blues greats Sam Lay on drums, Carey Bell on harp and Sumlin on guitar. It also features the last recordings of Jimmy Rogers, who played on “One Room Country Shack” and “Another Mule Kickin’ In My Stall.” Jimmy is proud of all his work with his dad, but this one touches him deeply. “I take great pride in the fact that the last time my dad picked up a guitar was to help me out on my project.”
Jimmy’s fourth release,It’s Time, could just as well have been titled It’s Overdue. It’s long been time for one of today’s most powerful and expressive musicians to break the chains of relative commercial obscurity. Time to seize the reins of blues leadership, just as his father, Jimmy Rogers, did in the 1950s. Masters Eddie Kramer (engineer for Hendrix, Zeppelin, Woodstock etc.), Chris “Whipper” Layton and Tommy Shannon (of Double Trouble) and Mike Finnigan (organ in the bands of Etta James, Taj Mahal and CSN&Y) are all on board to give Jimmy the nudge he needs to clear the launching pad. It’s Time.

In 2008, Jimmy’s song “Tears Without A Shoulder” is featured in an episode of “In Plain Sight” (The Trojan Horst).
In July 2012, Jimmy D. Lane made a national Canadian television appearance on Global BC Morning News. He has been included on his father’s, Jimmy Roger’s Mississippi Blues Trail Historical Landmark in Ruleville, Mississippi. Jimmy D.
Lane performed two songs on the “Experience Hendrix” DVD…released in 2008. He performed with Mike McCreedy
(of Pearl Jam), Double Trouble and Hubert Sumlin, on the project.

Today, Jimmy D. Lane continues touring and performing nationally and internationally…receiving astounding reception
the world over. Lane’s music is on the rocking side, but is tempered with just the right amount of blues tradition. As Lane states “you can have too much water and too much fire, but with the right amount of both, you can boil an egg.” Jimi Hendrix may have moved him to buy a guitar, but Hendrix is just one influence. Lane is a passionate blues singer, songwriter and guitarist with a deep respect for “all those older cats who were there”.

Listen to Jimmy D. Lane and Know – It’s All Good!!!

Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 2 @ 6:15 pm

samantha martin

Bubbling up from the cauldron of roots Americana music, Samantha Martin is an artist of extraordinary power, gravitas and deep-seated emotion. On first listen, one is immediately struck by the awesome presence and sheer magnitude of her other worldly voice. Cigarette-ravaged and whiskey-soaked in the extreme, Martin’s pipes are capable of conveying an infinite range of emotions, bringing one to tears in one instance and in the next uplifting one’s soul with an empowered declaration of hope, faith and desire.Born in Edmonton, Martin first discovered the power of her voice in Grade 4 while auditioning for a role in a class production of The Sound of Music, belting out Rogers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things.” When her music teacher got excited and brought other teachers in to see the effect of the young dynamo’s pipes, Martin knew she had something special going on. A couple of years earlier, her father had bought her an acoustic guitar, getting her started by showing her a few chords and a basic boogie shuffle.Read more

By the time she reached her early twenties, Martin had graduated through karaoke nights to fronting cover bands, putting her stamp on the classic repertoire of Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones songs. Not surprisingly, her interest in the artists she was covering took her back to their roots where she discovered the vocal magic and spirit-laced repertoire of such giants as the Staple Singers, Otis Redding and Skip James. At the same time that Martin was delving deeper and deeper into source material, she was steadily working on her song writing chops, drawing heavily on contemporary sources such as Lucinda Williams and Wilco.

Moving to Owen Sound in 2004, Martin recorded her first EP, Fade, with the help of Tara and Trevor MacKenize of the MacKenzie Blues Band. A year later, the ebullient singer relocated to Toronto, debuting her original songs at open mic nights at C’est What while continuing to front cover bands. Producer Derek Downham, like many before and since, was transfixed by the Martin’s vocal prowess and increasingly sophisticated song writing. Pairing the big-voiced singer with some of Toronto’s finest session players, Downham produced Samantha Martin’s first full length CD, Back Home (2008), featuring among other gems, her tribute to Janis Joplin, appropriately entitled “Pearl.”

Needing her own band to perform her original material onstage, Martin borrowed the core members of Toronto’s cow-punk Kensington Hillbillys, eventually morphing them into Samantha Martin and the Haggard. With the addition of gospel singers Amoy & Ciceal Levy, and Marlene O’Neill, Samantha and the Haggard recorded a superb self-titled CD in 2012. Combining powerful, gut wrenching originals such as “Dark Angel”, “Six White Horses,” and “Where I Went Wrong” with traditional material “You Are My Sunshine” and covers such as the Staple Singers’ “This May Be the Last Time,” Samantha Martin and the Haggard created a singularly unique hybrid rooted in rockabilly, gospel and soul music. Over the next two years, The Haggard gigged and played several notable festivals in southern Ontario.

In 2013 a fundamental shift occurred in the band due to a showcase that stipulated no drums or bass. Samantha brought Mikey, Amoy, and Ciceal in to interpret the songs in a vocal-driven, gospel-infused formation. It was a massive hit, and festivals across Canada wanted to hire the new line-up. Over the next two years, the group gigged constantly in southern Ontario, working the Canadian festival circuit in the summers and eventually finding their way across the ocean, performing a series of torrid gigs in Bremen, Germany as part of Women in e(motion) festival. As Martin succinctly states, “No one was doing what we were doing!”

Electing to delve even deeper into the soul, gospel and r&b vein with this new formation, a live EP, Mississippi Sun, was cut in January 2014 with the band stripped down to guitarist Mikey McCallum, second guitarist and drummer Derek Downham and the Levy sisters. Out of this hybrid ensemble, in the spring of 2014 Delta Sugar emerged fully formed featuring Martin, McCallum, Sherie Marshall and Stacie Tabb. Hunkering down in the studio in September 2014 with Brooklyn-based producer Rench (of bluegrass/rap group Gangstagrass), Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar recorded the masterful, spine tingling Send the Nightingale.

Released in February 2015, the album represents a quantum leap for both Martin and her group. As a vocalist her roots lie squarely within the wellspring of powerful, strong woman’s voices embodied by such forbears as Marion Williams, Mavis Staples, Etta James, Tina Turner, Bettye LaVette, Lucinda Williams and, perhaps most closely, Bonnie Bramlett. As a songwriter, she draws on black gospel and southern soul with a hint of roots country and sixties pop while her lyrics suggest an old soul with wisdom beyond her years.

While Martin is a powerhouse unto herself, Send the Nightingale is not the work of a single talent. In combination with what she likes to term her “co-vocalists,” Sherie Marshall and Stacie Tabb, the vocal blend Delta Sugar produces is pure, unadulterated gospel-tinged, neuron-tingling magic where the sum is even richer than the already soul-melting parts. Add to that guitarist Mikey McCallum’s Delta-inspired and mystery-inflected guitar lines and Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar emerge as one of the most powerful new artists to emerge on the roots music scene in many a year.

Crystal Shawanda @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 2 @ 8:00 pm

drystal shawanda

Crystal Shawanda grew up on the Wikwemikong reserve on an island in Ontario, Canada, Her parents raised her on Country music and taught her to sing and play guitar, but it was her oldest brother who introduced her to the blues. He would hang out in the basement cranking Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Etta James, and Crystal would sit at the top of the stairs, straining to hear those soulful sounds. There was a part of her that often wandered if she would ever be able to sing like that. And when no one was home, Crystal would practice singing the blues.She learned early on, by observing her family, that music was like cheap therapy. That’s what the blues is all about: releasing and healing. While she was secretly pining to be a blues mama, out on stage it was Patsy and Loretta. She started performing country when she was six and started getting paid gigs when she was 10, relentlessly playing every stage she could.

Crystal’s dad was a truck driver and they started taking frequent trips to Nashville when she was 12. She recorded her first album when she was 13 and moved away from home that same year to attend a music school. Crystal got restless, however, and dropped out at 16 to move to Nashville. She didn’t know anyone but was determined, so she spent days playing where she could and busking in between.

During a chance meeting with a well respected music executive, Crystal was told, “I just don’t know if Native Americans make sense in country music. I don’t know if fans would be receptive and I wouldn’t even know how to market you.” Crystal tried to take the critique with composure, but would end up moving back home to her reserve andabandoning her dream. Shawanda set out on a dark, self-destructive path, but no matter what found herself back in front of the microphone.

She finally came to terms with what was bothering her. “If I was out of tune.I could take voice lessons,” she reflects. “If my song was bad, I could write another. But I couldn’t change the colour of my skin.” So Shawanda moved back to Nashville one more time with a mission to prove him wrong. She paid her dues, playing at Tootsies Orchid Lounge six days a week, three shifts a day, and managed to build up a buzz and land a production deal with Scott Hendricks. She was later signed to a record deal with RCA Records by Joe Galante, who had heard Crystal cover B.B. King and Janis Joplin. This venture produced a top 20 song on country radio and the highest selling album by a Native American in BDS history

After this, she found herself feeling like a fish out of water. She says, “I so wanted to be what everyone wanted me to be, I lost myself along the way.” So Crystal took some time off and, one day while watching the news and feeling overwhelmed by the headlines, she walked into her music room, picked up her guitar and wrote “The Whole World’s Got the Blues.” This was the start of her first blues album.

”The songs just fell out of me and throughout the recording it was like setting my voice free,” she says. “I can’t help but feel like I’m home, no longer holding back.”

Crystal’s album is a modern take on the blues, but is deeply rooted with heart-wrenching laments and catchy rump-shakers. It’s where the north meets the south and captures the resilience of the human spirit — much like the way Crystal does.

Crystal Shawanda is reminiscent of a time gone by. She will make you feel every word with a powerful voice that never fails, pure and gritty at the same time. Do yourself a favour and see if she’s playing somewhere near you.

Sugaray Rayford @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 2 @ 9:45 pm

sugaray rayford

Texas born Caron “Sugaray” Rayford began his musical career at the age of 7 singing & playing drums in church. His gospel influence can be heard and felt in his music today. Rayford’s phrasing is intimate and conversational and the soulful gravel in his voice hints at his firsthand experience with hardship during his childhood marked by poverty and loss. He remembers a sad game he played with his brothers, a competition that determined who was skinniest by counting the number of belt holes left unused on his belt. His mother struggled to raise three boys alone while battling cancer. When she died, it was a kind of a relief. “She suffered and we suffered,” Rayford said. “Then, we moved in with my grandmother and our lives were a lot better. We ate every day and we were in church every day, which I loved. I grew up in gospel and soul.”When Sugaray belts out a song, you not only hear it, you feel it. The excitement in the room is palpable when he takes the stage. His dynamic voice is as large as the man himself. With his old school vocal style, Echoes of Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass can be heard. At 6’5” he is a big man, but he moves with grace and energy and his dance steps will remind you of the Legendary James Brown.

Suga started singing contemporary music about 15 years ago in the San Diego area, where he sang lead vocals with a R&B/Funk band called Urban Gypsys. With this band he had the privilege of sharing the stage with many notable artists such as The Average White Band, Dennis Quaid, Joe Louis Walker and Kal David to name a few. After dabbling in blues just a bit, Suga realized that the blues was where his heart and soul belonged. So after some soul searching he left the Urban Gypsys and became the lead vocalist for Aunt Kizzy’z Boyz, a Temecula area blues band. Shortly after joining the band in 2004, they released their first CD “Trunk Full of Bluez”. This band was hungry and played over 200 gigs a year for the next few years while their popularity rose exponentially.

In 2006, Aunt Kizzy’z Boyz represented San Diego (Blues Lovers United San Diego) in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge (IBC), and brought home the 2nd place prize. The band began playing higher profile gigs and in 2007 and released their 2nd CD “It’s Tight Like That”. In September 2008, the Boys won the LAMN Jam Grand Slam Urban Artist of the Year title by a landslide, beating out hundreds of other competitors and were offered a distribution deal on the spot by RBC Records. It was becoming obvious though at this point that the band’s most valuable ingredient was that of their dynamic front man, Sugaray! He really knew how to work a crowd and turn up the energy level of a room right quick!

Career Highlights

Suga’s first solo release, Blind Alley was a self-released project put out in 2010 that garnered critical acclaim.
In May of 2012 Ray made his stage debut starring in the Tony award winning play “Ain’t Nuthin’ But The Blues,” joining members of the New York Broadway cast and had a 6-week run with every show ended with a standing ovation.
In 2013, Suga sang lead vocals on 9 songs for the Mannish Boys’ CD “Double Dynamite” released on the Delta Groove Label. The CD went on to WIN Best Traditional Blues Album in May 2013 at the Blues Music Awards.”

2013 was a good year as Suga released his second solo CD “Dangerous,” also under the Delta Groove label and debuted at # 2 on Billboard Blues Charts, #6 on the Roots Music Chart and #2 on The Living Blues Chart.”

In 2017 Sugaray Rayford is nominated for 2 Blues Music Awards, the prestigious BB King Entertainer of the Year Award and Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year Award as well. Suga is very proud and excited about his next release recorded on Blind Faith Records in Italy and will be released on May 26th. “The World That We Live In” is an album of all original material with the feel of 1960-70’s soul. It includes a full band with horns, strings and back-up vocals that has an old school feel. Be on the lookout for Suga’s latest release and an extensive world wide tour!

Jun
3
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Wayne Buttery With The Collective @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 12:00 pm

wayne buttery

From the mid to late 1960s, Wayne performed with a number of local bands at high school dances, parties, etc.

It wasn’t until early 1970 when Wayne became one of the founding members of the popular Toronto based nostalgia show band, BANANAS.

Later in the mid 1980’s he went on to perform with MIDDLE AGED CRAZYS and in 1989 founded “The Bluenotes”.

In 1991 Wayne moved to Central Ontario’s, Orr Lake community near the town of Elmvale where he often performs solo in local venues and resorts. In Orangeville this year Wayne will be performing with his hot new 8 pc band!

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Dan McKinnon @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 1:30 pm

dan mckinnon

Mixing equal parts musical scholar and tattooed rock n’ roll rebel, Toronto-based guitarist Dan McKinnon is not your average blues rocker. While the foundation of his music is rooted in the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, and the three Kings, McKinnon also incorporates jazz, hip-hop, and fuzzed-out rock to create a sound that’s uniquely his own.After his first release, the 2013 full-length album As Sharp As Possible, McKinnon received extensive critical acclaim and airplay across North America, Europe, and Australia. In addition to being named as the Canadian Blues Debut of the Year by the Blues Underground Network, the album solidified McKinnon as a Canadian blues voice on the rise. Fast-forward to 2017 where Dan has taken yet another step forward. After spending the previous years establishing himself as a fixture in the Toronto blues scene through his ongoing residency at the Kensington Market venue Poetry Jazz Café, McKinnon released Jook Joint, a live video EP that features his reinterpretations of traditional blues standards. The momentum from this project caught the attention of the Toronto Blues Society, who selected McKinnon as their 2017 Talent Search Winner after competing in a showcase held at the TD Jazz Festival. Only months later, Dan’s success continued as he was awarded the Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship, an artist development prize given by one of the longest running music venues in Toronto, Grossman’s Tavern. The future ahead is only looking brighter, which includes a follow-up album planned for an early-2018 release and more shows in Ontario and the surrounding provinces.

Blues Rock Review once wrote, “With one great lick, a genre can don a new face, a new energy and excitement. Enter Toronto native Dan McKinnon…from the slow and soulful to the edgy solos that really bite, the road ahead knows no limits.” After hearing his music or seeing him live, you will see why this is the case.

SELECTED PRESS/DISTINCTIONS

-2017 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search Winner

-2017 Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship Winner

-2013 Canadian Blues Debut of the Year and Third Best Canadian Blues/Rock Release (Blues Underground Network)

“Dan McKinnon’s As Sharp As Possible is a superb album that brings a very modern and fresh approach to raucous blues…A.S.A.P. is clearly a project with a mission to make a lasting statement. It’s aggressive, fast and exciting.” – Rust Zine

“This thirty-something musician is a hot commodity on the local music scene in Ontario….If you like your blues rocking, you will certainly find something you like on this gentleman’s debut album!” – Blues Blast Magazine

“This is the blues with muscle and attitude, the kind of music that sounds better the louder it is played….Four Stars+.” – Gonzo Online

“A rockin’ blues riot…McKinnon uses his lead work as a flame thrower through hot dry timbers.” – Bman’s Blues Report

Alex Cuba @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 3:00 pm

alex cuba

Alex Cuba is a Latin Grammy/Juno winner, singer-songwriter who is not tied to tradition; Alex has a vast musical vision. His sugarcane-sweet melodies, pop-soul hooks and powerful guitar riffs, relinquish a conventional stereotype that exemplifies much of the Latin music landscape. Born Alexis Puentes in Artemisa, Cuba, was immersed in music at a very young age, joining his father’s (respected guitarist and teacher Valentin Puentes) group of 24 guitarists. Alex then went on to study electric and upright bass and touring and recording nationally and internationally. In 1999, Alex moved to Victoria, B.C where he recorded an album titled Morumba Cubana alongside his twin brother Adonis, as The Puentes Brothers. Alex then went on to record his solo debut album Humo De Tobaco in which earned him a Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2006. In 2007, Alex released Agua Del Pozo which also earned him another Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2008. From there, Alex released his third album, a self-titled project Alex Cuba in 2009.

The album features his first ever English track titled “If You Give Me Love”. The album gained recognition on an international level. In 2010, Alex took home the award for Best New Artist at the 2010 Latin Grammy Awards, where it was also nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Album. It also followed a nominated for Best Latin Pop Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards and in 2011 Alex took home a BMI Latin Award for his songwriting on Nelly Furtado’s #1 Spanish hit “Manos Al Aire”. In 2012, Alex released his fourth album Ruido En El Sistema, which Alex received his second Socan Hagood Hardy Award for outstanding achievement in Jazz and World Music. He also won his second Latin Grammy Award – this time as a songwriter, alongside co-writer Yoel Henriquez received the award for Best Tropical Song for the Milly Quezada’s single, “Toma Mi Vida”. In 2013, he again brought home a Latin Grammy for the video “Eres Tu“ from Ruido En El Sistema, a video produced entirely in his hometown of Smithers.

Alex Cuba’s 5th studio album, Healer, was recorded in New York, USA and Victoria, Canada, using a live rhythm section, trading in horns for guitars and vocal harmonies. With five duets with singer songwriters, four being Canadian, Ron Sexsmith, David Myles, Alejandra Ribera and Kuba Oms as well as New Yorker Anya Marina, it is an upbeat, acoustic soul album full of optimism and reality as Alex always has a silver lining on melancholy of any form. The album won a Latin Grammy for best Singer-songwriter and nominated for a Grammy as best Latin Pop in 2016.

In 2017, Alex completed his 6th album Lo Unico Constante, beginning in Spain and passing through Montreal to record a single with Jean Massicotte. Then meeting up with the rhythm section from Healer in Baker Studios to record and mix 12 songs that delve deeper into Alex’s songwriting roots, focusing on nylon string guitar and upright bass. Looking at the filin movement in Cuba of the forties that fused jazz and trova together with emotional but not sad lyrical content. Music that influenced his writing style to this day. The first single with both Spanish and French versions, produced by Jean Massicotte, Todas Las Cabezas Estan Locas/Dans La Folie De L’Amour was released February 17th, 2017, with an album impact date of April 7th, 2017.

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Paul Deslauriers Band @ Royal LePage - Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 4:45 pm

paul deslaurier band

The Paul DesLauriers Band is made up of guitarist and singer Paul DesLauriers and the rhythm section of Greg Morency on bass and Sam Harrisson on drums. Having worked together on various projects for nearly 20 years, the band has become bound by friendship and an unshakable mutual respect. Based on this history and an uncanny musical chemistry, in 2013 they decided to focus all their energy and talents to develop their distinctive power trio.These Montreal-based, Canadian Blues veterans blend rock with straight-ahead blues in a way that echoes the vibe of the great power trios from the 60’s and 70’s, yet they take the music to another level via modern stylings and an attack that’s free of clichés. The aural texture of their music changes on a dime from guitar-driven pyrotechnic blazing to a much milder blues boogie with seamless ease. It’s all wondrously peppered with pleasing funky bass lines and a swamp-blues backbeat.

Crowned Entertainer of the Year for the second year in a row at the 21st annual Maple Blues Awards held on January 15th 2018 in Toronto, Canada; in 2017 along with Entertainer of the Year, they also won the Maple Blues Awards for Electric Act of the Year, Bassist of the Year (Greg Morency) and Drummer of the Year (Sam Harrisson). In January 2016 the band took 2nd place at the 32nd International Blues Challenge (IBC), the world’s largest gathering of blues acts, organized by The Blues Foundation. Held in Memphis Tennessee, they rose to the top to take the runner-up title in the Band category in a worldwide competition that saw 119 bands competing for a spot on the podium.

Their most recent release, the aptly titled Relentless (June 2016), is a genuine blues-rock escapade featuring 10 original new songs encompassing their most original and powerful work to date. Released to international critical acclaim, the album climbed to the #2 position on the Roots Music Report radio chart in Canada and to #10 in the USA. They are currently touring Canada, the USA and Europe in support of the album with notable performances past and present that include the Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas NV, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Tremblant International Blues Festival, Ottawa BluesFest, White Mountain, NH Boogie N’Blues Festival, Heritage Music Blues Festival in Wheeling, WV and the Daytona Blues Festival among many others. Also released in Canada to unanimously excellent reviews, their self-titled 2014 album reached the #1 spot on the iTunes Canada Blues Chart within a month!

In June 2013 they released “Enter The Gate” with sitar maestro Anwar Khurshid, a unique acoustic meeting between the Blues and Indian Classical music. The group won the “Best In Festival Award” after their performance at the Tremblant International Blues Festival in July 2013.
Undeniably part of Canada’s musical elite, all three members are regular nominees and winners at the Maple Blues Awards and Quebec Lys Blues Awards

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