2017 Artist Schedule

Jun
2
Fri
Larry Kurtz & The Lawbreakers @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 2 @ 8:00 pm

Larry Kurtz is a soulful, bluesy, singer, songwriter and harmonica player. He started out singing in church as a young boy, and began playing harmonica at the age of 15, falling in love with the sound after hearing Little Walter on the radio. As co-front man of the award winning Trouble & Strife and a past band member of Wayne Buttery & The Groove Project, Larry has had the honour to open for and jam with many musical greats including The Fabulous Thunderbirds, James Cotton, Muddy Waters’ drummer Willie Big Eyes Smith, Jeff Healy’s Blues Band and Downchild to name a few. Trouble & Strife’s debut album was played on 180 radio stations worldwide. He is the Founder & Artistic Director of the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival and was named Blues Booster Of The Year at the 2015 Maple Blues Awards. A veteran of the Canadian blues music scene, Larry is bringing his hot solo band The Lawbreakers to perform some great new original rockin’ blues songs for the festival! Larry’s soulful harmonica playing is featured front and center with Larry on harmonica, ukulele and vocals. The band features heavy hitters James Legere – guitar, Sam Carothers [Ronnie Hawkins] bass, Jim Bruton [Max Webster] keyboards, Charlie Cooley [Manteca, Sass Jordan]- drums and Chris Nicholl – sax.

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Dawn Tyler Watson @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 2 @ 9:30 pm

dawn tyler watson

“Her fabulous voice and incandescent stage presence make her the Queen of the Blues in Montreal.”
Le Journal de Montreal

In the past two decades, Singer/Actor/Songwriter Dawn Tyler Watson has earned her place among Canada’s Blues elite. Born in England and raised in Ontario, she adopted Montreal as her home after earning her BFA in Jazz Studies and Theatre from Concordia University. An accomplished and dynamic performer, Watson’s fiery stage presence has earned her national and international recognition.

Just back from Memphis TN, where she took home the coveted 1st place spot out of over 260 acts at the 2017 International Blues Challenge, Dawns also the recipient of three Canadian Maple Blues Awards and nine Quebec Lys Blues Awards. She’s earned the Screaming Jay Hawkins Award for Best Live Performance, a Trophées France Blues for female International Artist of the Year, and a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Best Vocalist.

Her artistic style is an eclectic influence of Jazz, Soul, Folk and Rock that pushes the boundaries of traditional Blues into a whole new dimension.

Playing festivals and concert halls across 4 continents, recording four albums, and appearing on numerous compilations, she has shared the stage with an array of premiere artists, including Oliver Jones, Jeff Healy, Koko Taylor, Susan Tedeschi, and Cyndi Lauper.

Between gigs, Watson gives clinics & facilitates workshops in Vocal Expression & Improvisation, while honing her chops on Montreal’s vibrant Jazz scene, and working with some of the city’s finest musicians. She just released her fourth recording project in July of this year. JAWBREAKER! “hits the floor running.” “Its a fat Soul driven record, with a taste of Jazz, a pinch of Gospel, and a whole lotta Blues.”

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Jun
3
Sat
Soul Collective @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 12:15 pm

soul collective band

Soul Collective is a feel-good, danceable, uptown band bringing the best of Soul, Rock, Funk and R’n’B to you. From the Classics to the Current – Soul Collective nails the best of all the greats: Curtis Mayfield to Rob Thomas; Stevie Wonder to Ray LaMontagne; Al Green to Bruno Mars. Available in a variety of configurations, from essential rhythm to full on horns, Soul Collective will get you dancing. Featuring Justin Bacchus, Scott Metcalfe, Ryan Grist, Rebecca Bruce, Matt Parsons, Joe Kennedy, Martin Sarkar and Ted Gerber.

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Harp Attack Featuring Lee Oskar, Michael Pickett, David Rotundo & Larry Kurtz @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 1:45 pm

Harp Attack Artists

LEE OSKAR

Lee Oskar is a globally renowned harmonica player, composer, producer, and harmonica manufacturer, well-known for his iconic role as a founding member and lead harmonica player for the pioneer funk/jazz band that composed and recorded such mega-hits as “Low Rider,” “Spill the Wine,” “Cisco Kid,” “Slippin’ into Darkness,” “The World is a Ghetto” and many more. Lee Oskar and his original band mates continue today as the LowRider Band, and Lee also performs with other outstanding musicians, as Lee Oskar & Friends.

MICHAEL PICKETT
Michael Pickett is a world class roots artist winning multiple awards and two JUNO nominations; an international troubadour with a social conscience. He has the uncanny ability to create and perform original material that sounds completely unique yet hauntingly familiar taking his audiences to another world and time.

DAVID ROTUNDO
Toronto blues harpist David Rotundo heard James Cotton perform at the El Mocambo in 1991. “He blew one note on the harmonica that hypnotized me…” The next day, Rotundo went out and bought a harmonica. “…and I’ve been playing the blues ever since.”

LARRY KURTZ
Larry Kurtz is a soulful, bluesy, singer, songwriter and harmonica player. He started out singing in church as a young boy, and began playing harmonica at the age of 15, falling in love with the sound after hearing Little Walter on the radio. He is the Founder & Artistic Director of the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival and was named Blues Booster Of The Year at the 2015 Maple Blues Awards.

Spencer MacKenzie @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 3:30 pm

spencer mackenzie

17 year old ‘New Artist of the Year’ Maple Blues Award winner, Spencer MacKenzie, has an insightful musical expression emerging from his body, and the only explanation is an old soul residing within! He has a deep, soulful, true to the blues sound, with an electrifying twist that captivates his audience. There is no question that musicians should be judged by ability and not by age, and that is certainly the case with 17 year-old blues artist Spencer MacKenzie…his guitar playing is crisp and clean even as it delivers some down-to-the bone licks…He’s got the blues power in his soul…” – Blues Blast Magazine (USA)

His debut album ‘Infected with the Blues’ released in May 2016 earned rave reviews and international airplay with 16 consecutive weeks on the Top 50 Roots Music Report Blues Charts. “Goodbye Lucille is the best musical tribute to BB King I’ve hear…..” -BLUES MATTERS MAGAZINE (UK)

MacKenzie’s drive and work ethic goes beyond that of the typical teenager. Countless hours are spent song writing and travelling each week performing on the blues scene earning praise everywhere he performs. In 2016 he landed some prestigious festivals including Kitchener Blues Festival, Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle, West Coast Blues Festival, Canal Bank Shuffle and the Blues on the Rideau.

In 2013 he won Niagara Music Awards Rising Star, was selected to perform the 2016 Youth Showcase at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, in 2016 won the Toronto Blues Society New Talent Search earning a spot to compete at the 2017 International Blues Challenge and recently took home the Maple Blues Award for ‘New Artist of the Year’ and he has just begun his journey! “There’s no doubt the future of the blues is in good hands with Spencer…..” – Chris Duarte

Duarte, along with other modern blues artists like Jonny Lang and Joe Bonamassa, provide a roadmap for Spencer. He has drawn favourable comparisons to them because they overcame the imaginary stigma of youth to scale the heights of the art form called the blues.

Spencer confirms that blues music has a future and that young people all over “get it” regardless of yet having some of the life experiences that the genre so often detail and that the blues is a feeling, one that can’t be denied or suppressed.

As MacKenzie puts it, “I got the blues running through my veins!”

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Dods & McNair Memorial March With Turbo Street Funk @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 5:00 pm

turbo street funk

Please join us in Celebrating the lives of Dedicated Blues & Jazz Volunteers who have passed away.

The traditional New Orleans funeral march is a celebration of life. Our March is a memorial to our past volunteers. Live music gives tribute to a loved one. This traditional musical sendoff symbolizes life’s journey and lifts the spirits.

A typical Dixieland Jazz funeral begins with a march by family, friends, and neighbors, led by a Jazz band. This is called the “First Line”.
Onlookers are most welcome to join in to celebrate the lives of the deceased. Those who follow the First Line just to enjoy the music are called the “Second Line”. In their freestyle dance, they often twirl a parasol, wave a handkerchief or hand fan in the air which can be very energetic. We have a limited supply of parasols, sequin fans & scarves to loan out as part of the event. Please bring your own items if you wish.

Our march begins from the Festival Main Stage and proceeds west along Broadway to First Street. Throughout the outbound march, the band plays somber songs and hymns. A change in the tempo of the ceremony takes place after the departure of the lead car (an antique Ford sedan) and the March changing to an eastbound direction, signifying family members have said their good byes to their loved one. After this the music becomes more upbeat, often starting with a hymn or spiritual number played in a swinging fashion, then going into popular New Orleans favorites, while returning to the Festival Main Stage.

Turbo Street Funk

Turbo Street Funk is Toronto’s hottest New Orleans-inspired brass-rock quintet. With over 100 performances across Ontario, Quebec and New York State, Turbo Street Funk has gained a reputation for explosive live shows, opening for artists such as The Lost Fingers, Terra Lightfoot, The Shuffle Demons, Rita Chiarelli, The Soul Motivators and Emmanuel Jal.

Formed in 2011, Turbo Street Funk started as a professional busking band, performing on the streets of Toronto four days a week each spring and summer while members of the band attended university. The band received high praise from Toronto journalists for their fresh sound and popularity with Toronto audiences:

“Turbo Street Funk takes Toronto busking to a new level.” – BlogTO

“[Turbo Street Funk] gather crowds wherever they go”. – Torontoist

The band quickly drew the attention of Canadian jazz legend, Richard Underhill, who introduced them to fellow “Shuffle Demon” and music producer, George Koller. With George at the helm, Turbo Street Funk released their debut album, To The Street, in May 2014 at Toronto’s legendary Horseshoe Tavern.

In July 2016, Turbo Street Funk released their sophomore album, Momentum, a nine track initiative that “captures their infectious energy neatly” (FYI Music News). Produced by Chris Birkett (Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sinead O’Connor), the album received 2x Toronto Independent Music Award nominations in the categories of “Best Jazz Vocal” and “Best Jazz Instrumental.” Momentum debuted at #8 on earshot!’s National Jazz Chart and is frequently found on CBC Radio, JAZZ.FM91 and campus/community radio charts across Canada.

Turbo Street Funk has graced festival stages at the Beaches International Jazz Festival (2015, 2016), Tremblant International Blues Festival (2016), Blue Skies Music Festival (2016), Mariposa Folk Festival (2015), CAN-AM International Festival in Sackets Harbor, NY (2016), Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival (2016), Jazz Sudbury (2016), London Bluesfest (2016), Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival (2016), Lighthouse Blues Festival (2016), Cultura World Music Festival (2014, 2015), Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival (2016), and many more.

Turbo Street Funk is Casey Van (vocals/guitar/harmonica), Juan Manuel Arce (saxophone), Ian Feenstra (sousaphone), Joel Eric Szabo (French horn), and Camilo Gallon (drums).

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Braithwaite & Whiteley @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 6:25 pm

Braithwaite & Whiteley

As the venerable jazz and blues bible DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE said about Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley:
“It’s a rare and good thing when two talented performers join forces”.

Audiences, critics, and blues lovers all over North America and Europe seem to agree.

Diana Braithwaite is a descendant of the Wellington County pioneers in Canada. With roots in Florida, Dianas ancestors escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad and lived for four generations in Wellington County, the first African-Canadian pioneer settlement in Ontario. Diana combines elements from Nina Simone, Esther Phillips, Lil Green and others to create her own unique authentic blues style. A forceful presence recognized on the Canadian and American blues scene as an artist with a unique sound who is keeping the authentic traditional blues sound alive in the contemporary blues scene today.

Multi-Instrumentalist Chris Whiteley was born in Kansas . Whiteley has performed on over 200 recordings with the likes of Leon Redbone and Blind John Davis. In Canada, Whiteley has received the Blues with a Feeling Award, for lifetime achievement in the blues. In January 2014 Chris Whiteley won the Maple Blues Award for the top blues horn player in Canada–for the 7th time.

Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley have recorded 5 previous albums together with Electro-Fi Records and have toured all over North America, UK and Europe winning numerous awards for their songwriting and albums together.

The BLUES has a long and honorable tradition dating back to its origins as the essential vector of African American sensibility and identity. Canadian blues artists, Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley honor the blues tradition by bringing us fully into the realm of 21st century blues expressivity.

Along the musical journey with Braithwaite and Whiteley we learn what it means… a passage to some next classic blues experience.. This is the blues with all of its variety, ethical and escathalogical. James G. Spadey Philadelphia Pa. American Book Award winning author, James G. Spady’s most recent books are: The Global Cipha

Their first CD collaboration in 2005, MORNING SUN, garnered rave reviews, extensive air play, and led to multiple Canadian MAPLE BLUES AWARD nominations, including Album of the year, and Acoustic Act of the year. Their second albums, also recorded for the Electro-Fi label, NIGHT BIRD BLUES was extremely well received, with great reviews and airplay internationally. It led to them being awarded 3 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS in January 2010, including being recognized as SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR. Their third Electro-Fi release, DeltaPhonic, led to more Maple Blues Awards, and reached number 1 on B.B. Kings Bluesville XM Sirius satellite radio network. Collectively they have been awarded 9 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS and 6 JUNO Nominations.

They have continued to tour tirelessly across Europe and North America, appearing at Festivals and concerts, as well as numerous radio and television appearances. Highlights include 4 successful tours of Art Centers and Blues venues in the U.K., including featured performances at the Great British R & B Festival in Colne and the Monaghan Harvest Blues Festival in Ireland, concert appearances in Russia and Europe, and numerous national tours of Canada. Their American profile continues to expand, with such events as the Hudson River Park Blues Festival in New York City, Tinner Hill Blues Fest in Virginia, and appearances on Fox T.V. and National Public Radio.

Braithwaite was dubbed a “national treasure” by Bluz FM radio host Danny Marks. A gifted and captivating performer, Diana was chosen by Sarah McLachlan to open Lilith Fair at the Molson Amphitheatre, before 18,000 people, Her talent, and authentic blues shows have led her into the company of such stalwarts as Mel Brown, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker and Jeff Healey. Appearances at shows in North America, U.K. and Europe led to her reputation as a world-class blues singer.

As a teen-age performer, Whiteley worked with blues legend Lonnie Johnson. During the late 70’s he toured and recorded with Leon Redbone, appearing with him on Saturday Night Live. He also met a great mentor in legendary Chicago piano player Blind John Davis, who had been the house piano player at Bluebird Records, Whiteley toured and recorded with Davis, as well as building a solid reputation and career as a multi-instrumental session player, appearing on over 200 recordings, and as a solo artist, leading to numerous Canadian Maple Blues Awards as both songwriter and horn player of the year, and a Jazz Report Magazine Blues Album of the Year Award. In 2010 Whiteley was awarded the prestigious BLUES WITH A FEELING AWARD, for a truly earned lifetime of achievement in the blues.

Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley Keeping The Blues Alive!

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Paul Reddick @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 7:50 pm

paul reddick

Melding poetry, mystery, darkness and light, along with an extensive knowledge of the history and traditions of blues music is what makes Paul Reddick on of the most popular figures on the blues and roots music scene today. For over 25 years he’s been writing and performing his eclectic brand of blues, bringing the art form to new frontiers with his rapacious, deep vocals, masterful harmonica playing and song writing. As the unofficial poet laureate of Canadian blues, words are his weapon of choice and when he sings, it is near impossible not to listen and get lost within the songs, right alongside him and illustrating what the influential British magazine Mojo described as his “wayward brilliance.”

A devotee of pre-war blues and classic artists such as Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf, Reddick formed his innovative band Paul Reddick & The Sidemen in Toronto in 1990, developing a cult-like following in the clubs and venues on the circuit at the time and spent a the better part decade touring across Canada. Together they released four albums, two of which were JUNO nominated and in 2002 their ground breaking release Rattlebag won three Maple Blues Awards including Electric Act of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Album of the Year and was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award in the USA. One of the tracks from Rattlebag, the gritty “I’m A Criminal”, was used in the popular Coca-Cola “Sip Stealing” television commercial that aired during the Superbowl. Following the trajectory set forth by The Sidemen, Reddick continued to re-work blues traditions on his solo recordings; Villanelle (2004), Sugarbird (2009), which earned Reddick a Maple Blues Award for Songwriter of the Year, and his seminal recording Wishbone (2012). These recordings were released to critical acclaim from reviewers around the world.

Reddick is also the creator and benefactor of The Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition. The intention behind the Cobalt Prize is to promote blues music through exploration of its form. Entries are judged on their ability to creatively utilize blues traditions within the broad contemporary musical landscape. The inaugural Colbalt Prize was awarded at the Maple Blues Awards in 2015, and will continue to be an annual event.

With his extensive career and importance as a major player in the Canadian blues scene, there is no doubt that Paul Reddick will long continue to be an innovator and boundary-pusher in the genre.

This is poetry. This is history. This is blues. This is Paul Reddick.

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Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 3 @ 9:30 pm

lil ed and the blues imperials

”Electrifying, raucous, pure Chicago blues….Lil’ Ed is a guitarist extraordinaire….slashing slide and flamboyant stage persona.” – Chicago Tribune

“Rough and ready blues played with unmitigated intensity…Swirling, snarling, riveting slide….The Blues Imperials pound out riffs and rhythms like they’re overdosing on boogie juice. Scorching and soulful, joyous and stomping.” – Living Blues

In Chicago, a city overflowing with unrivaled blues talent, world-renowned Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been standing tall for almost 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed’s gloriously rollicking slide work and deep blues string bending, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.”

Lil’ Ed Williams comes to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Nine albums and thousands of performances later, Lil’ Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre. Lil’ Ed and The Blues Imperials—bassist (and Ed’s half-brother) James “Pookie” Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton—have remained together for nearly 30 years (an extraordinary feat for any group), the band fueling Ed’s songs with their rock-solid, road-tested, telepathic musicianship.

The Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials is the musically electrifying, emotionally intense and downright fun new album from the band Guitar Player calls “a snarling boogie-blues machine…they blow down the walls.” The CD features Lil’ Ed’s incendiary playing and playful, passionate singing, with the ragged-but-right Blues Imperials cooking like mad alongside him. Produced by Williams and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, it is a tour-de-force of authentic, deeply rooted Chicago blues. Williams wrote or co-wrote all but two of album’s 14 songs, the other gems written by Uncle J.B. The Chicago Reader says the band’s music “is a soundtrack for dancing and celebration infused with a sense of hard-won survival. Williams attacks his lyrics like he attacks his guitar: with bare-bones intensity that makes each word sound like a matter of life or death.”

Born in Chicago on April 8, 1955, in the heart of Chicago’s tough West Side, Ed grew up surrounded by music. He was playing guitar, then drums and bass, by the time he was 12. Ed and Pookie received lessons and support from their famous uncle. “J.B. taught me everything I know,” says Ed. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.” Ed and Pookie spent their teen years making music together, and in 1975 formed the first incarnation of The Blues Imperials. They played their first gig at a West Side club called Big Duke’s Blue Flame, splitting the $6 take four ways. Over the next few years, the group played every club in the neighborhood. Even so, they still needed day jobs to pay the bills. Ed worked ten hours a day as a buffer at the Red Carpet Car Wash. Pookie drove a school bus. Night after night they played their roaring brand of blues in tiny clubs, and eventually the word reached Alligator president Bruce Iglauer.

At the time, Iglauer was looking for local talent for The New Bluebloods, an anthology of some of Chicago’s younger blues musicians. “Ed and his band had a good reputation,” recalls Iglauer. “I had only seen them live once or twice. I knew Ed was a hot slide player, but I had no idea what he and the band were really capable of. I just knew that their music reminded me of Hound Dog Taylor and J.B. Hutto, two of my favorite musicians. It seemed like having a band this rough and ready would be a nice change of pace for the anthology, so I asked them to come down to the studio and cut a couple of songs. I never expected what happened.”

The band—never having been in a recording studio before—treated the studio like a club, playing live to Iglauer, the engineer, and all the people on the other side of the control room glass. After Ed recorded his two rehearsed songs quickly, there was still plenty of studio time left, so they just kept playing. After 10 songs were in the can, Iglauer offered the band a full album contract. The end result of the session was 30 songs cut in three hours with no overdubs and only one second take. Twelve of those songs became the band’s debut album, Roughhousin’, released in September of 1986.

The national press reacted with amazement to the blues world’s new discovery. Feature stories ran in Spin, Musician, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune and dozens of other publications. The Village Voice declared, “Roughhousin’ just may be the blues album of the year.” The New York Times raved, “Raw-boned, old-fashioned Chicago blues has a new young master—Lil’ Ed Williams.”

But it wasn’t until 1987, when guitarist Mike Garrett joined the band, and a year later, when Garrett recruited his Detroit hometown friend Kelly Littleton to play drums, that things really began to take off. Garrett’s risk-taking rhythm guitar work and Littleton’s unpredictable, old school drumming were the perfect complement to Lil’ Ed’s and Pookie’s rambunctious playing. With their 1989 album Chicken, Gravy & Biscuits, doors opened and audiences poured in. Through relentless touring, the group crystallized, becoming tighter with each performance, more adept in their abilities to read each other’s musical moves. Their spontaneous and unpredictable live show became legendary among blues fans worldwide.

They have played the Chicago Blues Festival multiple times, and have appeared at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival, The Tampa Bay Blues Festival, The San Diego Blues Festival, The Pennsylvania Blues Festival and dozens of other festivals around the country. Satisfying worldwide demand, they have performed at festivals in Canada, Great Britain, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Japan, Australia, India, Turkey and Panama.

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials released eight Alligator albums between 1986 and 2012. With each one, the band’s national and international stature grew as their fan base—known internationally as “Ed Heads”—continued to expand. With 2006’s Rattleshake, Ed and company reached a whole new audience. Die-hard “Ed Head” Conan O’Brien brought the band before millions of television viewers on two separate occasions. Success and accolades never stop pouring in. Living Blues called 2012’s Jump Start “scorching and soulful” with “crafty, clever lyrics…joyous and stomping.”

The group took home the Living Blues Award for Best Live Performer in 2011, 2012 and 2013. They won the prestigious Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year in both 2007 and 2009. The Associated Press says, “Williams fills Chicago’s biggest shoes with more life and heat than anyone on stage today.”

With The Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, the band continues to bring their blistering Chicago blues to “Ed Heads” new and old. Their infectious energy, joyful showmanship and masterful playing have been honed to a razor’s edge by their many years together. Lil’ Ed, Pookie, Mike and Kelly have seen sports stars and presidents, musical fads and fashion trends come and go. Meanwhile, their fiery music has more than stood the test of time. “We’re not band members,” says Williams, “we’re family, and families stay together.” Night after night, gig after riotous gig, the musical family called Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials bring their big, dynamic Chicago blues sound to fans across the country and around the world.

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Jun
4
Sun
Chris Antonik @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 4 @ 12:00 pm

chris antonik

Toronto-based Chris Antonik was nominated for Best New Artist in 2011 at the Maple Blues Awards after the release of his debut album, and has since become one of Canada’s most acclaimed blues artists. Blending innovative, thoughtful songwriting with stunning blues guitar work, some critics have drawn comparisons to Eric Clapton. Canada’s Blues Underground Network named the Chris “the future of the blues,” while in 2013, Chris’ sophomore album “Better for You” was hailed by critics as “a masterpiece,” “the best Canadian blues-rock album of 2013,” and “the sound of someone taking the blues to a new place.”

Chris has performed at blues festivals across Canada, and has toured the US extensively, including playing at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago. In 2016, Chris did his first UK tour, headlining the Upton Blues Festival, and On April 7, 2017, Chris releases his third record “Monarch.”

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Gabriel Palatchi Trio
Jun 4 @ 1:30 pm

gabriel palatchi trio

Gabriel Palatchi is a triple-threat global musician. First, the 34-year old Argentine-born pianist is a world class artist whose latest recording, Trivolution, was selected as a Gold Medal Winner in the Composer/Album categories and on the Top Ten 2015 of the Global Music Awards. Also, Trivolution was featured in the Emerging Artists section of the April 30, 2016, issue of Billboard Magazine. Second, although Gabriel spent his formative years in Buenos Aires studying classical piano and being mentored by some of the great maestros of blues, tango, jazz and Latin jazz, he packed up his piano soon after graduation in order to expand his musical horizons in Cuba and Mexico. It was in Cuba where he met and studied with several maestros including the master “Chucho” Valdez.

Third, Gabriel is highly conversant with a range of culturally diverse styles, including tango, funk, klezmer, gypsy, reggae, samba and electronic.

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Coco Love Alcorn @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 4 @ 3:00 pm

coco love alcorn

Coco Love Alcorn has always followed her spirit, but never so literally as with her latest album, Wonderland. The songs spring from her personal journey, but true to her nature, Coco offers a universal interpretation that invites all listeners to jump in and sing along. Just like her career – which has spanned over 20 years, 10 albums, cross-canada tours, collaborations, festival appearances, award nominations and notable success in TV and film licensing – creating this album has been a journey. And it took someone with a spirit like Coco’s to navigate this path.

“Coco is the ultimate musical spark plug… an electrical connector through which the creative energy flows. In my 30 years of touring around the world, I have never seen another performer able to bring people together like Coco does.” ​James Keelaghan – Artist Director, Summerfolk and renowned Canadian singer/ songwriter

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The Last Waltz – A musical celebration of THE BAND – Live @ Royal LePage Main Stage
Jun 4 @ 4:30 pm

the last waltz celebration of the band

An all-star Canadian cast of award-winning blues and roots musicians, under the direction of Juno award winning producer and musical director, Lance Anderson, is booking dates 2016 for the 40th Anniversary of THE BAND’s last concert in 1976. This crowd pleasing show, which has thrilled audiences at the CNE Bandshell (Toronto), Norfolk County Fair (Simcoe), the Shenkman Theatre (Ottawa), Peterborough, Orillia, Cobourg, Collingwood, Peter’s Players in Gravenhurst, and at Hugh’s Room in Toronto, will make any event an extravaganza! They have headlined the Southside Shuffle, Wasaga Beach Blues Festival, Orillia Spring and Kitchener Blues Festivals.

This is an all-star line-up, featuring Juno and Maple Blues Lifetime Achievement award winner Chuck Jackson (lead singer of the Downchild Blues Band), Jerome Levon Avis (Levon Helm’s godson) the always entertaining Johnny Max, and other special guest singers. The performance will recreate the atmosphere of The Band’s final concert, which was captured in Martin Scorcese’s award-winning concert film, The Last Waltz.

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