After generating impressive energy on his own, Andrew James O’Brien found the perfect accelerant to add to his musical fire in vocalist/instrumentalist, Catherine Allan. Together, they are Fortunate Ones. Andrew and Catherine’s earnest blend of acoustic folk/pop and roots has been gaining them significant critical and popular praise. Bare-bones arrangements and delicate, quietly assured harmony allows for the intimate musical conversations that have made their live shows so endearing and memorable. They perform with the openheartedness of two people that live the songs they sing; the vulnerability and closeness between Andrew and Catherine is palpable on stage during each and every performance.
Kat Danser’s music navigates a paddle steamer from the muddy banks of the Mississippi Delta downriver toward a big ol’ full moon over New Orleans. Dubbed ‘Queen of the Swamp Blues’, this Edmonton-based guitar slinger, songsmith, and blazing vocalist channels the spirit of roots, blues and gospel music pioneers.
Her fourth album, Baptized by the Mud, is a collaboration between Danser and Juno-award winning producer Steve Dawson. This CD (distributed by Outside Music) is the summation of years of study, mentorship, and songwriting with legendary blues icons in Mississippi- birthplace of the blues- and her graduate studies at the U of A, where Danser focused her Masters thesis on the representation of blues music over the past century.
Luke McMaster’s musical journey has been a winding path; like his album title, he believes “All Roads” lead to here. His success with duo McMaster & James gave Luke the opportunity to cut his teeth with artists like Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, & Chantelle Kreviazuk. A prolific & award-winning writer/collaborator, Luke has worked with Nick Carter, Marc Jordan, and Canadian Idols. Recently, Luke has collaborated & toured with Jim Brickman charting #3 on Billboard. Luke has also endeavoured into television as composer & producer. His latest solo project truly is a reflection of all these twists and turns. With a deep appreciation for writing & producing, there is nothing Luke loves more than performing in front of a live audience.
Bageshree Vaze has studied with some of India’s foremost dance and music masters. Bageshree initially trained in the South Indian style of Bharatha Natyam with the late Guru T. K. Mahalingam Pillai in Mumbai, and studied vocal music with her father, Damodar Vaze. She later trained in Kathak dance with Jai Kishan Maharaj, son of the living legend of Kathak, Pt. Birju Maharaj, in New Delhi, and studied vocal music with the renowned Veena Sahasrabuddhe. As a vocalist, Bageshree has four CDs to her credit, including Tarana, an album of music for Indian dance, which was released in India by Times Music under the name Khanak. Bageshree has choreographed numerous Kathak dance works, including 2011’s Avatar (9) and 2012’s Damaru/Mudra, and has performed in major festivals in North America such as the CanAsian Dance festival and Pt. Birju Maharaj’s Kathak festival in India. In 2004, MTV India named her an ‘ubbharta sitara’ (rising star), and in 2010 she was awarded the K.M. Hunter Award in Dance (conferred by the Ontario Arts Council). As a Kathak artist, much of her work is done in collaboration with her husband Vineet Vyas, an award-winning disciple of the legendary tabla master, the late Pt. Kishan Maharaj. Bageshree holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Carleton University, and a Master’s degree in Dance from York University. In 2012, Bageshree was commissioned by Dusk Dances in Toronto to create and perform ‘Twilight’ at Withrow Park, and the piece was remounted at Fort York in Sept. 2013. In 2012, Bageshree also launched her ‘Spectrum’ series of multi-disciplinary programming in partnership with the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. Bageshree is currently being commissioned by the CanAsian Dance Festival to create a new contemporary Kathak dance piece under the mentorship of Christopher House, Artistic Director of Toronto Dance Theatre, and the work will be premiered in Toronto April 23-26, 2014. Her new CD ‘Ragas and Rhythms,’ is set for release in India through Times Music in late 2014.
Proclaimed a prolific songwriter and one of Canada’s major talents by critics, fans and the industry alike, Royal Wood released his new studio album “The Burning Bright” on March 18th, 2014. The album registers a number of firsts for Wood, whose chart-topping 2012 release, the JUNO Award nominated We Were Born To Glory, firmly established him as one of the country’s most accomplished alt-pop singer/songwriters, producers, arrangers and multi-instrumentalists.
Shakura’s 1st CD BLUEPRINT was 1940-50’s blues songs, BROWN SUGAR (2nd CD) was co-written with her guitarist Donna Grantis (now in Prince’s band), TIME out now was nominated for JUNO Blues Album of the Year 2013.
Shakura has won & been nominated for many awards including, 2nd place Memphis’ 2008 International Blues Challenge. 5x nominee Maple Blues Female Vocalist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year 2014
Shakura has performed at the Apollo Theatre in NY, Dubai Jazz Festival, Grande Dames du Blues Moscow, Montreal Jazz Festival.
“Shakura S’Aida is the total package–a powerful vocalist, a world class entertainer and a talented songwriter. This lovely lady is a must for any size venue large or small that takes their music seriously!”