WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Canada – The Winnipeg Folk Fest is renowned for presenting curated once-in-a-lifetime collaborations on its stages, but audiences have yet to experience anything like they’ll see at 2:00 PM Saturday, July 9 on the Bur Oak stage – Native North America: A Selection of Musical Trailblazers. This special workshop is proudly supported by APTN and well-timed to celebrate Winnipeg’s Year of Reconciliation.
The concert brings together Aboriginal artists featured on the 2016 Grammy-nominated album, Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985. Many North Americans enjoy traditional and ceremonial Aboriginal music, but are unfamiliar with the artists of that era who played folk, blues, country and rock. For decades, this music was overlooked by mainstream media, so hardly anyone outside the artists’ communities had the chance to discover it. That is, until Vancouver DJ and music historian Kevin Howes found these hidden treasures in dusty crates in tiny record shops across Canada.
"The songs featured on NNA V1 affected my soul in a deep and meaningful way, even as a non-Native person who grew up in this country,” said Kevin Howes, NNA V1 compilation producer. “I wanted to learn more about these artists and their stories. Together, we were able to bridge generations, cultures, and eras of technology. These musical messages should be heard by all Canadians as we work towards reconciliation. They form a crucial component of our collective history and a landmark in Indigenous expression.”
On the stage, audiences will see performances from Willie Thrasher, Willy Mitchell, Duke Redbird and Eric Landry and hear stories from Manitoba’s own Shingoose, who has previously performed six times over the festival’s history. Sadly, we have already lost some of the voices on this album, such as singer-songwriter Willie Dunn, who played the Winnipeg Folk Fest in 2006. Manitoba’s own folk-country singer William Prince will lend his voice to songs by artists who have passed, so their music can be heard by Winnipeg Folk Fest audiences and live on in memory.
“We are thrilled to host this workshop at the Winnipeg Folk Fest where these incredible artists will have the opportunity to tell their stories and share their music with us,” said Artistic Director Chris Frayer. “This is the only occasion to experience these artists reunited on stage – this workshop is not happening on any other festival or concert stage this summer.”
Native North America: A Selection of Musical Trailblazers
Feat. Willie Thrasher, Willy Mitchell, Duke Redbird, Eric Landry, Shingoose and William Prince
Proudly supported by APTN
Saturday, July 9
About the Winnipeg Folk Festival
With one of North America’s premier outdoor music festivals as its signature event, the Winnipeg Folk Festival is a year-round, not-for-profit arts organization that presents live music, arts events and community programs. The 43rd annual Winnipeg Folk Fest will run from July 7-10, 2016 in Birds Hill Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada on
Treaty 1 territory and the homeland of the Métis nation.