Ken Whitely will perform on the beach on Tuesday

Roots and blues on tap at Harrison Festival of the Arts

Acts include Shakura S’Aida, Markus James & the Wassonra and Sidi Touré

This year’s Harrison Festival of the Arts will feature a wide range of arts and musical styles but will host some of the hottest roots & blues performers the world has to offer. From West Africa, regarded by many as the birthplace of the Blues, to the Americas, the Harrison Festival will explore this journey from traditional to modern.

Four ticketed evening concerts will bring the blues from Africa to the New World. Blues diva Shakura S’Aida has performed on some of the most noted stages in the world, including the Apollo Theatre in New York, and has been nominated for numerous Maple Blues Awards over the last four years. Markus James & the Wassonrai is the coming together of Mississippi delta blues and traditional music of Mali, West Africa. Sidi Touré comes from Mali, and draws inspiration from traditional music and religion, but is informed by Western Blues. The winner of two Malian national awards for best singer, Touré was leader of The Songhaï Stars, and is a nationally renowned figure in his home country. Mike Farris & the Cumberland Saints marry old time roots gospel sounds with their own unique arrangements that are mainly inspired by New Orleans, Stax and the Blues.

The Beach Stage will feature a number of Canada’s finest roots & blues performers. Rick Fines & Suzie Vinnick started playing a few Blues clubs together 12 years ago. Now, years later, they have over 15 recordings between them, multiple awards and much critical acclaim. The 24th Street Wailers is a young blues band known for their funky danceable and often hilarious performances.

Ken Whiteley is a Canadian Roots music legend. His musical journey has taken him from jug band, folk and swing to blues, gospel and children’s music. As a producer of over 125 recording projects, Ken’s productions have garnered 10 Canadian Gold and Platinum records, 4 American Gold records, 22 Juno and 2 Grammy nominations, and sold over 8 million copies.

Harrison Kennedy is a prolific songwriter with an irrepressible voice whose soulful assault on the blues, is rich, deep-down, and always rooted in what’s happening right now.

Also at the Beach Stage, will be a First Nations take on the blues. Specializing in upbeat Blues & Boogie, singer/pianist, Murray Porter has been compared to the likes of Dr. John, Joe Cocker and Delbert McClinton. Porter won the 2012 Juno Award for Aboriginal Recording of the Year.

Inez is a Sto:lo singer songwriter, blending traditional native sounds with a love for contemporary Hip Hop and R&B. Jason Burnstick performs his own mixture of Blues and Folk, and was a standout at last year’s Aboriginal Collaboration. Pura Fé is a ‘Renaissance woman’, a founding member of the internationally renowned native woman’s trio, Ulali.

For tickets and information see the website at www.harrisonfestival.com or call the Festival Society at 604-796-3664.

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