Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Trombone Shorty’s new album opens with a dirge, but if you think the beloved bandleader, singer, songwriter and horn-blower born Troy Andrews came here to mourn, you got it all wrong. That bit of beautiful New Orleans soul—”Laveau Dirge No. 1,” named after one of the city’s most famous voodoo queens—shows off our host’s roots before Parking Lot Symphony branches out wildly, wonderfully, funkily across 12 diverse cuts. True to its title, this album contains multitudes of sound—from brass band blare and deep-groove funk, to bluesy beauty and hip-hop/pop swagger—and plenty of emotion all anchored, of course, by stellar playing and the idea that, even in the toughest of times, as Andrews says, “Music brings unity.”
With over 10 million views on YouTube, two European Blues Awards, and winning Best Solo Performer at the Memphis Blues Challenge, it appears that the entire world is now discovering Matt Andersen. A powerhouse performer with a giant soul-filled voice and commanding stage presence, Matt has built a formidable following the old fashioned way – touring worldwide and letting the converted audiences and Andersen devotees spread his reputation through word of mouth.
Murray Porter’s music has an instantly recognizable sound. The Mohawk piano player from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory brings his culture and history to the masses through his music. With a mix of blues, country, and humour, Porter’s gravelly, soulful voice sings not only of the history and contemporary stories of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, but also universal themes of love, lost and found. He has spent over 35 years playing his self-taught unique style of foot stomping, hand clapping blues piano around the world.
Raised in Victoria, BC Leeroy Stagger worked in several local bands until gaining attention from acts such as Hot Hot Heat and Carolyn Mark. Stagger has garnered an international fan base through relentless touring both home and abroad. Stagger is already well on his way to joining the likes of John Hiatt, Ryan Adams and John Prine as an ambassador for North American roots rock ‘n’ roll.
Kaya is an up and coming vocalist and songwriter from Vancouver, BC. She performs an eclectic mix of covers and originals, and is influenced heavily by artists such as Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, and Rebecca Sugar. Currently, she is a student in Capilano University’s Jazz Studies program, and is working towards her degree. Joining her are Jamison Ko on drums, Riley Poystila on bass, Bobby Seenandan on piano, and Adrian Sowa on guitar.
One of Jesse Waldman’s most cherished possessions is a cassette of his grandmother singing the Yiddish folk song Papirosen to his mother. A remnant, like the abandoned guitar discovered in his parent’s basement, that drove his rock ‘n roll dreams out of the suburban sprawl of Thornhill, Ontario, and into the bars of downtown Toronto. A journey cross-country led him to mountains, ocean, and into the arms of Vancouver’s Commercial Drive music scene. Now his home of over twenty years, the West Coast continues to inspire his lush imagery, sublime melodies, and outstanding technique.
Victoria BC’s Jesse Roper is magnetic. With an explosive live show, the genuine quality and charisma of his versatile blues rooted soul, rock and country funk is as approachable as his charm. Since the release of his sophomore album ‘Red Bird’ in 2015, Jesse Roper has been riding a surge of momentum that has kept the wheels on his faithful van turning as he becomes a major festival draw, securing direct support to artists including Keith Urban, Steve Earle, Booker T, Beth Hart, Lee Brice, Colin James and Spirit of the West.
Little Miss Higgins
From the Great Northern Plains of Western Canada, Little Miss Higgins struts and serenades her way, guitar in hand, lips blazoned red, onto any stage. As if she just drove in off the back-road of another time with gravel dust and a sunset trailing behind her, this pocket-sized powerhouse plays music brewed up in old-time country blues sprinkled with a little jazz and maybe a hint of folk. Whetherit’s songs about passion or songs about panties, she writes about real things in a rooted and poetic way. This is all too true on her most recent award winning album, Across The Plains (2010).
Sue Foley is a multi-award winning musician and of the one of the finest blues and roots artists working today. Foley spent her early childhood in Canada, mesmerized by her father’s guitar and started her professional career at sixteen. By twenty-one, Foley was living in Austin, TX and recording for Antone’s—the esteemed blues label and historic nightclub that helped launch the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Her first release, Young Girl Blues, quickly rooted her unique talents as a proficient blues guitarist, inspired songwriter and captivating vocalist.