Month: May 2017
Calgary ReggaeFest Announces 2017 Artiste Lineup
Calgary, Alberta – May 15, 2017
“Reggae became like a dirty word.” – Leo Cripps, interview with MetroNews, 2015
Between the canceled shows and half-promises, Calgary’s reggae scene was dying. The community, while tight-knit, stood shaken, unsure of it’s future. Everything was all but ready to give one last breath, if not for a lingering heartbeat shared by a kindled few.
And one by one it’s rhythm nodded our heads, and its pulse shook us until we danced, and together we heard it sing. Over a decade has passed since we first shared that heartbeat. Frankly, it’s getting stronger and stronger every year.
On behalf of the Calgary Reggae Festival Society, we are proud to announce the 14th annual Calgary International Reggae Festival!
As one of Calgary’s longest running festivals, ReggaeFest ’17 will unite some of reggae’s most exciting talent, both locally and around the world on one amazing stage this August 17th-19th at Shaw Millennium Park.
Taking the stage this year is The Strong One herself, Etana. Joining her is Mexican reggae pioneers Antidoping, JUNO Award Nominees Lyndon John X and Kirk Diamond, groove machine Vancouverites Mad Riddim with Jason Wilson (who will also be hosting a musical talk!), melodic infused storyteller Pressure Busspipe, dancehall deejay and spiritual successor to King Yellowman Al-Beeno, the original Mr. Gangalee himself Louie Culture, Torontonian empress Natural Fyah, Belize transplant and multi-genre artist Oral Fuentes, multi-dimensional captivator Steele, Ewarton native and breezy voiced Lenya Wilks, hometown heroes Aktivate, as well as the energetic dance inducers PowerHouze Band. Finally, backing our amazing artistes is the just as amazing band Hardcore!
Last year we invited a newcomer family from Syria to ReggaeFest. We were so happy to welcome them to Canadian culture, we’ve decided to invite another family this year!
New this year ReggaeFest ’17 passes grant access to the entire weekend, meaning you get to be there for the full experience! Limited Early Bird Passes are available until June 15.
Stay connected with us via Facebook , Twitter, Instagram, ReggaeFest.ca. You can also follow our hashtag #ReggaeBest2017
Calgary Reggae Festival Society
Your Rastagarian Team!
Louie Culture (Jamaica)
Some know him as DJ Louie Culture, as that is the name he entered the music business with, but ever since he scored with his big hit “Gangalee”, Dancehall fans home and abroad have branded him the original “Mr. Gangalee.” He’s very proud to wear this title, not only because he made it popular, but more so, because his belief in the concept of the word “gangalee” has been his main driving force to success.
Mad Riddim with Jason Wilson (Vancouver, BC)
Mad Riddim is a mash up making, drum and bass led groove machine, mixing classic dub sensibilities with the attitude of funk and the improvisational qualities of jazz. Formed in Vancouver, BC by drummer Richard Brown a.k.a Rb Drums and bassist Matt Reid, Mad Riddim is founded on an intuitive musical connection and a shared vision of pushing the traditional boundaries of a rhythm section.
Natural Fyah (Toronto, ON)
A fiery, young empress has burst into the cultural reggae genre! With a longing to sing from a young age, Natural Fyah began a journey into the art of music and expression. Through radio, she was exposed to many different kinds of music and took a liking to a variety of them.
As a Rasta, Natural Fyah’s ambition is to now use her talent to produce cultural reggae music that speaks to the continued issues that are faced, in particular by the black community. Her messages about unity, peace, education and love are for the upliftment of those who don’t have an outlet to speak through, and also her way to show her perspective on a variety of subject areas. Natural Fyah’s goal is to leave a positive imprint on reggae music through her art form for the betterment of the people.
Lyndon John X (Toronto, ON)
Music has been an integral part of Lyndon John’s life since he was a young boy growing up in the 1970s and 80s in Cambridge in a home filled with R&B, Reggae, and Calypso music. His formal interest in music began at the early age of 5, when he started lessons in violin and piano. Lyndon later took up guitar as his instrument of choice, and has been writing his own music since age 16.
Fast-forward to 2007, when the multi-talented vocalist, songwriter, producer and musician made his debut on the Reggae music scene in 2007 with the release of his critically-acclaimed debut album, “Two Chord Skankin’”. The project earned him a 2008 JUNO nomination and a nomination for Best Male Newcomer at the 2008 Canadian Reggae Music Awards. He followed that album up with two more albums, “Brighter Days” (released 2010) and “Escape from the Mongoose Gang” (released 2015), both of which received JUNO nominations the years following their release.
As an independent artist in a niche genre within the Rock-centric Canadian music scene, Lyndon and his team have worked tirelessly to deliver original Roots Reggae to the masses and help the genre gain more widespread exposure on the Canadian music stage as well as on an International level.
Hardcore (Toronto, ON)
ReggaeFest House Band – backing Kirk Diamond, Lenya Wilks, Pressure Busspipe, Steele, Al-Beeno, Lyndon John X, Louie Culture, Natural Fyah
Pressure Busspipe (St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands)
Blessed with a smooth, melodic voice and an impressive innate writing ability that captures a story like no other, Pressure is poised to dominate the Reggae audiences of the world. Called “Pressure” by virtue of the hard times and daily struggle we all face, Pressure is an artist dedicated to consistently delivering conscious messages to teach and unite the masses through his musical talents.
Kirk Diamond (Saskatoon, SK)
2015 JUNO Award nominee Kirk Diamond will be performing in Calgary for the second time. Nominated for, “Best Reggae Recording of the Year” the 90’s dancehall style influenced “Love inna wi Heart,” Kirk Diamond is quickly establishing himself as a top Canadian reggae talent.
Although his passion for music was always within him, it wasn’t until 2007 when he joined a friend who started a dance group, and, along with another member, brought the musical element to the equation. From there Kirk has spent countless hours in studio writing and recording, perfecting his craft.
Steele (Toronto, ON)
Steele is described as dynamic and sensational, with the versatility and range that defies restriction to any one genre. This artist is as captivating in his handling of R&B material as he is with soul, reggae, gospel, classical, and jazz. Born in Lucea, Jamaica, Steele’s inspiration comes from his parents who sang on the church choir, where he too began singing at the tender age of 10.
Al-Beeno (Toronto, ON)
Corie “Al-Beeno” Moodie also known as “Prince Yellowman” (and not to be confused with – Winston ‘King Yellowman’ Foster) is a young reggae dancehall deejay musician who was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He later moved to Toronto. His catchy lyrical styles (mixed with hip hop urban beats, also know as raga) with fast beats earned him the nickname ‘Prince Yellowman”. He is Albinistic, hence the nickname ‘Al-Beeno’. By some he is considered as the next generation following popular dancehall artist ‘King Yellowman’ who became popular durung the early 1980s and throughout the 1990s.