Etana’s name means “The Strong One” in Swahili, and it’s a title she more than lives up to with her music and presence. Since debuting in 2006 with the thought provoking single “Wrong Address,” the Jamaican-born singer has established herself as one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in reggae, blazing a new trail in a genre that has long been male-dominated. Etana will take the ReggaeFest stage by storm on Saturday, August 19!
Antidoping is a Mexican reggae pioneer band that was born in the summer of 1992, founded by the brothers Manuel and Pedro Apodaca, originally from Coyoac’n, Mexico City. Antidoping is considered a band of cult and as one of the most important of Latin America in the genre reggae. Antidoping music combines elements, roots and forms of the city’s cultural mosaic with the rhythm and flavor of the Rastafarian movement to create an alternative within the expressions of the country’s musical milieu. Antidoping offers listeners the possibility of sensitizing themselves in body, mind and soul through a fresh and committed reggae, shaped by their experiences within a range of concepts that affirm their convictions towards respect, fun, peace and the reunion with nature and humanity. Antidoping is one of the founding bands of the Razteca movement that originated the idea of creating a hybrid between Jamaica’s Rastafari culture and Mexican culture. It is a group that has maintained its seal of love, peace and brotherhood for more than 23 years despite the political and social conditions that surround them. Antidoping is celebrating their 25th anniversary.
Aktivate is a Calgary-based Reggae band led by a Jamaican-Canadian who has been creating and performing songs for many years. They have shared the stage with some of Jamaica’s greatest performers such as Culture, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Shaggy, and the Wailers. Aktivate has been absent from the stage for some years but is looking forward to performing and releasing songs for the world to enjoy and be introduced to its style of rhythm and lyrics. The music reflects the band’s outlook on life and concern for all people, with a wish for peace, unity, and justice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Oral Fuentes' musical experience started in his home country of Belize, where he was involved with a multicultural band, 'Caribbean Jam', playing for many local and countrywide events. Since then Oral has traveled intensively to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Surinam, Guyana, USA, and the Caribbean. After moving to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1992, Oral teamed up with musicians from Saskatoon, playing the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, Regina Folk Festival, Calgary Reggae Festival, Ness Creek Music Festival and many other festivals and cultural shows. Oral's musical style includes Reggae, Soca, Punta-Rock and Brukdown (both musical styles from Belize) with other Caribbean and Latin Rhythms. Oral writes and performs his own songs.
PowerHouze is a dynamic & diverse multicultural band located in Calgary, AB. Variety is the spice of life with PowerHouze, which plays genres such as R&B, Funk, Soca and Reggae. The band is made up of world class musicians that have played with distinguished artists such as Ras Michael, Pink, Celine Dion, and many more. There is never a dull moment for the crowd when PowerHouze plays thanks to their powerful stage presence that comes from their extensive background in the entertainment industry. Known for getting the party started all across Western Canada and Western USA, this is a band you don't want to miss when it comes to your city! The members of PowerHouze are focused on being a positive influence to the community.
Dr. Jason Wilson is a two-time Juno-Awards nominee and Canadian Reggae Music Award winner from Downsview, Ontario. Born to Scottish parents, Wilson was the protégé of Studio One keyboardist Jackie Mittoo and is the cousin of UB40's Michael Virtue. Wilson played his first night-club gig with Messenjah when he was only fourteen. Known for incorporating jazz and Scottish and English folk influences atop a reggae foundation, Wilson is a multi-instrumentalist though is perhaps best known for his piano skills. The singer-songwriter has performed and recorded with UB40, Alanis Morissette, Sly & Robbie, Ernest Ranglin, Pee Wee Ellis, Dave Swarbrick, Ron Sexsmith, The Mighty Sparrow, Percy Sledge, Brinsley Forde (Aswad), Dick Gaughan, David Francey and many more. Wilson has extensive studio-session experience on his native instruments the piano and voice, but also on bass, guitar and accordion.
Ms Paige (née Ashley Johnson) fuses the soul of R&B with the passion of Caribbean musical genres. Embarking on the Caribbean music scene in 2004, daughter of Canadian recording artist and 6-time Juno nominee, Debbie Johnson, Ms Paige has been a staple in representing Canada on a global scale. Having released over 35 singles to date in both the reggae and soca arenas, she continues to receive international support on the airwaves in several countries. As a singer/songwriter, she received her first award in 2013 for Caribbean Music & Entertainment’s Top Soca Artist. Ms Paige is whole-heartedly dedicated to evolving in her craft and will inevitably leave her own unique musical footprint on the world.
Aktivate is a Calgary-based Reggae band led by a Jamaican-Canadian who has been creating and performing songs for many years. They have shared the stage with some of Jamaica’s greatest performers such as Culture, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Shaggy, and the Wailers. Aktivate has been absent from the stage for some years but is looking forward to performances and releasing songs for the world to enjoy and be introduced to its style of rhythm and lyrics. The Music reflects the band’s outlook on life and concern for all People. With a wish for peace, unity, and justice.
Anthony Cruz is a singer, songwriter and producer. Cruz’s versatility is demonstrated as his music explores themes of love, culture and real-life experience. His soulful voice and classy attire have many people referring to him as a truly charismatic entertainer. Anthony Cruz is bringing his soulful voice to the ReggaeFest stage promoting his 5th studio album “INNA DI DANCE.” The 12 Track Album is a nice mix of lover’s rock, spiritual and dancehall styles.
Chester Miller (reggae/dancehall performer, songwriter) hails originally from Mandeville, Jamaica and today resides in Toronto, Canada. Chester is blessed with a remarkable voice which has earned him several Canadian Reggae Music Awards including Top male performer, Top male vocalist and Top Reggae Album award for his album "Never let Jah go", and a Juno nomination. Since the 1980's he has been a mainstay in the Canadian Reggae music scene performing at countless gigs and festivals alongside renowned artists such as, Ernest Ranglin, Steel Pulse, Third World, Judy Mowatt and Freddie McGregor to name a few. Chester is a very accomplished, authentic and original songwriter. Chester's most recent collection of tracks is entitled ‘EQUANIMITY’.
De Bruces a Mi are a Colombian Reggae band that has been performing in Latin America for 16 years and performed with Reggae music heavyweights Capleton, Barrington Levy, Tanya Stephens, Black Uhuru, Andrew Tosh and Damian Marley. Their music is a unique showcase of Colombia's cultural diversity - an eclectic mix that blends Jamaican rhythms with salsa, calypso, and the champeta music native to their region. They are a very dynamic 7-piece band that will have everyone happy and dancing, and absolutely lovely people looking to connect with and learn about new people and places.
Glen Washington is a true veteran of Canadian Reggae Music, a multi-talented performer whose raspy voice and smooth delivery has been compared to the likes of Beres Hammond. With the release of over forty singles and eleven albums in four years, Washington has established himself as not only a talented singer, but also as a gifted songwriter who pens his own songs. Washington’s career, which spans over 25 years, has seen him play in the bands that have backed artists such as Leroy Sibbles, Shinehead, Junior Reid, Gregory Isaacs, Sister Carol and the Meditations.
Kafinal, Canada’s Festival King, is returning with his crown to the Calgary International ReggaeFest stage. A rising star on the Canadian Reggae scene and fresh off his 2016 Reggae Recording of the Year Juno win, Kafinal is thrilled to be returning to ReggaeFest to put on a show for Rastagarians. Kafinal is an exciting and engaging performer with a great sense of humor.
Mello Man (aka Mr. Sweet Voice) is one of the most authentic reggae singers in western Canada. Now based in Winnipeg, Mello Man started his singing career in 1989 with the Jah Vibes band at the Black-o-Rama festival’s tribute to Bob Marley. He has toured with many major reggae artists, such as Third World, Frankie Paul, and Chevelle Franklin. Mello Man is known as one of Canada's best new artists in terms of Lovers' Rock and Roots. Mello has recently released his debut album entitled “Child of the Universe”.
Mr. Fantastik is a Ghana-born reggae and dancehall artist who fuses African and Jamican influences and blends them with a stage show that needs to be seen to believe. A former circus performer and acrobat, it’s not unusual to see Mr. Fantastik show off his skills in African music, dance, acrobatics and even a fire show!
Nana McLean is a Reggae Music veteran, legend and ambassador. On par with reggae’s leading women like Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley, and Diana King, Nana’s career is highlighted with numerous awards, nominations, presentations and recognition from such organizations as the Canadian Black Music Association and the Canadian JUNO Awards. Her 1997 album, NANA McLean – COLLECTOR’S SERIES, won JUNO for Best Reggae Recording.
Razor B is an emerging Reggae and dancehall artiste who launched his career independently. A truly new age artiste, Razor B has earned his spot on the reggae dancehall charts. His growing success is a grassroots effort and the quality of Razor B’s music speaks for itself; Razor’s latest single “We Party!” cracked the Caribbean Top 10 and his single “Hot Up” is trending in both Canada and the Caribbean.
Tasman Jude is a red hot Canadian Reggae band based out of Grande Prairie, Alberta whom, since their last ReggaeFest performance in 2014, have toured Canada and Australia twice! Travelling thousands of miles and performing hundreds of shows over the past two years, Tasman Jude has been honing their performances, gaining thousands of fans worldwide and putting out new music regularly. Their second full-length album Green topped the Canadian Reggae Charts on iTunes and their third full-length feature Gold is available soon.
Since they came together in 2008, The Human Rights have built a reputation as one of Canada's top reggae bands -- specializing in original, high-energy, modern roots reggae with a mix of jazz, funk and R&B influences. “The Rights” are fronted by Friendlyness (Culture Shock, Big Sugar) and Juno nominee Tréson on lead vocals; and feature a blazing 3-piece horn section, two stellar guitar players, and a rock steady riddim section, topped off by legendary reggae keyboardist Bernie Pitters (Toots and the Maytals, Hit Squad, Leroy Brown, Sly & Robbie) on the one drop. They have toured western Canada and have been featured in numerous major festivals including the Calgary Reggae Festival, Toronto's Irie Fest, Jambana, Nathan Phillips Square, International Festival of Beer and the Winnipeg Ska/Reggae Festival.
The Lost Lemons from Calgary AB are a bombardment of catchy and high-energy ska-reggae-rock. Paying homage to the glory days of Long Beach Punk, the band lays down a healthy set list of peppy originals and classic covers, keeping dance floors moshin’ and jammin’. The Lost Lemons have that friendly, do-no-harm kind of sound - the sound that once upon a time we listened to on our Discmans – embodying the youthful and vigorous spirit that good times are made of.
Uno is a reggae band formed by three young Venezuelan men, Juan Antoni (drums/voice), Pedro Acosta (lead guitar/voice) and Arturo Rondon (guitar/voice). The Calgary-based band is well established on the local music and festival scene. They’ve played Fiestaval and Expolatino. 2016 will be Uno’s second appearance on the ReggaeFest stage.
Warrior King’s compositions have consistently charted not only in his native Jamaica, but throughout the entire Caribbean, New York, California, London, Tokyo, and beyond. “A Friend Indeed” received heavy rotation in Jamaica, while “Jah Is Always There” was a summer smash on Atlanta’s More Fire chart. The inclusion of “Never Go Where Pagans Go” on VP Records’ compilation set “Reggae Gold” further raised the artist’s public persona. Tracks like “Virtuous Woman,” “Can’t Get Me Down” and other compositions have built the foundation of Warrior King’s reputation, a reputation that further grew after U.S. President Barack Obama cited Warrior King as one of his favourite musical talents. Warrior King has four internationally acclaimed albums, entitled “Virtuous Woman”, “Hold the Faith”, “Love is in the Air”, and “Tell Me How Me Sound”. "Now the conscious singer has released his newest full-length album entitled “The ROOTZ WARRIOR.” Each song featured has a different style and the message emphasizes Purity, Truth, Strength, and Love. "