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. Antidumping is celebrating their 25th anniversary.
Aktivate (Calgary, AB)
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 (Jamaica)
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 (Toronto, ON)
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 (Colombia)
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.
Dubwise (Calgary, AB)
Dubwise is a Calgary-based Reggae, Ska, funk and soul-fusion band. Dubwise will keep you dancing by playing a wide range of everyone’s favorite Reggae classics as well as original music written by Supa Cee.
Hardcore Reggae Band (Toronto, ON)
ReggaeFest's House Backing Band.
Glen Washington (Florida, USA)
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 (Toronto, ON)
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 (Winnipeg, MB)
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 (Vancouver, BC / Ghana)
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 (Toronto, ON)
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 (Jamaica)
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 (Grande Prairie, AB)
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.
The Human Rights (Toronto, ON)
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 (Calgary, AB)
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 Band (Calgary, AB / Venezuela)
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 (Jamaica)
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. "
Auresia (Montreal, PQ)
With musical roots as diverse as the world’s music lovers, Montreal’s Auresia effortlessly blends unique pop sensibilities with the soul of reggae, always keeping herself free to innovate and inspire. A singer, songwriter and guitarist, the Edmonton raised musician of Ukrainian descent has been singing and charming audiences from the age of three.
Listening to her intricate melodies, beautiful harmonies and eclectic mix of Caribbean, soul, latin and pop flavors, which are perfectly blended with empowering and even eco-conscious lyrics, it doesn’t take long to reach the conclusion that Auresia’s sound is most certainly diverse.
She is making her first appearance at ReggaeFest and will soon embark on her International tour.
Bloom (Calgary, AB)
BLOOM is a reggae, dub, hip-hop, ska, rock band with elements of dance, metal, and world music.
The Calgary based outfit has played festivals such as Lilac Fest and the Landmark Events Showcase Festival.
BLOOM thrives on bringing an audience to a level where music, life and experience collide.
Dubwise (Calgary, AB)
Dubwise is a high energy Reggae, Funk and Soul Band from Calgary. Though relatively new, Dubwise is no stranger to the music industry. Their focus is on making an impact in the music scene through performing a wide range of everyone’s favorite Reggae classics as well as original music written by Supa Cee. Dubwise performs a standard serving of Reggae with a side of Dancehall infused with Soul. They opened for Luciano The Messenjah on his recent trip to Calgary and all of the members have a wide and varying background in the music industry. As a band, Dubwise’s common goal is to make good music and entertain their audience.
Flo (Montreal, PQ)
Born metis in France and raised in Cameroon, Martinique, North Carolina, and New York, FLO is a world citizen mixing cultures and crossing borders.
Now based in Montreal, Quebec FLO is touring Canada with fellow Canadian Reggae talent and ReggaeFest performer Auresia.
FLO’s conscious lyrics are paired with international sounds and uplifting vibes.
Gisto (London, ON / Nelson, BC)
Gisto is more than a Reggae artist/producer. He is changing the sound of music one song at a time. By combining the sounds of Reggae, Dancehall, Pop, Dub-Step, and Hip Hop along with his smooth one of a kind vocal styling, he creates a sound that is uniquely his own.
After years on the road as a performer and the musical director for the successful underground band ‘Wassabi Collective’, Gisto has honed his skills and is moving in his own direction. He is currently in the prime of his writing/producing career, having recent collaborations with Lutan Fyah and Marky Lyrical.
House of David Gang (Toronto, ON)
Throughout their career House of David Gang has been known for their uplifting roots rock reggae sound reminiscent of Kingston, Jamaica's music scene in the late 70's mixed with a modern roots Canadian feel. The band takes its name from The House of David, an after-hours spot on Queen Street West that was a hot spot for artists from the city's burgeoning Rastafarian and reggae community from the late 80s until the mid 90s. Now with the release of their album "Reggae Warrior" on NuFunk Records, the band continues to pave their own road as Canada's hardest touring reggae band.
Jay Douglas (Toronto, ON)
In over 45 years of entertainment, Jay has developed a wide-ranging repertoire of American Blues, West Indian Rhythms, Jazz Standards combined with fancy footwork and incredible on-stage charisma.
The Juno nominated reggae legend has won Canadian awards such as NOW Magazine's Toronto's "Best R&B Act" and "Male Reggae Vocalist of the Year" at the Annual Toronto Reggae Awards.
Over the past 10 years, Jay has performed around the world, and at annual Toronto events such as the Beaches Jazz Festival, Jerk Fest, Canadian National Exhibition, Yonge and Dundas Square, and a Taste of Lawrence.
Jory Kinjo (Calgary, AB)
Calgary’s own musical super talent Jory Kinjo returns to ReggaeFest for 2015. Jory Kinjo is truly one of Calgary’s finest musicians.
Jory Kinjo is a genre bending and blending artiste of the highest nature. His current projects include MOCKING SHADOWS (Soul/R&B), Jk & the RELAYS (Ska/Reggae), GOODFOOT (Funk) and family project KINJO BROS.
Kinjo ignited a love for ska music on a European tour playing bass for Montreal band, the Planet Smashers. This inspired the formation of Ska/Reggae project, Jk & the Relays. Since then the band has rocked the 2012 Montreal Ska Festival, Calgary ReggaeFest and the 2013 Victoria Ska Festival.
Kafinal (Toronto, ON)
Kafinal has been dubbed "Canada's Festival King" and he is becoming a very hot commodity in the arena of live performances. He creates excitement wherever he performs and gets the crowd laughing and singing along with all his tunes. Fans always request his hit songs like "Canadian Women", "Road Tonight" and "Nah Complain" with Daddy U Roy. Kafinal is taking the Toronto and international scene by storm.
Kaisha Lee (Montreal, QU)
It is said eyes are windows to the soul. But the windows to Kaisha Lee’s soul are her powerful voice, introspective lyrics and harmonious melodies.
From playing piano since age six to hearing her dad sing tunes from their native Jamaica, music was always in Kaisha’s life.
With a fusion of mid to up-tempo reggae and soul-influenced R&B, Kaisha’s song topics range from life’s ups and downs to love and inspirational messages. Mostly recently, Kaisha returned to the full-album format with the December 2014 release of I Heart Reggae.
Kirk Diamond (Saskatoon, SK)
2015 Juno Award nominee Kirk Diamond will be performing in Calgary for the first 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.
Nattali Rize and Notis (Australia / Jamaica)
Ask her where she comes from, she’ll tell you “All Directions”. Of mixed global heritage, with dominant Native American and Samoan roots, Nattali Rize is known around the world for her work fronting epic roots band Blue King Brown as well as for her unwavering commitment to using her voice and music for the global struggle toward the realization of Full Freedom and the movement of Truth and Justice over the systemic exploitation of the people and our planet.
The ever evolving and dynamic front woman now leads out fresh as a solo artist, with a heavy Reggae influence she describes her music as World Beat. Lyrical. New Era. Whether it be performing solo, unplugged, accapella or fronting an electric band, she is Known for her high energy live performances.
Omolara (Delta, BC)
Omolara is a Nigerian-Canadian vocalist and performer based out of Vancouver, BC Canada.
She has been singing professionally since the age of 16. Omolara is a young, experienced talent who has performed with many Reggae and world beat collectives, including "SMALL AXE, PHD, 007 AND DUBFREQUE.”
The Steadies (Saskatoon, SK)
The Steadies take the explosively popular Top 40 sound and mix it with rocksteady and reggae influences, creating what they’ve dubbed, “island rock.” No matter your mood, The Steadies pick you up and carry you to the beach in your mind, the club in your dreams, the place you go to clear your head and dance.
The Steadies have played over 500 shows including performances with Grammy award-winners The Roots, The Wailers, Collective Soul, Arrested Development, K-OS, Bedouin Soundclash and more. The band has headlined countless festivals across Canada and have showcased at the Winter Olympics, the Grey Cup, and at numerous industry conferences.
Tinga Stewart (Jamaica)
Tinga Stewart is a veteran reggae performer who has performed all over the world from Japan to the Netherlands, from North and South America to the Caribbean.
With a career spanning nearly five decades and 15 studio albums, Tinga Stewart has sung with the likes of The Wildcats, Byron Lee & the Dragonaires, and The Boris Gardiner Happening.
It is a pleasure to have Tinga Stewart back on the ReggaeFest stage in 2015.
Ziggi Recado and the Zion I Kings Band (The Netherlands)
Ziggi Recado is one of the most exciting and compelling reggae performers in Europe today. Ziggi toured extensively in Europe, Japan and the U.S.
Growing up on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius a young Ricardo Blijden moved to The Netherlands to study and his future as a performer took off.
Ziggi has gained national notoriety in The Netherlands and managed to capture several awards such as “Best Album”, “Best Artist” and “Best Live Act.”
Ziggi Recado and the Zion I Kings Band will be making their first trip to Canada and their first appearance on the ReggaeFest stage.