Jason Wilson (Toronto, ON)
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.
Oral Fuentes (Saskatoon, SK)
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 Band (Calgary, AB)
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.