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Kobo Town: Toronto, Ontario, via Trinidad

Founded and fronted by émigré Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town’s music has been variously described as “an intoxicating blend of lilting calypsonian wit, dancehall reggae and trombone-heavy brass” (Guardian) and a “unique, transnational composite of rhythm, poetry and activist journalism”(Exclaim!) From their home in Toronto, the JUNO-nominated group has brought their distinct calypso-inspired sound to audiences across the world, from Port-of-Spain to Paris and from Montreal to Malaysia. The music is joyous, intensely poetic and highly danceable, and betray deep roots in Caribbean folk music. The band delivers with an indomitable energy that has earned them a considerable following far beyond the world music and calypso fans.

Red Haven: Vancouver, BC

Red Haven tells a story that is both entertaining and incisive. They first began playing together at a shared house they nicknamed Admiral Grant. A few drinks into a Friday evening, they began jamming on ‘Festival Man’, and a few months later, they received funding from FACTOR for their first EP The Road Above You. They have played festivals across BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan such as Robson Valley, All Folk’d Up, Tiny Lights, Campbell Bay and Jasper Folk Fest, 2 cross-Canada tours, dates in the central United States, and a 3 week stint through southern England. Their debut album, Vilified, was self-recorded in a 100-year old church over three weeks at an artist residency in Wells, BC, home of the Arts Wells Festival. 

Interstellar Jays: Wells, BC

These Cariboo Mountain jays take off for a room-full of old gear and rocking dancers. Whether you’re itching to move, or preferring to molt, the Interstellar Jays will illuminate your night. Bass driven and fiddle powered, this lively mix of old tyme, ska, and klezmir music will brighten the mood of any situation.