Starbelly Jam is a special festival; great entertainment, great food, great people, lots of happy kids and room to play — we’ve deliberately steered the festival away from getting too big or becoming too crowded; this festival’s success is all about the celebration of life through music, friendship and having a fun time for all in a safe and secure environment. Not too big and not too small, this is a “just right” festival Goldilocks couldn’t help but love.
Victoria BC – Folk Roots / Singer Songwriter
Stephen Fearing’s music embodies a fierce intelligence, a haunting candor, and a steady-handed pursuit of fleeting beauty. He exudes an abiding love for his craft and a respect for his audience that is reflected in two Juno awards and a touring circuit that includes festival stages and concert halls across Canada, Europe and The United States.
A beguiling teller of tales and a singularly intense instrumentalist, Fearing is an alluring entertainer – heartbreaking, expansive and full of mirth – with a clear, honorable voice that lifts you out into his wide world and “brings you back home to yourself”.
Brass-Hop, Funk, Canada
My Son the Hurricane is a brass infused funk beast. No dance floor is safe.
Hailing from Niagara/Toronto, the perennial festival closers and dance floor inciters mix New Orleans style grooves with funk, jazz and hip hop. Bolstered by a giant horn section and the well-oiled rhythm players, charismatic emcee Jacob Bergsma and charmingly sassy vocalist Sylvie Kindree drive the show, creating a spectacle of sound, and challenging the crowd to keep up to their collective energy. My Son the Hurricane has “stood out like a sore, yet extremely talented thumb at every show they’ve played” (Pulse Niagara), and become revered for their live performances.
Toronto – Funk
After Funk is a fun filled, soul driven, funk-rock explosion.
Hailed as “The grooviest band north of the border” (Live for Live Music), the Toronto based funk family have been blazing a trail through the North American music scene leaving only happy hearts and dancing feet in their wake. The combination of Yanick Allwood (keyboards & vocals), Jaime Rosenberg (drums), Justin Bontje (bass) and Phil Tessis (guitar) results in an infectiously fun show, as well as virtuosity and beauty that will challenge your musical mind. After Funk’s sound and hard work has not gone unnoticed; being selected as the Electric Forest’s Instrumental Forester in 2014 earned them two sets at the festival and they have served as support for Walk Off The Earth, Lettuce, Snarky Puppy, Dumpstaphunk, TAUK and more.
Ontario – Rock/Electronic/Indigenous
In a world where we are constantly defining the sum of our lives through the filter of another’s gaze, genuinely unchained artists like Winnipeg-bred Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Iskwé (pronounced iss-kway) are becoming a rare breed.
Named one of the ‘Top 10 Artists to Watch’ by CBC Music, Iskwé (which means ‘woman’ in her native language) is fostering an unmistakable sound that weaves together her Irish and Cree/Dené roots with poignant politically charged lyrics, dark soulful R&B rhythms, electronic flourishes, and trip hop breakbeats.
Bridging cross-cultural aesthetics while exploring her own struggle to both fit into and breakaway from modern Western archetypes has been an important part of Iskwé’s artistic vision since the release of her self-titled debut album in late 2013. Her debut single “Nobody Knows,” which was produced by Juno Award nominees The Darcys and is currently being featured in the Netflix series Between, captivated audiences by turning a stark spotlight on the more than 1200 missing and murdered Indigenous women here in Canada.
Winnipeg – Soul
On one end of the spectrum there are varieties of the Begonia which can be a dark, grievous, rough around the edges. And on the other end, a petite and elegant flower. In between, the plant attempts to harmonize its two poles, forming an array of varieties that each borrow from the delicate and the unseemly. It is in this same vein that Begonia (Alexa Dirks) finds herself, trying to find a balance.
R&B, piano, Whitehorse YK
A masterful songwriter collects life’s experiences and artfully turns them into songs that capture the imagination of a listener. Declan O’Donovan is that songwriter, that contemporary troubadour who utilizes a broad palate of voice and piano to tell intriguing stories through the music he creates.
Produced by Jean Massicotte (Patrick Watson, Lhasa, Adam Cohen), Broken Sky, was recorded at Studio Masterkut in Montreal. “Jean gave my songs a landscape to live in and explore. He brought with him a sound and an approach that gave every note warmth and direction, and he gracefully coaxed out performances from everyone involved that at once made the songs both grounded and unrestrained.” Featured among the many outstanding musicians on Broken Sky are Brad Barr of The Barr Brothers on electric and acoustic guitars, as well as Joe Grass of the Patrick Watson band on pedal steel, electric and nylon-string guitars.
Toronto – Roots.
A traditionalist at heart, Sarah Jane Scouten shows her signature flair for the roots of roots music. With respect for these roots, she writes from her own perspective, and rather than copying a style, only writes about what she knows profoundly. This songwriter hits hard and close to home, then laughs it off. Somewhat of an itinerant musician, spending much of her time on the road, Sarah Jane has called Bowen Island, Vancouver and Montreal home. She now lives in the neighbourhood of Parkdale in Toronto with two cats named after Cajun musicians.
Vancouver – Psychedelic Latin
Rooted in the Afro-Latin soul of cumbia music, MNGWA (pronounced Ming-wah) blends elements of psych rock, surf, reggae, salsa, and hip hop into the polyrhythmic pot.
With 8 members from across North America and Europe, the Vancouver ensemble invites all earthlings to join in the sonic frenzy!
Balkan Massive, Toronto
Lemon Bucket Orkestra is a guerilla-punk-balkan-folk-brass band massive like no other. Tracing their genesis back to the streets of Toronto, the original quartet of busking troubadours quickly amassed a battalion of like-minded musical souls and the full-blown, dozen plus strong Orkestra was born. The multi award winning ensemble has been heralded as a groundbreaking, genre-bending phenomenon by the Canadian and international media alike and over the past 8 years they have performed on streets and stages around the world, leaving a trail of new friends and dedicated fans in their wake.
Folk, World, Blues, Canada
Tri-Continental is a collaborative evolution that fuses the talents of three wonderful guitar-players, singers and songwriters. There are no musical boundaries present in this one-of-a-kind blues/folk/world music mélange.
Bill Bourne, Lester Quitzau and Madagascar Slim present a truly unique and critically acclaimed sound that is a great success in terms of soulfulness and presence, intensity and atmosphere.
Bourne, Quitzau and Slim are in their own rights well-recognized and respected artists with successful solo careers. They are indeed major players in the Canadian roots music scene who have individually and collectively received 4 Juno awards and 10 nominations. Together as Tri-Continental, something very special and magical happens with the grand improvisor, the kidnapper of the blues, and the inventor and promoter of the new universal sound.
Greek Rembetika, Canada
Canada’s premier Greek rembetika ensemble. Rembetika is one of the pillars of modern Greek music which made the bouzouki the standard, and what many have called the “Greek blues” for its songs of heartache & hashish.
Since 1996 the Hipsters have expanded the boundaries of Greek music, from Calgary, across Canada and all the way back to Greece.
Vancouver BC – Alt-Americana
Petunia & The Vipers play several tours a year while Petunia is not touring on solo or duo missions. The full band is typically a five piece, however a violinist is added when required, or when other accompanists are unable to play. The Vipers play in various other projects and are well known through their efforts. Guitarist Stephen Nikleva and Lap Steel player Jimmy Roy are former Ricochets, of Ray Condo and the Ricochets, while Patrick Metzger plays bass with several projects, including a bluegrass band led by some-time violinist Kathleen Nisbet.
Mexico City – Funk/Jazz/World
“… When you think about a bass player with expressive power, with exemplary rhythmic sense and creative imagination, you think Gabo Gonzalez. “
El Groove Capital is a unique sound from Mexico City, mixing rhythms of Mexico, Brazil, Spain, E.U., and Cuba. It fuses styles like Funk, Jazz, Son, Rumba Flamenca, House and Samba, with the special signature of the bass as the leading instrument.
Vancouver, BC – World Fusion Looping / One Man Show
Prosad is a multi-instrumentalist and singer who has travelled the world sharing his unique blend of sitar, guitar, reggae and world music. Inspired by legends like George Harrison, Prosad seeks to create a spiritual vibration in the mainstream music of his generation by blending Indian instruments with the western influences of rock, reggae, folk and blues.
On stage, Prosad is far outnumbered by his musical instruments but he brings them all together with looping: recording guitar, bass, sitar, flute, didgeridoo and more while soloing and singing over his spontaneous creations. He has performed in New Zealand, Australia, India, Holland, Paris, Portugal, Italy, Hawaii and many other countries. During his travels, Prosad has collaborated with great artists like Grammy Award winner Chris Berry, Australian legend Xavier Rudd (on his album Spirit Bird) and many others.
Kootenays, BC – Led Zeppelin Tribute
With a thunderous sound, Heavy Airship descends on the Kootenay region of British Columbia like a storm coming in from the Misty Mountain. In just a short time the Nelson-based Led Zeppelin tribute has gained a faithful following in the area and has shared the stage with the likes of Dr. Hook and the legendary BC/DC.
Recreating the classic sound of Led Zeppelin, Heavy Airship consists of Craig Thiessen on vocals, Gus Dixon on guitar, Quillan Hanley on bass guitar and Eddie Thomas on drums.
Kootenays – Retro, Roots, Soul
Velle & Kootenay Soul has a powerful and unique sound that is bold and imaginative with influences that span the last 75 years of contemporary popular music. Her music has been described as retro, roots and soul. A bold songstress from the Central Kootenay in British Columbia (Creston, BC), Velle has toured internationally with previous acts. She captivates the audience with her unique voice – silky and velvety, raspy and sultry. With unbridled energy, she commands and transports the audience to the jazz clubs of New York and the back alleys of New Orleans.
BC – Folk/Family http://www.rickscott.ca/
RICK SCOTT is an award winning singer/ songwriter/ actor who combines music and laughter in lively, participatory concerts for all ages, and is a leading proponent of the Appalachian mountain dulcimer, known by kids around the world as “The Electric Snowshoe”.
With over 35 years of performing, 18 albums, & many projects in many countries, his gift for combining wacky humour and poignant human commentary has earned him a devoted following from all ages. His seven children’s recordings have sold over 90,000 copies and won numerous kudos including three Juno nominations, Parents’Choice, Family Choice, NAPPA Gold, iParenting Media,, West Coast Music, Pacific Music Industry, Canadian Music and Children’s Music Web Awards. Of course, Rick is an integral member, along with Sheri Ulrich and Joe Mock, of the legendary folk trio Pied Pumpkin, who pioneered independent, rogue folk music in BC in the 70’s, touring nationally and selling 30,000 LP’s from the stage.
Kelowna, BC – Kids/Rock’n’Roll
The Oot n’ Oots make kids music that is, to quote Jerry Garcia, not for kids only. Drawingon diverse influences from the history of rock n’ roll, this is a band with chops, soul, andswagger. Their original songs are wildly imaginative, brimming with humour and inspiration.
The band is fronted by 11-year-old vocalist Ruth Cipes with her dad Ezra (vocals, guitar) anduncles Ari (vocals, guitar), Gabe (vocals, bass), and Matthew (vocals, drums). Ruth’s voice hasbeen described as having “the smoky sounds of a jazz chanteuse” and “the earnestness of a1960s folk singer.” Ruth trades lead vocal duties with Ari, who has a melodic tenor and cache of silly voices and characters.
East Shore, Kootenay Lake – Hits from the 20th Century
Born in 2014, The Duvets (A Cover Band) have opened up a new genre on the East Shore, one that might be called, “Wannabe Rock Stars, Meeting Their Dreams.”
The band does this by providing an arena for “never-befores” (and, over the years, a few part time singers) to pick up the mic and rock out to their favorite music. A rotating ensemble of singers has nervously graced the stage over the past four years at three different concert events, backed by an impressive group of local musicians, the regular heart beat of which is the Fukushima-Rael family. This family of musicians and their friends encourage the hatchling singers and give them an opportunity many have never had before.
Kootenays – Hula Hoopers
The Kootenay Hoop Troop formed organically in the spring of 2017. These 4 women all express their own individual hoop style but synchronize together harmoniously, since they are all children at heart who love to play! They carry a unique bond which allows them to come together and dazzle crowds with their amazing energy. They perform locally around the Kootenay region of British Columbia and have also travelled as far as Jasper & Calgary to spread the hoop love!
Starbelly Jam would like to thank these local businesses for helping our festival be a success.
Starbelly Jam Society. ©