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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Transcending language barriers, Ottoman music was born out of vast empires as musicians from Baghdad, Cairo, Andalusia and beyond, traveled from court to court. Inspired by these multi-layered influences, Ensemble Zaman, revives a rare repertoire of the Levant region, covering dialects from classical Turkish Sanat Musigi, to classical Arabic chants, the Muwashahat.
Since 2014, Ensemble Zaman based in Canada, has performed in Montreal’s Maisons de la culture, as well as Festival Accès Asie, Maison de la Syrie, Festival des Traditions du Monde de Sherbrooke and Festival du Monde Arabe. The group has also participated for benefit concerts with diverse causes such as Amnisty International and Syrian Kids Foundation.
During the BC tour, Lamia Yared on vocals will be accompanied by Nazih Borish oud, Nathaniel Huard on percussions- Bendir and Riqq, as well as Naeem Shanwar on Qanun.
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.
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.
Early bird tickets available now!
Starbelly Jam Society. ©