Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Jojo spent most of his early years like many true Canadian kids – playing hockey on ice rinks and frozen lakes. With the opportunity of a successful career in the sport, he relocated to Victoria, BC to play at the junior ranks, but this pursuit suddenly came to a screeching halt after suffering a herniated disk.
Some say everything happens for a reason and some believe in fate. Whatever the case, Jojo’s irresistible personality and voice caught the attention of songwriter and producer Dan Swinimer. He signed to Manicdown Productions in 2014 and released his debut single, “It’s All Good,” in early 2015. It reached the top 10 on the Billboard Canada Country chart. Mason’s second single, “Good Kinda Love,” was released in November 2015. He signed to 604 Records for the release of his third single, “Red Dress,” in May 2016. Jojo’s music is about having fun, appreciating life, and sharing stories. It is passionately country but with no fear of a deep groove, fresh lyric, or original melody.
What started 13 years ago as a youth world music initiative has metamorphosized into the crowd pleasing percussion explosion known today as Kutapira! The name Kutapira means “sweetness” in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, a fitting title for a band that plays a fusion of Zimbabwean marimba with West African and Afro-Cuban percussion and more. This highly stylized marimba fusion consists of some contemporary Zimbabwean tunes but the majority of the music is composed and arranged by Kutapira and inspired by genres like Reggae, Funk, Latin Jazz, Samba, Cumbia, Disco and Hip Hop. For years they performed exclusively as a mallet swinging, skin-slapping quintet but now, in their latest evolutionary form, feature guitar and vocals.
Founded by Pip Dhaliwal (Drums), Nick Chowlia (Keyboards), Inder Kooner (Vocals), Ricky Thinda (Bass), and Karm Cooner (Dhol), En Karma has been steadily building an international name as the Bhangra scene’s ‘indie rockers.’ Its debut album En Karma hit #1 on the iTunes world music charts, followed up with Enkarmafied, which hit #2 on the iTunes world music charts. Performing shows and festivals around North America to very mixed diversities and backgrounds since 2007, audiences have been blown away by the band’s electrifying energy. En Karma is a distinct and unmatched commodity in the Bhangra industry. The only Bhangra band in North America, En Karma’s members deliver musicianship and performance abilities without compare.
J Knutson (from Spirit of the West) has joined forces with Vancouver violinist Gabriel Dubreuil, bassist Will Ross and percussionist Ben Kelly, to bring an innovative fusion of music from the Celtic and North American fiddle traditions and Jazz to the stage. They honour the spontaneity of improvised music while keeping the intimacy and pace of Celtic music and songs from earlier days of Spirit of the West. Described as “fast-rising” (The Georgia Straight) and a “coup-de-coeur” (Radio-Canada/CBC) Early Spirit sails its way into your heart and soul.
Marcus Mosely Chorale and Perry Ehrlich’s ShowStoppers
The Marcus Mosely Chorale (MMC) is comprised of 60+ singers that focus on Gospel music with influences of jazz, pop and R&B. Now in its seventh year, the MMC recently recorded a CD called “Labour of Love.” They have performed at the Con Brio Music Festival in Whistler, the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver, the “Out for Lunch” concert series at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Vancouver Jazz Festival Vespers, the Dundarave Festival of Lights, the 55+ BC Games, and the Mission Music Festival.
Perry Ehrlich’s ShowStoppers is a GLEE troupe that has performed with Barry Manilow and Eric Church at Rogers Arena; with the legendary group Foreigner at the PNE; on Canada Day at Canada Place; Honda Celebration of Light; singing the anthems for the Vancouver Canucks; opening of the Variety Club Telethon; and at numerous galas, awards dinners, corporate and charitable events throughout the Lower Mainland.
Wild Moccasin Dancers
The Wild Moccasin Dancers are a dynamic dance duo. They display the beauty and vibrancy of pow wow culture through their dances. Get inspired by their intricate footwork, the beauty of their regalia and the powerful sounds of the drum.
Coast Capital Savings Youth Zone
Casinos started playing shows in the Fraser Valley in 2010, and in its most current iteration the band performs songs influenced by the popular UK rock bands that they listened to as kids. The four-piece has headlined Jam in Jubilee music festival twice (the annual summer music festival in their hometown of Abbotsford, B.C.) and has been twice nominated for the Fraser Valley Music Awards (FVMAs). Their penchant for UK-rock sounds was especially well-noted when they were invited to open for the glam-rock revivalists The Struts at the Imperial Theatre, in Vancouver, B.C. in Nov. 2016.
Casinos has an international vision for the reach of their music and they aim to become more prolific artists and performers. They will soon produce a music video and live session video sponsored by the FVMAs and Cassiar Film Co., and they are already producing new records for 2018.
The Tourist Company
There’s no eloquent way of putting it; our world can be a bit too much at times. With their new single “Spokane,” Tourist Company hopes to offer a momentary respite from the endless barrage of society.
Since their inception in 2013, Tourist Company have become one of Vancouver’s standout indie acts, charting nationally, and garnering praise from critical publications, with their debut record Apollo landing on The Georgia Straight’s Best Records of 2016 list. Tourist Company is currently recording their sophomore record.
Leisure Club is a home for the conjuring of pop songs focused on groove, catchy guitar melodies, and vocal hooks. Although the Vancouver five piece was forged in 2016 by their mutual interest in living the most relaxed life possible, their live performances inspire a rhythm in the crowd akin to spring break. This has led to them sharing the stage with the likes of Blossoms, Lawrence, Cub Sport, Louise Burns, and a performance at Ponderosa Festival.
Saddling up with producer Shawn Cole (You Say Party, Yukon Blonde, Bend Sinister), the group headed to The Noise Floor on Gabriola to record their debut self-titled LP with Jordan Koop manning the board. Released in the fall of 2017, Leisure Club looks forward to sharing its nostalgic charm and summer breeze across North America.
Sister Says is a soulful indie pop group based out of Vancouver fronted by mixed Haida-Tsimshian siblings Gillian and Robert Thomson. Dreamy, eclectic and lyrically rich, Sister Says’ roots stem from the soul, blues and pop music the two grew up around as children. Performing at festivals and an array of venues across Canada, a highlight includes performing at the BC Pavilion in Beijing and at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.
“Big change is coming” is JP Maurice’s anthemic promise to anyone who has seen their share of adversity. This seasoned Vancouver based musician, songwriter and producer knows the highs of his craft, but it’s in the lows where he finds his fire – taking the fuel of failed record deals, broken hearts, and the loss of loved ones and forging the pain into something beautifully optimistic.
After touring Canada, Europe, and then taking home 2nd place in the PEAK Performance Project radio contest in 2015, a loss in the family turned Maurice mostly inwards, where he focused on channeling his emotions into his art. Investing in his own studio allowed for late night collaborations, producing other artists, and creating endless song ideas. The result was over 15 new recordings that eventually got divided into 2 albums, the Girls EP (2017), which sweeps from cinematic pop-noir into slinky neo-soul, and the Boys LP (2018), which takes a more upbeat turn into acoustic pop. Both are tied together with Maurice’s powerfully emotive vocals, and knack for catchy melodies.
Weaves have gone from a collection of voice memos on Jasmyn Burke’s iPhone to establishing themselves as one of the most stridently individual acts to emerge from Toronto’s fertile and multifaceted DIY scene. Led by the collaborative efforts of Jasmyn Burke and Morgan Waters, the band have built a devoted audience while capturing the attention of the international media with a brand of ebullient, art-damaged pop music as difficult to categorize as it is to ignore. With 2017 and 2018 JUNO nominations for Alternative Album of the Year, and a Polaris short-list nod for their self-titled debut, Weaves possess the sound of a band propelled forward by the thrill of discovering the limits of their sound and gleefully pushing past them.