Aboriginal Music Week (AMW) 2012 will take place October 30-November 4, 2012 in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada). The efstuval show cases the sonic creativity of Fuirst Nations, Inuit, Métis, and other indigenous musicians.
“Live music performances can really show both Native and non-Native people that Aboriginal culture is rich and vibrant and really interesting, especially when the quality is outstanding and the artist is innovative,” explains festival curator Alan Greyeyes. “It’s a different story from what you hear on our six o’clock news, about violence and troubled lives. Though we’ve always focused on building our young Native audience, we’re seeing more and more non-Native people coming to the festival.”
The festival is not merely about showcasing established, well-honed artists, but also inviting newcomers to the performance circuit to show their art.
“For newer artists, we do our best to help them get ready for the next level,” Greyeyes explains, “from giving them templates for stage plots and technical riders, to editing biographies and providing feedback on press materials.”
“I hope that our festival’s rapid growth demonstrates to bigger festivals in Winnipeg and beyond that the Aboriginal community is interested in live music and will buy tickets,” Greyeyes explains. “I feel strongly that the best way to attract this emerging audience is to program Aboriginal artists and I think that a lot of the Canadian folk festivals are definitely booking more than one token Aboriginal act each year. That’s really encouraging.”
AMW is also working to support and further develop artists via Canada’s network of Aboriginal media, the radio stations and Winnipeg-based national TV station that serve the country’s 633 First Nation communities. That’s why the festival is creating its first compilation CD, to be distributed to stations as giveaways to community listeners and to highlight this AMW edition’s artists.
“A lot of the major cities in Canada have their own Aboriginal radio station, and there are a number on reserves throughout Canada,” notes Greyeyes. “Their programming services the community and they play music that community members request. We’re hoping to develop fans for our festival artists, one song at a time.”
This year’s lineup features:
* Brazil’s funk carioca idol Zuzuka Poderosa
* Edgy, otherworldly Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq
* The bumping electronic music and multimedia audacity of global bass favoritesA Tribe Called Red
* The gritty, bluesy country of elder musician Murray Porter
* Bluesman, actor (Jarmusch’s Ghostdog), and Aboriginal arts advocate Gary Farmer
* The electro-pop-tinged hip hop of LightningCloud
*Artful alt-country singer-songwriter Samantha Crain
* Métis storyteller Moe Clark, who uses loops of words to evoke striking, grooving soundscapes.
Festival passes go on sale August 7, 2012. See www.aboriginalmusicweek.ca for details.