Mission Folk Music Festival announces line up for 2021

Online event dubbed Folk at Home, takes place July 23-25

Organizers of the Mission Folk Music Festival have released the line up for this year’s online event, dubbed Folk at Home.

The festival features three main stage concert evening showcases from Friday to Sunday, July 23-25 showcasing an eclectic range of musical talent from Canada and beyond. More than 15 artists and groups are slated to perform — and it’s all free.

“This year, for the 34th edition of Mission Folk, we’re looking forward to giving folks a virtual taste of what our festival is all about,” explained the festival’s artistic director, Michelle Demers Shaevitz.

“We’re excited to present brilliant artists from all across the country along with international, BC-based and local musicians — from the well-known and celebrated to phenomenally talented young discoveries. Festival audiences will experience a showcase of everything from down-home roots music to sounds from the global melting pot, to chamber folk, blues and Celtic, a fusion of West African kora and flamenco, and so much more.”

A special Sunday night (July 25) concert experience called Fathers & Sons is taking place as part of the festival. One of Canada’s best-known voices, Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, along with his sons Devin Cuddy and Sam Polley get together with fellow music legend Barney Bentall and his son Dustin Bentall to share stories and songs about family, music, friendship and life. (Recorded in their respective studios in rural Ontario (Cuddy) and BC’s Cariboo (Bentall).

Also performing are:Talisk (Scotland) One of the most popular, and award-winning, folk groups to emerge from Scotland in the last decade, the trio Talisk fuses concertina, fiddle and guitar to produce a ground-breaking, multi-layered and instantly enthralling signature sound.

Taylor Ashton and Rachael Price (NY): Indie-folk Fish & Bird singer and banjo player, Taylor Ashton teams up with Lake Street Dive lead vocalist (and spouse) Rachel Price in New York for a harmonic musical revelation!

Leela Gilday (YT): This acclaimed Dene singer-songwriter brings her inspired songs of the north, rooted in the stories of the people and the land that created her.

Moskitto Bar (ON): A diversely interested quartet with an original, spirited sound created in the many-cultured hub of Toronto. Their joyful music mixes elements drawn from Ukrainian, Balkan, Middle-Eastern and French Celtic music.

Irish Mythen (PE): Called a “force of nature and a gift from the Almighty Herself”, this Irish-born, PEI-based singer-songwriter was a huge MFMF hit in 2019, armed with only her guitar and a voice of raw power and emotion.

Shari Ulrich Quartet (BC) For over four decades, folk singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Shari Ulrich has been winning hearts (and awards), with her voice, songs and easy on-stage charisma. She’s joined by Julia Graff, Kirby Barber and Cindy Fairbank.

Zal Sissokho Kora Flamenco (Mali/Que): Kora virtuoso Zal Sissokho set out to create music that would combine flamenco with the Mandinka culture of his native West Africa. The result is the inspired Kora Flamenca.

Shred Kelly (BC): A five-piece, alternative folk rock band from the heart of the Rockies shows up with a striking, joy-filled and energy-packed sound that has evolved from a range of eclectic musical influences.

Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys (PE): Led by fiddling wiz Gordie “Crazy Legs” MacKeeman, this roots quartet features all-star pickers and singers, playing everything from down-home bluegrass and country to reckless rockabilly.

Kara-Kata Afrobeat Group (BC): Kara-Kata performs music that’s spicy, exotic and inspiring. Founded and led by Nigerian-born Toyin Kayo-Ajayi, the group honours the Afrobeat genre in their own unique way, sharing African culture, creating community and spreading joy wherever they play.

Liam Docherty (BC): Meet a 14-year-old blues music wunderkind from Vancouver Island — a songwriter, Taylor Guitars partner, and the youngest Maple Blues Award nominee in the 24-year history of the event.

The Oot n’ Oots (BC): The Oot n’ Oots family band make wildly imaginative music brimming with humour and inspiration. This is all-ages music that is, to quote Jerry Garcia, “not for kids only”.

West My Friend (BC) Hailing from Victoria, this trio’s music has been described as “Cascadian third-wave indie chamber folk-roots”. In the modern music landscape, it’s rare to hear something as put-together: layered, intricate, harmonic and utterly engaging.

Full artist descriptions can be found at www.missionfolkmusicfestival.ca

Info on the evening concert showcase performance schedule, Festival Choir, the Festival Store, and Wee Folk programming will be announced soon.