Starting in June and running weekly throughout the Summer, the Distillery District will ring out with the sounds of some of Canada’s best and brightest rising musical stars playing Roots, Folk, Trad, and Americana! Saturday afternoons from 2pm, we’ll be featuring a wide variety of performances in historic Trinity Square in the heart of the Distillery District. Pack a picnic, or get something to go from one of our fabulous restaurants, and listen while surrounded by the romantic ambiance of the Distillery District.
Saturday June 4
2pm Kaia Kater
Few are more conscious in their journey through Appalachian histories and the Canadian musical landscape than Kaia. Born in Montreal, Kaia has lived Winnipeg, Wakefield and, most recently, West Virginia, she now resides in Toronto. Her old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements, and songwriting abilities have landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as Rolling Stone, CBC Music and The Roots Music Report. Often praised for her capacity to sound new and old at once, Kaia anchors her music the space where tradition and innovation intersect
4pm Hare Brain
Is it Folk-Jazz or Improv Americana? Who’s to say? But for sure, the music is incredible, the artists playing with skill and wit and the enjoyment that comes from dancing on the cliff-edge, musically-speaking. Featuring Anh Phung, Jaron Freeman-Fox, and Alan Mackie, they’re sure to delight
Saturday, June 11
Ozere’s rich instrumental tone, interesting rhythms and inspired compositions create a music that feels profoundly comfortable and yet also very fresh and different, allowing the traditions of Folk and Chamber music to merge and alter without losing their essence
4pm Sarah Jane Scouten
Sarah Jane Scouten is the real new deal. New songs that seem instantly familiar, written in the old time style. Beautiful delivery and phrasing, imaginative narratives, and excellent musicianship. Not to be missed!
Saturday, June 18
2pm Graham Nicholas
Great storytelling and an irreverent sense of humour are the hallmarks of Graham Nicholas’ music.
4pm Kristine Schmitt
Whether it’s a fifties country ballad, an old mountain tune, a salty twenties blues number, a swinging thirties jazz tune, or belting out one of her own, you’d better hang on tight!
Saturday, July 9
From her fingerpicked guitar to her melodic, hushed-yet-powerful voice, she holds the audience enraptured with every note.
4pm The O’Pears
The O’Pears are a female folk trio based in Toronto. With their homegrown musicality, sibling-like blend, and lyrical sensibility, The O’Pears, with their signature jaw-dropping harmonies, hold listeners captive.
Saturday, July 16
2pm The Jessica Stuart Few
The Jessica Stuart Few mix musicality, humour, voice, creativity, rhythm, folk, and jazz into their songs. The music remains accessible, warm, and unpretentious – a perfect blend of skill and feeling.
4pm Harrogate Grammar
This combined choir, jazz, and wind band are made up of students from Harrogate Grammar School in Harrogate, England!
Saturday, July 23
2pm Katie DuTemple
Born in Montreal and raised in Toronto, Istanbul and Prague, Katie discovered a love for singing at the age of fifteen while living abroad. Her formative sonic loves are soul, trip hop and jazz.
4pm Donné Roberts
Juno-award winning Donné Roberts is a guitarist, singer and songwriter from Madagascar. Donné Roberts is a passionate performer. When he hits the stage he carries with him an energy that immediately exhilarates the crowd even if they’ve never heard his music before.
Saturday, July 30
2pm Lakes of Canada
Founded in 2010 in Montreal, Lakes of Canada is a five piece progressive folk-rock group with gospel and soul vocal harmonies. The music is energetically grandiose, with choral and orchestral folk-rock evoking the classical origins of the concept album in oratorios and orchestral tone poems.
4pm Crooked House Road
Known for rich harmony, powerful vocalists and honest storytelling, folk/blues band Crooked House Road, helmed by Shaina Silver-Baird’s powerhouse vocals, is a band to watch out for.
Saturday, August 6
2pm Gillian Nicola
Calling on influences of Folk, Rock, and Alt-Country, the first thing that strikes listeners about Gillian Nicola is the strength of her vocals. Nicola’s vocal delivery is full of power, while remaining authentic and vulnerable.
Describing her music as ‘FolkPopTronica,’ Kat Burns’ (KASHKA) lyrics coupled with a steady, confident delivery prove poetic and touching.
Saturday, August 13
Saturday, August 27
2pm Lotus Wight
Lotus Wight is the nom-de-guerre of Toronto native Sam Allison, a songster, poet, fiddler, banjo historian and instrument creator who also makes up one-third of the ragtime trio Sheesham, Lotus and ‘Son. Wight’s imaginative take on traditional repertoire makes for compelling listening, drawing on Folk influences stretching back beyond recorded music.
4pm Christa Couture
Christa Couture has built a reputation for transforming tragedy into musical triumph, capturing tiny snapshots of grief and elevating each to a unique work of art – sometimes desolate but more often uplifting in its encapsulation of a single treasured memory or moment of hope.