Blues Summit Eight Showcases

About Registration Schedule Showcases Delegates Keynote Hotel Testimonials FAQ

Blues Summit provides artists an opportunity to perform in front of industry professionals. Blues Summit Eight will feature a wide range of showcasers from across Canada.

Delegate passes include full access to Blues Summit events, including all showcases. Those interested in foregoing Blues Summit’s daytime programming but attending the evening showcases can purchase a Weekend Wristband. Weekend wristbands include evening showcases on Friday, Jan 20, Saturday, Jan 21 and Sunday, Jan 22, 2017 (see schedule below).

Showcass Passes TBS Member Rate* Non-Member Rate
Weekend Wristband (Fri-Sun Showcases) $25 (+HST/fee) $30 (+HST/fee)
One-Night-Only Tickets N/A $15 at Door



Friday, January 20, 2017

8:00pm – Mark Crissinger
8:30pm – Cecile Doo-Kingue
9:00pm – Justin Saladino Band
9:30pm – Spencer MacKenzie
10:00pm – Sons of Rhythm
10:30pm – Blackburn
11:00pm – Tim Williams
11:30pm – Sunday Wilde
Midnight – Jennis
12:30am – Adam Karch 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

7:30pm – Digging Roots
8:00pm – Debra Power
8:30pm – Doug Cox & Sam Hurrie
9:00pm – Dione Taylor & The Backsliderz
9:30pm – Bill Johnson
10:00pm – Rooster Davis
10:30pm – The Distillery
11:00pm – Harpdog Brown & The Travelin’ Blues Show
11:30pm – Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley
Midnight – Paul Reddick

Sunday, January 22, 2017

7:30pm – Jesse Roper
8:00pm – Ken Whiteley & Freedom Blues
8:30pm – John Campbelljohn
9:00pm – Angel Forrest
9:30pm – JW-Jones
10:00pm – Khari Wendell McClelland
10:30pm – Michael Schatte
11:00pm – Steve Strongman
11:30pm – MonkeyJunk
Midnight – Jack de Keyzer


Adam Karch | Montreal, QC

adam-karch-1Following his excellent album Blueprints (2014), guitarist and songwriter Adam Karch continues to be inspired by the blues and folk on his new album Moving Forward, lauched in June 2016 on Bros Records. Recorded in Montreal last winter, Moving Forward highlights a new maturity acquired over a year of paying dues and rocky roads. The album not only reveals his incredible talent as a guitarist, but also an authentic voice that fits perfectly into the roots genre. Adam has a raw talent that was evident from the first time he picked up the guitar at the early age of 14.




Angel Forrest | Montreal, QC

angel_forrest_dsc792428x10300dpi-primaryWith a career spanning 29 years, nine albums and winner of the Maple Blues Award for Female Vocalist of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015, Quebec blues belter Angel Forrest released her new album, Angel’s 11 on March 11th. Well known in the Canadian blues scene, Angel performed at major festivals in Canada and Europe, she also had the chance to share the stage with many artists including Jarvis Church Burton Cummings, Shawn Phillips, Thornetta Davis, Eric Burdon and more.There is no question that Angel Forrest is one of the most powerful singers in the contemporary blues scene today. The strength of her performances, her distinctive voice and fiery personality has allowed her to conquer the hearts of thousands of fans around the world.




Bill Johnson | Victoria, BC

Version 4

Bill Johnson’s sound can be described as classic blues for the 21st Century. A gentleman with a smoky baritone voice made for belting out the blues, and a talent for writing clever and catchy tunes, he’s been a popular artist on the westcoast blues scene for decades. His recent release Cold Outside has rekindled the excitement around his 2012 JUNO nomination, and plans to expand touring across Canada promise to alert more fans to his masterful approach to the blues. Bill believes that the mean old blues are still relevant in all our lives, and he keeps his subjects close to his heart, as well as the music.






Blackburn | Toronto, ON

blackburn-640x400An obvious uniqueness that identifies and sets apart the band is that Blackburn is a band of brothers – literally. Duane (lead vocals), Brooke (guitar), Cory (drums) and Robert (harmony vocals and songwriting on the newest release) all share the Blackburn name; a name that has become truly connected to Toronto music history. Musically, the Blackburn name has been forever imprinted in our ears by Bobby Dean Blackburn, an R&B artist who gained legendary status in the Toronto music scene, performing the city circuit for over 30 years. Beyond the music, other history runs deep too. The Blackburn name is tied to the history of the Underground Railroad, and there is a direct connection to the musical talents that we know and listen to today. A thread of Soul in almost every track the band records. Blackburn received the Maple Blues Award for’ Best New Band’ in 2010, and a JUNO nomination for ‘Blues Album of The Year’ in 2016.


Cecile Doo-Kingue | Montreal, QC

Cecile Doo-KingueAn exceptional stage presence, award-winning guitarist-singer-songwriter Cécile Doo-Kingué blends blues, afro-roots and soul to create a unique sound. Considered one of Canada’s finest guitarists, the native New Yorker come Montrealer has shared a stage or recorded with Montreal Jubilation Choir, Eric Andersen, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bernard Purdie, Tricia Foster amongst many, and has released four albums to critical acclaim. Three 2015 Maple Blues Awards nominations and 150 Canadian tour dates set the backdrop for the 2016 release of Anybody Listening Pt.2: Dialogues, the second chapter of her Anybody Listening trilogy launched February 2015. Cécile Doo-Kingué is quickly earning a stellar reputation and place alongside Canada’s current roster of great guitarists.

Powerful and raw, Cécile Doo-Kingué’s lyrics and sound make for enthralling and intimate communion.




Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley | Toronto, ON


Don’t miss this exciting award winning blues couple that have been thrilling audiences from the Georgia Sea Islands to Ireland, from Blues Festivals in New York City and Virginia to concert halls in Moscow, Calgary, Vancouver Island and London England. Featuring Diana’s internationally renowned vocals , and Chris’ award winning skill on guitar, trumpet and harmonica, they draw the audience in with their musicianship, stories and history, and even some “blues dancing.” They combine exciting original songs with blues classics, engaging the audience with a vintage style. Their many awards include 9 Maple Blues Awards , a Gemini Award , the Cable Ace Award, Jazz Report Blues Album of the Year and 6 Juno Nominations.


Digging Roots | Barrie, ON


Digging Roots have toured throughout Canada, Europe and Australia since their JUNO-award winning debut in 2010. Co-writing team Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish were awarded the first Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition at the 2015 Maple Blues Awards for the single “Hwy 17”. The band’s latest album ‘For The Light’ was awarded Aboriginal Album of the Year, 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards and was nominated for a 2015 JUNO award.
New Album Summer 2017.




Dione Taylor & The Backsliderz | Toronto, ON

Dione TaylorDione Taylor is a Juno-nominated, soulful, powerful Canadian female singer/songwriter who released her new album, “Born Free” to rave reviews in late November 2015.

This Saskatchewan-born, Toronto-based artist has been promoting her recording, which she calls ‘The Prairie Blues’, with amazing live performances in clubs & at festivals as well as Live-to-Air TV and radio broadcasts.

Dione Taylor has made a praiseworthy name for herself as one of this country’s most talented artists, performing for audiences that have included the President of the United States and Queen Elizabeth II. She was nominated for a Gemini Award for her rendition of Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn to Freedom,” which she performed alongside Oliver Jones at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala.


Doug Cox and Sam Hurrie | Cumberland, BC

To quote author Spider Robinson; Doug Cox and Sam Hurrie are “two veteran bluesmen who’ve been friends so long, telepathy is effortless by now, playing in a spot so beautiful and acoustically rich it reinspires them with what Buddhists call Beginner’s Mind.” Currently at the height of their powers, these musical “old souls” came by their expertise the old-fashioned way, endlessly honing their skills during a lifetime of performing. They met on the West Coast in the early 90s and have since toured throughout North America and Europe. Things have come full circle, and Doug and Sam are set to release a new CD as they once more hit the touring circuit with renewed energy and an ever-deeper feeling for the music they love.


Harpdog Brown & The Travelin’ Blues Show | Vancouver, BC


He’s been called a Blues Evangelist. “I speak the blues like it’s the truth and it is! I do feel like I’m a servant of the people. And I do heal people-if they listen to the good messages in the songs I choose.”

He is a two-time Maple Blues Award recipient, West Coast Music Award nominee and recent Fraser Valley Music Award recipient. His latest album, Travelin’ With The Blues, features a guest list of some of the best on the blues scene today, including his dear friend Charlie Musselwhite.

Harpdog Brown & The Travelin’ Blues Show is a three piece band that presents original, and some cover, songs in the authentic sound of early electric blues. Audiences love hearing that old vinyl sound live!



Jack de Keyzer | Clarington, ON


jack-de-keyzerBlues guitarist, band leader, singer, song writer Jack de Keyzer plays the blues world wide. His music has taken him from the Arctic Circle to Puerto Escondido, Mexico; Athens, Greece to Hornby Island, BC and many points in between. One of Canada’s most awarded and in demand blues guitarists, Jack has released 9 CD’s and 1 DVD. An exciting live performer, soulful vocalist and world class song writer, de Keyzer performs an average of 120 shows per year and has brought audiences to their feet at many major Jazz and Blues Festivals including the Montreal Jazz Fest, Blues Sur Seine (France), The Ottawa Blues Festival and Puerto Blues (Mexico). Much celebrated, de Keyzer has been nominated for the Juno (Blues Album) 5 X and won the Juno twice in 2003 and 2010. He has also won 7 Maple Blues Awards, (Canada’s national blues awards), 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition and CBC’s  Great Canadian Blues Award from a poll of radio listeners.


Jennis | Guelph/Toronto, ON

jennishires9641While rooted in the blues, Jennis’s rootsy sound blends funk, jazz and folk, with a hint of exotic ethnic influences. Their multi-instrumental music celebrates the mysteries and poignancies of life, rooted in an unapologetic faith in peace and love as the highest powers. Rounding our their original repertoire with covers by faves such as Aretha Franklin, Bill Whithers, Nina Simone, and some American jazz classics, Jennis skillfully entertains wide-ranging audiences with great energy and warmth. With a follow-up in the works to their debut album, The Current, and a Western-Canada tour under their belt, Jennis is ready to rock 2017!



Jesse Roper | Victoria, BC

jesse-roper_blues2Victoria BC’s Jesse Roper is magnetic. With an explosive live show, the genuine quality and charisma of his versatile blues rooted soul, rock and country funk is as approachable as his charm. Since the release of his sophomore album ‘Red Bird’ in 2015, Jesse Roper has been riding a surge of momentum and has becomes a major festival draw, securing direct support to artists including Keith Urban and Colin James. Besides his success with touring, Jesse Roper was chosen to compete at the 2016 International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN. The nostalgic may appreciate his throw-back vibe akin to Stevie Ray Vaughan and vintage Texas blues, however, Roper’s music remains current, his fiery energy captivating audiences while his knock out live performance blows them away.


John Campbelljohn | Dartmouth, NS

john-campbelljohn-3 Born 1955 in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia -blues singer/guitarist/songwriter John Campbelljohn is a multiple award winner. Rolling Stone says, “The string magic of the front man fascinates!”

Blues News Germany says, “What applied to Neil Young or Joni Mitchell in former times, now applies to John Campbelljohn.” John’s been featured on recordings that include Sting, Joni Mitchell, Emmy Lou Harris, Leonard Cohen, Joe Ely & Willie Nelson plus productions by Sony Pictures Television. Rich vocals and distinctive prowess on the slide guitar has made him a favorite at festivals in Canada & Europe. His current album Chin Up is the winner of the 2016 East Coast Music Awards Blues recording Of The Year.


Justin Saladino Band | Montreal, QC

Guitarist / singer-songwriter Justin Saladino was born and raised in Montréal. By the age of 16, he had already collected many accolades. Performing on C.H.O.M. FM in 2006, receiving the 2008 Lys Blues Award for “Upcoming Band of the Year,” and opening for Frank Marino are a few to note. In 2012, the Justin Saladino Band was formed with their debut EP “Sometimes Called the Blues.” In 2016, the Justin Saladino Band launched an all-original EP “No Worries.” With members A.J. Aboud (Drums), Gabriel Forget (Bass), and Felix Blackburn (Guitar), the band brought their widely influenced funk/blues sound around Québec and Ontario, performing at: the Montréal International Jazz Festival, Tremblant International Blues Festival, Rogers Cup, Trois-Rivière en Blues, and Limestone Blues Festival in 2016.



JW-Jones | Ontario, ON


JUNO Award Nominee, Maple Blues Award Winner, and Billboard Top 10 Blues artist JW-Jones tours constantly, and is known for his high-energy live shows.

Jones has released nine albums, and performed in twenty-three countries and four continents. In 2015/2016, JW was invited to join Buddy Guy on stage five times.

Last year, George Thorogood & The Destroyers’ management specifically requested JW-Jones to open several of their tour dates including standing ovations at Massey Hall and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.

JW has just released ‘High Temperature’, produced by Colin Linden in Nashville. “His evolution as a musician and vocalist shine through on this record like never before. Real songs, real playing by real people, and JW is the real deal” – Chuck Leavell (The Rolling Stones)


Ken Whiteley & Freedom Blues | Toronto, ON


Ken Whiteley & Freedom Blues is soulful vocals, outstanding musicianship and an intelligent, original repertoire. Whiteley is a CFMA, Genie Award, FMO Lifetime Achievement winner and been nominated for 15 Maple Blues Awards and 7 Juno Awards.  Ken’s the first Canadian act invited to the Chicago Blues Festival and has performed and recorded with Blind John Davis, The Campbell Brothers, Guy Davis, John Hammond Jr. and countless others.

Propelled by Ken’s powerful vocals and slide guitar, the fabulous Levy Sisters harmonies, Hammond organ, horns and rock solid grooves, they explore freedom’s personal and social dimensions. Grammy winner Rob Bowman says, “Deftly drawing on blues, gospel and folk, Freedom Blues is a landmark album in Whiteley’s career and Canadian roots music in general.”


Khari Wendell McClelland | Vancouver, BC


Khari Wendell McClelland is bending the edges of folk, blues, and soul to create a sound all his own. Reared on gospel, hip hop, folk and soul in Hitsville, USA, the home of Motown Records, Khari began his musical education early. Every Sunday provided lessons in the roots of African American music and cultural expression, through the wafting sounds of Gospel, every other day, the sounds of hip hop and contemporary R&B blared from car speakers and boom boxes.

When hearing his sound one is reminded of Bill Withers and contemporary artists such a Tobias Jesso Jr. and Leon Bridges – the richness of traditional forms interwoven with elements of contemporary urban grit and whispers of melancholy.


Michael Schatte | Toronto, ON

Michael Schatte

Michael Schatte (pronounced SHAW-tee) probably wouldn’t call himself a Bluesman.  And yet since January, the Canadian guitarist, vocalist and songwriter has found himself a top-eight finalist at the 2015 Memphis International Blues Challenge, the winner of the 2015 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search, and by year’s end he’ll have hit the main stage on several major stops of the Canadian blues and jazz festival circuit.

Though he loves the blues (and evidently does it well), it’s just one ingredient in the eclectic brew of originalrock, blues, rockabilly, bluegrass, and celtic he’s been writing, recording, and performing throughout his career. This blend of genres, often described as contemporary roots, is delivered with stunning impact on his new album, Turn Back the Vikings. Vikings confirms what fans of Michael’s recorded catalogue and high-energy live shows have long known: this is a musician headed for widespread recognition. Recorded in Toronto and mixed in Austin, Texas by Simon Tassano (the live and studio engineer of choice for folk-rock legend Richard Thompson, whose Sam Jones is the sole cover song on Turn Back the Vikings), the new album is Michael’s finest work to date.


MonkeyJunk | Ottawa, ON

In 8 1/2 years, Ottawa, Canada based MonkeyJunk has worked off of a strong foundation of traditional blues and built a fortress of sound incorporating a wide range of influences that includes many styles of blues. R&B, funk, jazz, country and rock ‘n’ roll. Since 2009, MonkeyJunk has released 5 records all on the Stony Plain label, distributed by Warner Music Canada. The latest, Time To Roll is a snapshot of where the band has arrived. Their busy touring schedule has taken them to 13 different countries around the world helping to earn them accolades such as 1 Juno Award (2 nominations), a collective 20 Maple Blues Awards, a 3rd place finish at the International Blues Challenge, a Blues Music Award and many more.


Rooster Davis Group | Edmonton, AB


The Rooster Davis Group is an Alberta based band whose style is centered around the piano traditions of New Orleans; a fun, danceable mix of blues, jazz, and New Orleans funk. Their music has all the bounce and drive the music of New Orleans is known for and as a result has been successful in all types of venues from folk to jazz and blues.

Lead by David Aide (Rooster Davis), the band is a mini super group, boasting some of Alberta’s greatest talent in its line up, with each member having strong individual careers, both freelancing and as bandleaders.


Sons of Rhythm | Toronto, ON

Sons of Rhythm

Take an energetic blues sound, mix it with a modern edge, throw in four magnetic personalities, and you’ll have the powerhouse band that is Sons of Rhythm. The group, comprised of bassist and vocalist Mick Maratta, guitarist Federico Luiu, pianist and saxophonist Anthony Brancati, and drummer Mike Carbone, has made a name for itself on the Toronto music scene with their unique sound and lively performances. Sons of Rhythm captivates audiences with their creative arrangements of old standards as well as catchy, energetic originals. In addition to performing across Ontario, Sons of Rhythm is currently working on their debut album release.


Spencer MacKenzie | Ridgeway, ON

Spencer MacKenzie

16 year-old guitarist/singer Spencer Mackenzie has been making a name for himself in Southern Ontario by performing with some notable heavyweights on the blues music scene and earning praise everywhere he goes. In 2013 he won the Niagara Music Awards Rising Star award and performed in the 2016 Youth Showcase at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. In May 2016 he released his debut CD Infected With The Blues.



Steve Strongman Band | Hamilton, ON


Award-winning Canadian bluesman Steve Strongman is a versatile talent, and a restless one. By constantly pushing himself in new directions, he has kept himself vital. His talent is impossible to miss, and it’s matched by his staggering musical ambition — as guitar-slinger, songwriter or vocalist. Strongman’s impressive resume includes stints opening for legends like Johnny Winter, B.B. King and Buddy Guy. The performer’s breakthrough 2012 release A Natural Fact earned three Maple Blues Awards as well as a 2013 Juno Award for Blues Recording Of The Year. In 2014 he was again thrice-nominated at the Maple Blues Awards and in 2015 received a Juno nomination for Blues Album of the Year. He returns in 2017 with a bold new album, No Time Like Now.


Sunday Wilde | Atikokan, ON

sunday-wildeSunday wilde, Atikokan On, is known for her distinct vocals reminiscent of the female blues singers of a bygone era combined with her own brand of boogie piano style. She is a songwriter who explores the subjects of grief, addiction, love, MEN and the torment of social dysfunction. With six releases under her belt she has garnered many accolades worldwide most notably; 2x Voters Choice award for the Best Blues song for the Independent Music Awards, 2x Winner of Best International Blues Release on Blues411, Finalist in the International Songwriting Competition and #1 on BB King’s Bluesville.






The Distillery | Toronto, ON

distilleryThe Distillery is a very charming blues group that can appear to be deceptively mellow at times. Please don’t relax too much, as they bring out the sabre tooth tiger when you least expect it. The Distillery have toured through the US and Canada including the House of Blues in Chicago, multiple packed nights in NYC, and an impromptu performance at US border control. The band has performed at festivals such as Tremblant International Blues Festival, Southside Shuffle, Lighthouse Blues Festival, TD Toronto Jazz Festival, JUNOFest, Barrie Jazz & Blues Festival, and more.

Check out the band’s award-winning debut WHAT YOU TOLD ME (2011), HOW WE CARRY ON (2015), and THE DISTILLERY (2016). The Distillery is also featured on the TBS compilation FRESH BAKED BLUES.


Tim Williams | Calgary, AB

tim-williamsTim Williams began his career in the coffee houses of Southern California in the mid-1960s and learned his craft first-hand from the likes of Lightning Hopkins, Pee Wee Crayton and Mississippi Fred McDowell, as well as from the many fine country, Hawaiian and Mexican musicians he was exposed to in his teens. A resident of Canada since 1970, Tim has toured much of the world as a solo acoustic blues act (Canada, U.S.A., Mexico, Cuba, U.K., Morocco, Italy, Slovenia, Australia) performing at clubs, concert halls and festivals. His instrumental skills are frequently compared to Ry Cooder, and in recent years he has won numerous awards including Best Solo/Duo and Best Guitarist Solo/Duo at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.