FREEDOM SINGER: A Project Humanity Production

The Calgary Folk Music Festival presents:

FREEDOM SINGER: A Project Humanity Production

Fri · February 17, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Festival Hall

Calgary, AB

$15.00 - $25.00

FREEDOM SINGER is the new theatrical concept inspired by the remarkable journey of singer-songwriter and member of Vancouver's The Sojourners, Khari Wendell McClelland. In 2015, JUNO-nominated McClelland retraced the steps of his great-great-great grandmother Kizzy and - using contemporary styles like hip-hop, funk and soul - personalized the songs that likely accompanied her and thousands of others as they escaped U. S. slavery. In sharing this music, Khari is brought face to face with his own "unrecorded" heritage, and the realities and myths of one of our quintessential historic narratives: the Underground Railroad.

Noah Walker
Noah Walker
Noah Walker is a guitar player and teacher from Vancouver, Canada. He has played music all over the world, from Turkey to Tokyo and Dawson City to New York City. He is a longtime collaborator with underground legend C.R. Avery, fronts his own rock n' roll project The Broken Mirrors, and is a busy sideman/secret weapon of countless other bands.
Tanika Charles
Tanika Charles
“[T]he most buzzed-about soul singer in Toronto.” -CBC Music

In a few short years Tanika Charles has transformed from an emerging solo artist to a commanding performer and band leader, a staple of the Canadian soul scene. Both on stage and off, Edmonton-raised Charles presents an immutable charm, at times endearingly abrasive and honest in her vulnerabilities. Her art is inherently autobiographical. If Tanika’s singing it, she’s lived it.

In May of 2016 Tanika Charles’ released her Polaris Prize-nominated debut LP, Soul Run. The album’s first single and title track, a tale of withered romance and high octane escape, has landed regular national radio rotation, as has the second single “Two Steps”. Production work on the album is handled by Slakah the Beatchild (Glenn Lewis, Melanie Durrant), Daniel Lee (Hooded Fang, Phedre), Emdee and 2nd Son (allie), Christopher Sandes (The Big Sound), and Big Tweeze (Theo 3, Adam Bomb). The overarching sound is classic soul and heavy drums, without the need for retro crutches. Soul Run received overwhelmingly positive reviews with Now Magazine giving it an NNNN rating, and Exclaim! declaring it an 8/10.

“The passion, heartache and hell fury of a woman scorned are captured with crystal clarity and conviction…” -Now Magazine

Since 2010 Tanika has been lighting up stages near and far. Backed by her band The Wonderfuls, they have played festivals like NXNE, Pop Montreal, CBC Music Fest, TD Toronto Jazz Fest, TD Markham Jazz Fest, the AGO Massive Party, the Pan Am Games, and many more. Following the release of Soul Run, Tanika embarked on a successful 12 city Canadian tour from Montreal to Vancouver. On stage she has sang alongside the likes of Emmanuel Jal, Fred Penner, Donna Grantis, Johnny Reid, Bedouin Soundclash, and others.

Tanika has also appeared on television both as a reoccurring guest on CBC Kids, and as a lounge singer on Global TV’s Bomb Girls drama series. Her music has been featured on HBO’s Less Than Kind, ABC’s Rookie Blue, The CW’s Seed, and CTV’s Saving Hope.

“You can’t keep the soul of Toronto down.” -Exclaim! Magazine
Khari Wendell McClelland
Khari Wendell McClelland
Khari Wendell McClelland is a diversely talented and ever-evolving musician. Originally from Detroit, Khari has become a darling on the Vancouver music scene with reviewers lauding his performances as a clever mix of soul and gospel. Khari’s songwriting crosses genres and generations, joyfully invoking the spirit of his ancestors who straddled the United States-Canada border in efforts to escape slavery and discrimination. His music draws from this rich history, integrating the rhythms and folklore of early African-Americans with contemporary sounds and stories of struggle. Recently, Khari received critical acclaim for his Freedom Singer project, recreating the music fugitive slaves carried on their journey north into Canada. Whether on stage or in the studio, Khari's passion for community, equality and justice is palpable, as is his belief in the redemptive power of music.

His debut solo album "Fleeting Is The Time" is fresh off the press and it is a brilliant body of work. Some songs make you want to cry, others make you want to dance, while many make you want to do both.

Khari’s recent jazz festival performances in Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver left audiences and reviewers wanting more. Opening for both Andra Day and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Khari is at home with Soul and R&B giants.

Khari's performances are evocative and confirm how powerful his voice and stage presence are. He sings as if he swallowed an amplifier, reaching the last seats in the room with operatic clarity. Khari's poetic mind and open heart are omni-present in his genre-defying music. He is a rare breed and reminds us why we love genuine music.
Venue Information:
Festival Hall
1215 10 Ave SE
Calgary, AB, T2G 0W6