Public showcase with five selected artists to happen on Sept. 14
(Calgary, AB – August 24, 2023) The National Music Centre (NMC) is pleased to announce Dani Lion, Fawn and Dallas, Frannie Klein, J.Otis, and LJ Tyson as the Indigenous musicians selected to participate in the OHSOTO’KINO Music Incubator program, which will run next month and culminate in a live showcase on September 14 at the King Eddy.
Hailing from the Saik'uz First Nation in B.C., Dani Lion (a.k.a. Danielle Mueller) is a Dakelh Dene and Secwepemc performing artist, audio engineer, and music producer based out of Vancouver.
Fawn Wood and Dallas Waskahat who perform together as Fawn and Dallas are a powwow and round dance duo hailing from the Frog Lake First Nation in Treaty 6. Wood’s singing reflects her Cree and Salish tribal lineage, and she has won many accolades for her traditional music including a spot in NMC’s Speak Up! exhibition in 2023. Dallas Waskahat is a singer, drummer and educator who works to empower, strengthen, and maintain Indigenous culture through the power of his voice, music, and leadership.
Anishinaabe prairie singer-songwriter Frannie Klein grew up along the shores of Lake Manitoba. Self-described as “Manitoba’s honky tonk queen,” she has a classic-country sound, and a sassy lyrical dynamic.
J.Otis is a hip-hop/R&B producer and audio engineer from Fort Albany Cree First Nation in Ontario. He is also the founder of independent label, 67 Records.
A singer-songwriter from Big River First Nation in Saskatchewan, LJ Tyson blends a folk-pop sound with themes that reflect the artist’s two-spirit identity.
“We’re excited to offer these selected artists incredible mentorship and access to world-class facilities at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre,” said David McLeod (member of the Pine Creek First Nation in Treaty 1), NMC Board Member and Chair of NMC's National Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee. “They will certainly flourish and grow from the experience which ultimately strengthens the position of Indigenous voices within the music industry.”
The five selected artists will converge at Studio Bell in Mohkinstsis (Calgary), for five days to learn new skills, connect with music industry experts from across the country, and hone their craft and professional chops. Artists for the music incubator were selected by NMC’s National Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee, which includes First Nation, Métis and Inuit representation, and acts as a guiding voice for NMC Indigenous programs and content.
Launched in early 2022, OHSOTO’KINO is an Indigenous programming initiative supported by TD that focuses on three elements: creation of new music in NMC’s recording studios, artist development through a music incubator program, and storytelling through NMC exhibitions via the annually updated Speak Up! gallery and through content on NMC’s Amplify platform. OHSOTO’KINO is a Blackfoot phrase, which means ‘to recognize a voice of.’ This title acknowledges both the Blackfoot people and the territory on which National Music Centre resides.
As previously announced in the spring, Inuit-style throat singing duo PIQSIQ, and acclaimed nehiyaw (Plains Cree) powwow and round dance group Blackstone Singers were each awarded an OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary to record a commercial album at Studio Bell. The Speak Up! exhibition was also updated in June with a new roster of Indigenous trailblazers, including Tom Jackson, Elisapie, Ferron, Fawn Wood, and Drezus. The current version of the exhibition can be visited until June of 2024.
The OHSOTO’KINO Music Incubator Showcase takes place at the King Eddy on September 14 at 7:00 pm and admission will be free to the public. Visit studiobell.ca/whats-on for more information.
Julijana Capone, Senior Publicist
National Music Centre
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