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Dead SouthSASKATOON - SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival recently announced the 2017 Groove Series Lineup. Featured artists/groups include: Nomadic Massive, Simpy Saucer, Banda Magda & more.

More details from SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival (www.saskjazz.com):

SASKATOON, April 13, 2017 - Music fans eagarly awaiting the late night lineup from the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival need not wait any longer! Today the festival announces The Dead South, Nomadic Massive, Begonia, Simply Saucer, Banda Magda, Reuben and the Dark and many more making up the 2017 Groove Series. 

The shows will be held between Amigos Cantina and the Capitol Music Club over the 10 day event, June 23 to July 2, 2017. All shows within the Groove Series are cover charge. To explore all shows added to the lineup and create your custom schedule visit the festival website. (Note: all Groove Series shows will be included as of noon on Thursday, April 13th.)

Explore the Lineup

This announcement compliments shows already announced, including Amanda Marshall, Walk off the Earth, Ms. Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Ziggy Marley and many others. Tickets are all on sale now on the Festival website, at the Box Office located on the 7th Floor of the Bessborough Hotel or by phone 306.652.6200


They wear white shirts and black suspenders, black pants and traveller's hats. They sing about murderous, estranged spouses and runaway lover cousins in a boot-stomping acoustic configuration that includes banjo, mandolin, cello and guitar, some whistles, hoots and hollerin’, and finger snappin’. Sometimes their fans dress up like them too and dance and sing the night away – but that’s not mandatory.

Their full-length album, Good Company (Curve/eOne), is full of rousing bluegrass kickers that challenge you not to smile or do a little jig, or, heck, even head-bang. They’ve played them all over Europe and the U.K. multiple times, as well as Canada and into the U.S., enthralling fans who just can’t get enough.

The Dead South shared a special performance with Jazz Festival Fans! 




Montreal’s own Nomadic Massive has firmly established itself as a group of premier performers and skilled musicians in a genre that has evolved from its early days of two turntables and a microphone. These musical nomads represent an open-minded hip hop, which finds its inspiration in the traditions of the past; combining live instrumentation, samples, and a wide array of vocal styles. This multilingual, multicultural, super-group has become synonymous with energetic and crowd-moving live shows.

Sharing the stage with such notable acts as Ariane Moffatt, An Chante Pou Ayiti, Wyclef Jean, K’naan and Guru’s Jazzmatazz; Nomadic has also performed at world-renowned festivals including the Beaches International Jazz Festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Toronto's Global Rhythms Festival and the Harbourfront Global Hip Hop Festival. After being voted best Hip Hop local act in the MIRROR two years in a row, Nomadic Massive was nominated for best Hip Hop album of the year in 2009 at La GAMIQ, and for best web video of the year in 2010 at le Gala SOBA for the song Moving Forward.

The group has initiated socio-cultural exchanges with like-minded artists from Sao Paolo, Brazil and Havana, Cuba. In both countries, these initiatives involved educational and musical workshops, concerts and studio collaborations. From these enriching exchanges, the grassroots Get Down mix-tape series came to life; showcasing the collaborations as well as solo contributions from Brazilian and Cuban artists. Functioning somewhat as ambassadors, Nomadic continues to redefine what Hip Hop can achieve on a global level.

With the first critically acclaimed EP Nomads Land, more than 4000 copies were sold independently on the strength of the group's performances before inking a distribution deal with Montreal-Toronto based Public Transit Recordings. As the group's ongoing explorations open up new ways to interpret a musical style that has traditionally been marginalized, the “more” that has always existed in the Hip Hop movement is revealed in everything that is Nomadic Massive. Their new full-length, self-titled opus recorded between Havana and Montreal features the full Nomadic Massive roster and showcases musicians from all over the world.

It perfectly represents the spirit of the group's live performance. Positively Hip Hop, the record seamlessly swings between Soul, Reggae, Jazz, Blues, Afro-Caribbean, Latin-American and North-African influences on which percussive and reflective lyrics are intelligently delivered in five languages. Explosive!


On one end of the spectrum there are varieties of the Begonia which can be a dark, grievous, rough around the edges. And on the other end, a petite and elegant flower. In between, the plant attempts to harmonize its two poles, forming an array of varieties that each borrow from the delicate and the unseemly. It is in this same vein that Begonia (Alexa Dirks) finds herself, trying to find a balance.

Known for her voice in the Juno Award winning harmony driven group Chic Gamine, Dirks has a timbre that recalls the golden age of soul, proud and courageous. And yet it still returns to the ground, finding a quietness, a hesitant intimacy. Joined in studio by producers Matt Schellenberg (Royal Canoe) and Matt Peters (Royal Canoe, Close Talker), the collection of songs that forms Begonia’s Lady In Mind lets the extremes of Dirks’ past and present coalesce into a sound that is both battle hymn and breakbeat body mover, incorporating themes which are confident in and of themselves, and yet sometimes caught in the middle.


If you're a serious afficionado of underground rock music history, hearing Simply Saucer for the first time borders on the miraculous, perhaps just a notch down from Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Their music was the offspring of the dense, abrasive, streetwise proto-punk of the Stooges' Funhouse and the Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat, the proto-metal crunch of the Kinks at their very loudest, the moody and ethereal intricacy of early Pink Floyd, and the huge, hypnotic electronics-laden grooves of Can. They also added a brilliant sci-fi element, offering lyrics about cyborgs and metalloid bodies while making ample use of the theremin and loopy sound generators -- in addition to their potent dual guitar attack and ferocious runaway rhythm section.

It seems impossible that such a well-executed combination of rock primitivism and arty aspiration could pass so completely under the radar, but that's just what happened with Simply Saucer, who conducted wild experimental/psych freakout sessions from 1974 until 1978 to almost no acclaim outside of their native town of Hamilton, an industrial city south of Toronto. Their locale no doubt contributed to their obscurity, especially since they rarely played live outside Ontario, and never outside Canada. That goofy name -- based on Floyd's Saucerful of Secrets and the U.K. band Just Us -- probably didn't help matters much either. The biggest problem though, was that they left behind almost no recorded output.

Fortunately for us, that changed in 1989 when a tiny, now defunct Hamilton label called Mole Records issued Cyborgs Revisited, featuring nine Saucer songs culled from a July 1974 recording session (which took place in the basement studio of brothers Robert and Daniel Lanois, who would go on to become acclaimed producers) and a June 1975 live performance. While the band was largely ignored during its career, the release of this record a decade after their breakup elicited wild praise, with Forced Exposure calling it, "the best Canadian LP ever." Now out of print, it is a rather expensive collector's item. Happily, in May 2003 a newer Hamilton independent label called Sonic Unyon Recordings released a remastered and expanded version of the album, adding the Dog single along with seven performance tracks recorded in late '77 and early '78 which futher demonstrate how totally smoking the band's live show was.

Those who fall under the spell of the Saucer will be glad to learn that the band's charismatic vocalist/guitarist/theremin player Edgar Breau is fronting the band once again and a slew of releases in 2016 and 2017 including a double LP, Saucerland on Chicago's Logan Hardware label and an expanded Cyborgs Revisited on stellar Los Angeles garage label, In the Red have added to the mystique of the band. Simply Saucer are coming off critically acclaimed performances in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Montreal and Ottawa to perform in Saskatchewan for the first time.


Founded by Greek-born singer, film-scorer and composer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda moves from samba to French chanson, from Greek folk tunes to Colombian cumbia and Afro-Peruvian lando. Their songs capture the best of mid-century pop ballads and cinematic arranging, drawing on the band’s global background and unchained musicality. Trained in film scoring at Berklee, Giannikou’s film music finesse has won her awards and caught the attention of everyone from Kronos Quartet to singing a duet with Louis CK for the comedian’s TV show.

Live, Banda Magda bursts with humour and quirky sensibility, powered by an unflagging energy. This group of close musical friends turn Giannikou’s songs into engaging romps that have won them a spot with Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers Series, as well as performances at discerning venues and festivals such as Webster Hall, Irving Plaza, The Kennedy Center, The Jefferson Center, Celebrate Brooklyn, Jazz al Parque, St. Moritz Festival Da Jazz, and the Chicago World Music Festival.

After the success of their brilliantly colorful albums, Amour, t’es là? (Top 10 Billboard World Music Charts, NPR’s All Songs Considered, First Listen, NPR’s 10 favorite World Music Albums 2013), and Yerakina(co-produced by GRAMMY Award-winners Michael League and Fab Dupont), the Banda has released their third opus, the vibrant, technicolour Tigre.


Calgary's Reuben and the Dark is a collection of five multi-instrumentalists and vocalists led by Reuben Bullock. The group makes chilling, emotive folk and soul driven by dark, introspective lyrics that explore the duality of misery and joy. 

Boasting a rare chemistry between all members across western Canada, Reuben and the Dark has emerged organically from Canada's stellar independent scene on the strength of often anthemic compositions that translate the language of emotion into song with haunting clarity. 

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