A rising star on the Canadian classical/jazz/folk/pop/electronic scenes, cellist Derksen’s music draws from traditional classical training, her Aboriginal ancestry and new school electronics, to create genre-defying music.
I am a half Cree, half Mennonite person living in East Vancouver. I come from North Tallcree First Nation and this little Mennonite town called La Crete in Northern Alberta. I grew up mostly in Edmonton, Alberta where I learned how to play the cello. I’m pretty glad I did, it is a pretty great and weird job to have.
One thing I liked about growing up in a city is that I had access to things I wouldn’t have living on a reserve far north like mine, such as music lessons. But I also missed out on things I would have learned growing up on a reserve and I wasn’t able to see my Kokum and Mosom very often. I’m not sad about it; it is just how my path was laid out for me. These days I travel a lot and have gotten to see a lot of the world through playing music with many great musicians. I am lucky that many of the people I travel with are also Indigenous, because this makes for good times, great laughs and deep understanding. I hope you enjoy 8TH FIRE as much as I did. I am very grateful to be part of this series. It seems to have come at a very poignant time in Canadian Aboriginal history.