This is my favourite time of the year. It's also the busiest time of the year for me. It's Aboriginal Music Week here in Winnipeg where indigenous musicians from across North America bring you five great nights of concerts.
I produce a weekly music podcast of indigenous music for CBC Radio 3 called Ab-Originals. This is the one week of the year that I get to meet a lot of the musicians we program on the show face-to-face.
The thing about the Aboriginal music genre (and there is a lot of debate on whether it's even a genre) is it is the only genre that is based on culture and not music style. But I'm down with that because then I, we, all get to sample a plethora of music from a variety of artists.
Whether it's the alt-blues music of Juno Award winner Derek Miller or hip hop blended with traditional beats and electronica-fused dance till you drop beats of A Tribe Called Red's Electric Pow Wow, AMW has music that will appeal to everyone.
And don't let the term Aboriginal fool you into thinking you have to be Aboriginal to attend or enjoy this fest. It's simply is a describer of the genre of music you're going to hear from proud native nations across Turtle Island (that's North America folks.)
Aboriginal Music Week runs concurrently with Manito Ahbee - A Festival for All Nations and the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. The one thing all three of these events have in common, besides the glaringly obvious, is that they all are looking for that cross-cultural audience. And a willingness to share the cultural with our non-Aboriginal friends and neighbours...okay that was two things.
So if you love music, want to discover a new musical genre (again, up for debate), and want to get out of the house any night this week, hit up the shows at Aboriginal Music Week.
Brief run down of Aboriginal Music Week
Kicking it off Métis style on Tuesday night are fiddlers John Arcand and Darren Lavallee at the West End Cultural Central. This venue will also play host to Hip Hop Night featuring Jr. Just TV and Winnipeg's Most on Wednesday and then the Songwriter's Circle with Leela Gilday and three up-and-coming singer/songwriters. The WECC shows are all-ages shows.
Meanwhile, over at The Windsor, Indian country's answer to Johnny and June Cash - JC Campbell and Tracy Bone host three nights of music at the All My Relations stage featuring classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala, rockers Will Belcourt and the Hollywood Indians, folk singer Christa Couture among others.
And if that wasn't enough, The Pyramid Cabaret will see media darlings A Tribe Called Red bringing their Electric Pow Wow to town; Juno winner Derek Miller and a Sask Music Showcase featuring the high-energy fiddle stylings of Donny Parenteau, who blends a few genres together for an all out good time.
Kim Ziervogel, SCENE Producer
Kim Ziervogel produces Ab-Originals, a weekly podcast of the hottest indigenous music in Canada and also sits on the board of Aboriginal Music Manitoba,