MANITOWANING—Debajehmujig hosted the New Constellations tour recently—a 13-city nation wide tour bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous artist for a multi–disciplinary celebration of music and arts.
The event was offered free of charge and included two shows last Wednesday night. There are a number of artists that form the tour, but performers at the Debaj show included: the Toronto alternative rock band July Talk, who received the 2015 Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year; Indigenous writer and musician Leanne Betasamosake Simpson; Jeremy Dutcher, an emerging Toronto-based composed and vocalist from Wolastoq Nation; Ansley Simpson, an Anishinaabe singer-songwriter and the winner of the inaugural BullsEye competition at imagineNATIVE’s 2016 Festival; Jason Collett, a Toronto-based Canadian singer-songwriter and member of Broken Social Scene; and poet Damian Rogers.
New Constellations kicked off on November 23 in Saskatoon and will end in Toronto on December 20.
“This half-music, half-literary national tour is the first of its kind: a unique tour travelling to cities, towns, and Indigenous communities featuring a core roster of Indigenous artists alongside a rotating cast of some of the country’s most celebrated musicians, writers, and poets,” explains a press release from New Constellations. “New Constellations offers an intimate evening of song and storytelling featuring alternating sets by musicians and writers. The tour includes a two-part mentorship program where established artists connect with Indigenous youth online and in a series of community-based arts and music workshops. New Constellations offers new possibilities for creative collaboration across communities.”
“Featuring an extraordinary lineup of established and emerging Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists from across the country, musicians and poets are set to take the stage in various cities and communities, include: award-winning and international superstar Feist, Polaris-nominated Indigenous DJ/producer crew A Tribe Called Red, pop rockers July Talk, 2017 Polaris Prize-winning Afro-Indigenous musician Lido Pimienta, acclaimed Anishinaabe writer and musician Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, renowned author and journalist Naomi Klein, Montreal rocker Sam Roberts, singer-songwriter and member of Broken Social Scene Jason Collett, melodic indie pop band Stars, east coast songwriter Joel Plaskett, Anishinaabe singer-songwriter Leonard Sumner, Wolastoq vocal artist and composer Jeremy Dutcher, Indigenous hip-hop duo Mob Bounce, Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke, Griffin Prize-winning Nisga’a poet Jordan Abel, electronic indie pop artist Rich Aucoin, celebrated Montreal novelist Heather O’Neill, Broken Social Scene alum and Quebec-based vocalist La Force, and many more,” the release adds.
“Besides being a rotating roster of festival-style performances, New Constellations is an intimate opportunity to listen to voices of resurgence — of what is clearly an Indigenous Next Wave,” said Jason Collett. “The momentum is palpable, and it’s inspiring to be a part of such a special celebration.”
For more information about the tour and dates visit www.newconstellations.ca.