Even amidst a mix of electronica, hip hop and reggae, A Tribe Called Red have always upheld the influence of traditional First Nations music. Positive representation has always been important to the electronic DJ collective — a duo consisting of 2oolman and Bear Witness – and their brand new live show sets out to keep that promise to their fans and the Indigenous community. On November 23, Niagara will welcome A Tribe Called Red and the special guests they’re bringing along for the ride for an innovative live show.
Known for their effortless fusion of urban and indigenous cultures, music from A Tribe Called Red has always been something to look forward to. They offer dance music with a twist, featuring traditional First Nations vocal chanting and pounding drums consistently as powerful as their message.
Their newest show is making its way across Ontario and it’s an inspired performance. Last April, the collective was invited to present a TED Talk in Vancouver, and the experience inspired them to revisit the way they put on their shows. Now presenting their artistry in a way that maintains their usual energy but makes it accessible even to a seated audience, A Tribe Called Red is promising an immersive artistic event for everyone.
Their concerts offer more than just a musical experience, incorporating projections of Indigenous stereotyping from modern media and a dancer who offers his own blend of urban and Indigenous culture. All of this serves as the backdrop for the sounds of their powerful and award-winning concept album, We Are the Halluci Nation. It’s an experience built off of the interest in exploring what it means to be a modern Indigenous person in Canada.
Accompanying A Tribe Called Red over the course of this tour are three other innovative artists – Jeremy Dutcher, respectfulchild and aforementioned dancer Creeasian.
Musical artist Jeremy Dutcher has never been one to shy away from bringing his Wolastoq First Nation roots to the forefront in his music — in fact, it’s one of the most important things to him. Trained as an operatic tenor and composer, Dutcher seeks to bring the past into the future in new and innovative ways. His debut album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, released in April of this year, has already propelled him to win this year’s Polaris Music Prize, one of the most prestigious in the industry. It blends classical and pop influences with inspiration from the 110 year-old wax cylinder recordings preserved by Dutcher’s community. Aside from providing representation for his community, Dutcher seeks to preserve their history and ensure their language and roots are not lost while offering an incredible musical experience as well.
respectfulchild is a solo instrumental project, seeing delicate ambient music largely featuring just them, their violin and some loop pedals. respectfulchild’s act may sound small, but so much precision is poured into their craft that their wordless melodies have a way of filling an entire room. Peaceful yet haunting, respectfulchild’s music builds a calming yet mystical atmosphere. For a look at what to expect from a respectfulchild performance, their mesmerizing debut album ::searching:: was released last summer and is absolutely worth the listen for its intricate serenity.
Indigenous urban arts practitioner Creeasian will be accompanying A Tribe Called Red on this tour as a dancer, but his work as an artist has him tackling multiple practices. Expect to see him fusing traditional grass dance with breaking for this tour. Aside from dance, Creeasian also DJs and produces music, but brings these passions of his together when hosting workshops and educational programming meant to bring hip hop and dance to youth.
The new show is seeing five dates throughout Ontario this week, with three final performances around the corner spanning from Thursday to Saturday. On Friday November 23, A Tribe Called Red and their guests will be taking over the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre at 8:00 p.m. For a unique concert experience, it’s worth checking out.