Manitoba Music


BreakOut West Announcements First Round of Festival Performers, WCMA Hall of Fame, Industry Builder, and Heritage Awards

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Festival act The Treble live at the BreakOut West news conference, July 22

With the nominees for the 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards already announced, it’s time to reveal the performers for the BreakOut West Music Festival, happening October 3-4 in Winnipeg, MB. With many more performers yet to be announced the first round already sees quite a few WCMA nominees taking the stage at the two-day festival

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In The News: Manitoba Music News Stories from Around the Web

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Adam Hanney (Photo: Alyssa Arnold Photography)

Tanya Tagaq's Animism makes the Polaris shortlist. - Rolling Stone

Tanya Tagaq get the Polaris Prize nod. - CBC News

Polaris shortlist is a first for Tanya Tagaq. - NOW Magazine

Tanya Tagaq joins nine others on the Polaris shortlist. - Huffington Post

Animism lands Tanya Tagaq on the shortlist. - The Globe and Mail

Tanya Tagaq is a staff pick. - CBC Radio Q

Tanya Tagaq is a free spirit. - Voir

Adam Hanney shines bright at Folk Festival. -

Mama Cutsworth is Speechless. - The Metro

John Norman goes full blast. - Technoszene

Del Barber appeals to all. - No Depression

Mise en Scene head down unda. - Music Feeds

KEN mode set to horrify. - Loudwire

Don Amero takes his soulful roots sound west. - BC Local News

Oh My Darling bring diverse influence to Vancouver Folk Fest. - North Shore News

Shotgun Jimmie and Sebastian Owl are must sees at Ness Creek Music Fest. - Exclaim!

Keith and Renee reminisce on air. - AM 680 CJOB

Manitoba invades PEI's ears. - Le Lezard

The prairies head east. - Digital Journal

PEI gets a week's worth of Manitoba music. - Newswire

Manitoba gets showcased in PEI. -

The Duhks have nine answers. - Nine Questions for Musicians

Have a big serving of local music for lunch. - Winnipeg Now

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Do You Stand for Music? Speak Out Against Tariff 8

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On May 16, the Copyright Board of Canada released a long-awaited decision on royalty rates for streaming services. This decision, called Re:Sound Tariff 8 – Non-Interactive & Semi-Interactive Webcasts, 2009-2012, set the rate for commercial webcasters at 10.2 cents per 1,000 plays, while the CBC tariff is set at 13.1 cents per 1,000 plays – a massive setback for the Canadian music community, and for the artists and music companies that invest in their careers.

To put these rates into perspective:

  • An artist would need 12,647 plays to be able to pay for a download of their own song.
  • More than 16,000 plays would be needed to purchase a medium Tim Hortons coffee.
  • More than 4 million plays would be needed to fill up a tour bus with a tank of gas!

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MANITOBA SONGCAMP: Manitoba Music Brings Nine Local Artists Together for Collaborative Songwriting Session

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At the heart of any great music career story is a great song. Manitoba Music is bringing nine performing songwriters together to enhance their songwriting chops and create new songs through collaboration at Manitoba SongCamp. The three-day co-writing retreat will take place in a tranquil cabin setting in the Whiteshell, July 20 – July 23, 2014.

The session brings together a diverse group of established and emerging performing songwriters spanning several genres, including Cassidy Mann, Charlotte Kosc, Flo Oramasionwu (Flo), Grant Davidson (Slow Leaves), Jenna Priestner (Mobina Galore), Kevin Roy, Maxine Peters, Matt Worobec (Lost Weekend), and Sonia Eidse.

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Tanya Tagaq's Animism Makes Polaris Short List

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Tanya Tagaq

After much anticipation, the prestigious Polaris Music Prize released this year's short list and Brandon-based Inuit throat singer and composer Tanya Tagaq's acclaimed album Animism is one of the top 10 Canadian albums of the year.

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MANITOBA MUSIC LIVE AT THE CUBE: Manitoba Music and Exchange District BIZ Serve Up Local Sounds for Summer Concert Series

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Sons of York kick off Manitoba Music Live at The Cube on August 1

Homegrown talent is on the menu at Old Market Square this summer. The Exchange District BIZ is teaming up with Manitoba Music to present a series of free lunch hour concerts highlighting local artists at The Cube stage throughout August.

Running noon to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Manitoba Music Live at The Cube kicks off August 1 with rock’n’roll faves Sons of York for a launch event hosted by Breakfast Television’s Jenna Khan. The series’ diverse lineup runs the gamut from the indie pop to country to soulful roots, featuring performances from JUNO Award nominee Don Amero, Western Canadian Music Award-nominated roots trio Sweet Alibi, pop/rock outfit The Treble, ukulele-wielding singer/songwriter Brooke Palsson, and pop newcomer Sc Mira.

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In The News: Manitoba Music News Stories from Around the Web

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JD Edwards, Gilles Fournier, and Cara Luft on Main Stage at Winnipeg Folk Festival, July 10 (Photo: Sean McManus)

The Winnipeg Folk Festival experience. - Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg Folk Festival is ready for you and all your friends. - CBC News

There's something for everyone at Winnipeg Folk Fest. - CBC News

Lots of local love at Folk Fest. - The Lance

Discover something new at Folk Fest. - BT Winnipeg

JP Hoe brings his prairie band to main stage. - CBC

Blue Rubies shine in Folk Fest's Young Performers Program. - Stylus + FREE download

Young Folk return to the Young Performers Program. - Stylus

Chic Gamine debuts new sublime sound. - Winnipeg Free Press

Chic Gamine mixes business with pleasure. - MyToba

Chic Gamine is eager to share a new look and sound. - The Manitoban

Cara Luft and JD Edwards team up at Winnipeg Folk Festival. - CBC

Cara Luft has full command of the open stage. - MyToba

The Bros. Landreth's soulful harmonies kick off Folk Fest. - Winnipeg Free Press

Greg MacPherson talks Polaris early in the morning. - CTV Morning

Doc Walker is on the run. - Brandon Sun

RasTamils, Nathan Music Co., and Marco Castillo put a tune to diversity. - Brandon Sun

Erin Propp is on the wishlist for Ottawa Jazz Fest. - Calgary Herald

Ridley Bent added to Gateway Festival. - Exclaim!

Local talent brings a beat to Transcona. - Winnipeg Free Press

Royal Canoe is a must see at Osheaga. -

Work pays off for Kid P. - 204HipHop

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LOFT SESSIONS: Manitoba Music's Video Series Returns with Stellar New Lineup of Local Talent

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Del Barber's Loft Sessions shoot

What do you get when you put talented Manitoba bands in front of the camera and ask them to play their hearts out? You get the Loft Sessions: music magic, captured in intimate videos with all the passion of a live show.

Manitoba Music and video director Chris Gaudry have teamed up once again for the second edition of the live performance video series, set in the hardwood and brick of the heritage buildings of Winnipeg's Exchange District. Gaudry and his team, which included award-winning sound engineer Cam Loeppky, filmed a live performance by each artist in a multi-camera shoot. 

This year's series kicks off on July 8 with uptempo tune "Country Girl" by JUNO Award-nominated country/roots singer/songwriter Del Barber and his killer, denim-clad backing band, The Profiteers. 


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In The News: Manitoba Music News Stories from Around the Web

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Del Barber live on Canada Day at The Forks (Photo: J. Senft Photography)

Winnipeg celebrates Kevin Walters. - CBC News

Make summer count with Manitoba Live. - Winnipeg Free Press

Aboriginal Music Week ups the party. -

Cassidy Mann's Blue Skies & Bright Eyes might get her a prize. - Winnipeg Free Press

Cassidy Mann lands a WCMA nod for her latest album. -

Sapphire Empire is the recess of music school. - The Uniter

The Perpetrators whip up a frenzy in western Europe. - Winnipeg Free Press

Ridley Bent helped Calgary celebrate Canada Day. - CTV News

Jazz Winnipeg lines up your fall. -

Del Barber sets the soundtrack for Independence Day. - CMT Edge

Prairieography shows Del Barber's roots. - No Depression

Dauphin's Countryfest was wet and wild. - Winnipeg Free Press

Curtis Nowosad gives us seven answers. - Calgary Herald

Don Amero goes north. - CBC

Story time with Pop Crimes. - Stylus

Royal Canoe is exquisite enough for the Queen. - The Gateway Online

Blow your mind at Ottawa Bluesfest with Royal Canoe. - Metro News

Royal Canoe make the mixtape. - MTV Fora

The Weakerthans are ridiculously Canadian. - Indie88

Tanya Tagaq is otherworldly. - Exclaim!

Tanya Tagaq's Animism is not to be overlooked. - Voir

The Sheepdogs bring Rusty Matyas on tour. - The Star Pheonix

Colour By Numbers finds perfect harmony. - The Uniter

Dust Rhinos, Maxine Peters, Attica Riots and more serve up some tunes. -

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Winnipeg Folk Festival Shines a Spotlight on Local Talent

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Sweet Alibi

The tents are up, the mics are out, and the Year of Music celebration continues with one of Manitoba's major destination events, the venerable Winnipeg Folk Festival. Running July 9-13 at Birds Hill Park, the 41st annual event offers audiences three days and five nights of musical discovery, including a stellar line-up of internationally-acclaimed Manitoba talent.

The list of homegrown music acts hitting festival stages features emerging alt-country act The Bros. Landreth, acclaimed singer/songwriters JP Hoe, Cara Luft, and Ruth Moody, soul/pop darlings Chic Gamine, 2014 JUNO nominees Little Miss Higgins & The Winnipeg Five, and roots trio Sweet Alibi. The always-strong local children's acts include another 2014 JUNO nominee, Marie-Claude, plus favouries Aaron Burnett and Mr. Mark. 

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In The News: Manitoba Music News Stories from Around the Web

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Greg MacPherson

Kevin Walters was a Winnipeg champion. - Winnipeg Free Press

Kevin Walters mourned by music community. - Cashbox Magazine

Kevin Walters was a rare man. - Winnipeg Sun

Music community to celebrate Kevin Walters. -

Polaris Prize puts Greg MacPherson in the running. - The Globe and Mail

Tanya Tagaq is memorable. - CBC Radio Q

Polaris Prize includes Tanya Tagaq on nominee long list. - Paste Magazine

The hills are alive with Del Barber. - Vancouver Sun

The Duhks make a splash with Beyond The Blue. - Cybergrass

A top five moment of NXNE includes The Lytics. - NOW Magazine

The Lytics make something from nothing. - Stylus

The Lytics go out with a bang at NXNE. - Crave Online

Slow Leaves gives a breathe of fresh air to NXNE. - The Scene Magazine

Drench your eardrums in blood and distortion with KEN mode. - Film Threat

Fred Penner opens a zoo. - Winnipeg Free Press

The Bros. Landreth train just keeps picking up speed. - Community News Commons

Surprise Party, Sweet Alibi, Red Moon Road head to Ottawa. - CBC News

Keith Price strums us awake. - BT Winnipeg

Keith Price reaches new heights. - Stylus

Hearing Trees drops out to rock out. - Stylus

Sierra Noble opens doors. - CBC Scene

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Music Community Pleased with Work Permit Changes for Foreign Artists

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Work Permit changes announced yesterday for foreign music artists will dramatically improve the landscape for much of the live music community in Canada for the benefit of venues across the country, artist managers, agents, Canadian record labels, as well as Canadian and foreign artists. These changes were made at the request of Canada's music community. 

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Remembering Kevin Walters

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Kevin Walters

Our music community has suffered an incredible loss with the passing of Kevin Walters.

Kevin has been a legend in Manitoba’s music scene for decades. A concert promoter, manager, industry worker, mover and shaker, super connector, Kevin knew everyone and everyone knew him. He used that power to help people build their careers, to reach new heights, and to, in turn, connect with others.

Kevin has been everywhere. Once upon a time, he was a DJ, managed Night Moves, was a booking agent with the Hungry I Agency, formed his own artist management and production company Twin Productions, took a gig as merchandising manager for Barenaked Ladies, and had a long career at the manager of sound recording programs at Manitoba Film & Music.

Throughout his time with MFM, Kevin had a massive impact on the lives of all of us in Manitoba’s music community, helping to foster careers and mentor developing entrepreneurs, sharing his wealth of knowledge and expertise. For many, Kevin was the first industry person they met as they embarked on their careers. He helped countless artists make groundbreaking albums, play for audiences across the world, touch the lives of their audiences, and realize their dreams.

Kevin was the guy behind the scenes making things happen. He helmed the 2006 Grey Cup Festival, helped to bring the Canadian Country Music Awards to Winnipeg, was a primary founder of the Prairie Music Awards that became the Western Canadian Music Awards and BreakOut West, launched the Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival, organized Manitoba Homecoming 2010 and Culture Days, booked talent at the Red River Ex, and was an integral part in bringing The JUNO Awards to Winnipeg not once but twice. If there was a major live music event, Kevin was probably involved and you could usually catch a glimpse of him smiling and greeting the countless people he knew in any room.

We have been incredibly lucky to have Kevin as part of Manitoba Music’s board of directors for over a decade. He took on the role of president in 2012 and continued his tenure until his passing. During his time with us, he has helped Manitoba Music immeasurably; he’s been an instrumental part of our growth and development into an internationally-respected music organization.

He has supported us, challenged us, listened to us, led us, and mentored all of us. We are all better for knowing him. He had a smile for everyone, a calm centre in any storm, impeccable judgment, and a generosity that made it easy to work with him.  He has always been a ubiquitous presence in Manitoba’s community, loved and respected by all who worked with him, knew him, or even just heard of him. He made so many friends here at home, across the country, and beyond.

Words can’t express this loss to our community. His absence leaves a void. We have all been fortunate in the time we’ve shared with Kevin and celebrate his life, his accomplishments, and his incredible spirit. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends, and all who knew him. We will all miss him so much.

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Countryfest Celebrates 25 Years in Dauphin

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Desiree Dorion (Photo: Jon Schroeder)

Canada's longest running country music festival is turning 25. Dauphin's Countryfest kicks off is annual festivities on June 26 and runs until June 29, hosting over 20 mainstage acts plus two additional stages with bands spanning the genres from country to rock to roots.

Eight Manitoba acts hit the massive music fest's stages this year, including The Bros. Landreth, Desiree Dorion, JP Hoe, Federal Lights, Leanne Pearson, Jordan Allard, Greg Arcade, The Craig and Ash Band, Dirty Catfish Brass Band, DJ Co-op, Oh My Darling, and Until Red. 

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In The News: Manitoba Music News Stories from Around the Web

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APCMA nominee Leonard Sumner at the nominees announcement, June 19

14 Manitoba nods for Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards – CBC News

Tanya Tagaq a real challenger for Polaris Music Prize. – Macleans

Tanya Tagaq: "the great Doula of sonic consciousness". – Weird Canada

Tanya Tagaq inspires. – Huffington Post

Tanya Tagaq’s Animism is metal in spirit. – Invisible Oranges

The Bros. Landreth go up Slate Creek. – T4C

Not even the sky is the limit for the ultra-talented Keith & Renee. – Country 101.1

Eagle & HawkDesiree DorionRay St. Germain celebrate National Aboriginal Day. – NCI FM

Sierra Noble to play Halifax's National Aboriginal Day event. – The Chronical Herald

Dauphin’s Countryfest ready to celebrate a milestone. – Brandon Sun

Sweet Alibi sings through troubled times. – Saultstar

Sweet Alibi will have you laughing, singing along, and dancing. – The Arts Guild

SC Mira infuses old sounds with new. – CBC News

Curtis Nowosad is a montser in waiting. – Winnipeg Free Press

Moses Mayes’ Nathan Reimer isn’t into ironic clothing. – Winnipeg Sun

Royal Canoe eating watermelon at Bonnaroo. – Rolling Stone

It’s never too late to talk about Royal Canoe. – North Shore News

Campground community an important part of the Winnipeg Folk Festival experience. – Winnipeg Free Press

Fred Penner opens his doors but not his chandelier. – Winnipeg Free Press

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Tanya Tagaq Lands Polaris Nod

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Tanya Tagaq

The Polaris Music Prize ended months of debate and speculation with the announcement of this year's long list of top Canadian albums and Brandon-based Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq's acclaimed album Animism is among the prestigious names. 

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Manitoba Artists Land 14 Nods for the 2014 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards

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Indian City

Manitoba artists have netted 14 nominations for the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards (APCMA) this year. The nominees were announced at a press conference on June 19 at Portage Place. The winners will be revealed at the ninth annual gala awards show at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on September 12, 2014 and the invite-only Ohshkii Awards Night at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on September 11. Nominees include Indian City, Leonard Sumner, Desiree Dorion, and Winnipeg Boyz. 

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Watch Five Videos from Five NXNE Bands

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Manitoba will be heating things up in Toronto for the country’s largest music festival and industry conference next month. A dozen Manitoba acts have been tapped for coveted showcase spots at North by Northeast (NXNE), which runs June 13-22, 2014. 

Manitoba Music will return to The Cameron house for an eclectic showcase of critically-acclaimed new music from the prairie province on June 19. The event will feature Aporia Records’ indie rock act Federal Lights; Pipe + Hat Records’ bluegrass-tinged singer/songwriter Jess Reimer; Americana act Slow Leaves; indie pop/folk outfit Yes We Mystic; roots darlings Sweet Alibi; and high energy rock’n’roll siblings Sons of York. Check out the schedule of Manitoba bands at NXNE and watch some videos while you wait for the bands to hit the stage...

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MANITOBA LIVE: Manitoba Music Launches New Version of Concert-Finding App

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The busy season of summer music festivals is here and Manitoba Music has a new and improved way for music fans to find their music. 

Manitoba Live, powered by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, is a free iOS app that helps music fans find concerts in venues and clubs and at festivals in Winnipeg and throughout the entire province. Launched in March 2014, the app gained immediate attention from media and won over local music fans looking to find reliable and comprehensive concert listings.

The newly-released Manitoba Live 2.0 features a robust search function, making it even easier to quickly find concert listings by artist, location, genre, keyword, and category. The new function lets users search for everything from open mics to album releases to festivals, find upcoming shows at individual venues or in particular Manitoba cities and towns, and helps those who perhaps only caught the first name of an interesting artist hitting local stages or maybe just wants to know about upcoming blues shows. 

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In The News: Manitoba Music News Stories from Around the Web

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Curtis Nowosad (Photos: Leif Norman)

Manitoba Music heads to NXNE with some bands for show and tell. - Best Fan

Grace Hrabi sings a song your heart will understand. - Winnipeg Free Press + FREE download

The TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival is full of free tunes this weekend. - CBC Scene

And all that Jazz Fest. - MyToba

Curtis Nowosad brings it back home. - Winnipeg Free Press

Royal Canoe a top pick at Bonnaroo. - MTV

Royal Canoe made you a mixtape. - Under The Radar

Royal Canoe is the good cookies. - Gobs Mag

Pipe & Hat goes further. - FYI Music News

Sweet Alibi takes over Toronto. - Examiner

The Sturgeons bring Sheena Grobb and Sierra Noble out for new album. - Metro Winnipeg

Raine Hamilton forges her own path. - Stylus

Tanya Tagaq brings a soundtrack to life. - NOW Magazine

Tanya Tagaq is a hot ticket. - BlogTO

Tanya Tagaq brings the north a little more south. - The Star

Luminato lights up with Tanya Tagaq. - CBC News

Del Barber is a Monday music pick. - Austin360

The Treble is homeward bound. - Global News

Fred Penner kids around. - St. Albert Leader

Keith and Renee put the kids front and centre. - Portage Online

Keith and Renee help kids see they are good enough. - Global News

Eagle & Hawk hits the stage for National Aboriginal Day. -

KEN mode, Surprise Party, and Mahogany Frog get set for MoSoFest. - The Star Pheonix

John Scoles of Times Change(d) wants variety. - Winnipeg Free Press

The Duhks talk new album. - No Depression

The Duhks go Beyond The Blue. - Huffington Post

Eric Pyle gives back through song. - Stories from Home

Dub Ditch Picnic will leave you feeling full. - AUXtv

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Manitoba Live Heats Up Canada Day at The Forks for the Year of Music

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Del Barber (Photo: Mark Maryanovich)

Manitoba Music will be heating things up at The Forks this year with a diverse lineup of all local talent on three stages. Performing for an audience of thousands who gather at The Forks to celebrate our nation’s birthday, Manitoba Live will feature stellar sets from over a dozen acts spanning just about every genre, culminating in a remarkable onstage collaboration between award-winning alt-country singer/songwriter Del Barber and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Presented by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, the family-friendly event is part of the Year of Music celebration in Manitoba.

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25th Annual Jazz Fest Kicks Off with Free Opening Weekend

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Dirty Catfish Brass Band (Photo: Jenn Kostesky)

The TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival is turning 25. One of the summer's best sources for live local music, the venerable downtown fest kicks things off  with a free opening weekend at The Cube in the heart of the Exchange District, June 12 - 15.

This year's fest boasts over 50 Manitoba acts in the clubs and theatres and on the outdoor stage. The Cube will feature a diverse line-up, including jazz and soul on Thursday, Latin Jazz on Friday, the wildly popular indie night on Saturday, and more.

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DIY Roundup: Tips for Musicians From Around the Web

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A roundup of recent blogger tips and techniques for musicians from around the web. Find out more about the things singer/songwriters need to know about hiring freelance musicians, how to get more gigs, and the things you can do today to start making music industry contacts. 

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In The News: Manitoba Music News Stories from Around the Web

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Marco Castillo

Leonard Sumner is on the rise. - Winnipeg Free Press

Manitoba Music's Sara Stasiuk talks NXNE. - Global News

No shortage of WCMA nominations for Manitoba. - Exclaim!

Manitoba has the home field advantage with WCMA nods. - Winnipeg Free Press

Manitobans land 44 nominations for the Western Canadian Music Awards. - CBC News

Marco Castillo brings warmth to Winnipeg. - The Uniter

Surprise Party grabs your short attention span. - MyToba + FREE download

Real Love Winnipeg kicks of summer with three days of music. - BT Winnipeg

Winnipeg Folk Fest is a must. - Canadian Living

Raine Hamilton delivers big things in Small Packages. - The Uniter

Royal Canoe make last call. - NBC

Royal Canoe is something for everyone. - Voir

Royal Canoe's Bucky invites us over. - The Uniter

Tanya Tagaq brings tradition to modern music. - The Globe and Mail

Tanya Tagaq is a must see in Toronto this summer. - BlogTO

Watch the trailer for Tanya Tagaq's Animism. - Indian Country Today

Tanya Tagaq has got the power. -

Slow Leaves blooms this spring. - MyToba

Boats grabs life by the balls. - Winnipeg Sun

Matt Moskal wears many hats. - MyToba

Rise and shine with Micah Visser. - BT Winnipeg

Hearing Trees has focus. - The Uniter

Imaginary Cities featured on new Porter Robinson album. - MixMag

Imaginary Cities sounds a bit more electronic. - inthemix

Imaginary Cities get in the mix. - Mixjunkies

Al Simmons is a vetern of Kids fest. - Global News

Al Simmons gets serious about news. - Winnipeg Free Press

CKUW's David Tymoshchuk takes us inside the booth. - Stylus Magazine

Ingrid Gatin sticks to her roots. - MyToba

Slow Dancers will kick your ass slowly. - Rice and Bread Magazine

Get lulled into submission by Slow Dancers. - The Uniter

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Call for Submissions: Manitoba SongCamp Songwriter Retreat

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Manitoba Music is presenting the Manitoba SongCamp Songwriter Retreat, an innovative opportunity that will bring nine performing songwriters together to enhance their songwriting chops through collaboration. The three-day co-writing retreat will take place in a tranquil cabin setting in the Whiteshell (an hour east of Winnipeg), July 20 – July 23, 2014. DEADLINE: June 19, 2014

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