Old Ottawa South Community Association

Rockin’ Power Duo Digging Roots to Headline Ottawa Grassroots Festival
Raven + ShoShona photo by Ratul Debnath.

Rockin’ Power Duo Digging Roots to Headline Ottawa Grassroots Festival

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The Ottawa Grassroots Festival (OGF) is pleased to confirm that multi-award winning folk rockers, Digging Roots, will headline Saturday night (April 27) at the festival in Old Ottawa South. The event happens April 25-28, 2019 at Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, Ottawa. First Nations power couple, ShoShona and Raven, are the creative team and inspiration behind Digging Roots. In creating music they utilize the traditional Anishinabek Song Lines composition technique of tracing melody and rhythm from the contours of the land. This traditional method of creating songs is paired with modern Eurocentric techniques of composition.

Digging Roots is a musical group that balances femininity and masculinity with Indigenous tradition and modern aesthetics. Their musical style blends folk-rock, pop, blues and hip hop with Indigeneous music. Engaging wider audiences to promote their Anishinabek music and cultural ideals is key to this band.

They won the Juno Award for Aboriginal Album of the Year in 2010 for their album We Are. Their JUNO-nominated album For The Light (2015) brings global-blues infused songs and audience ‘round dances’ to their national and international tours. Digging Roots also took home The Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Album of the Year in 2015, along with the first Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition at the 2015 Maple Blues Awards, garnering the grand prize for their song “Hwy 17”. Raven and ShoShona are working on a much anticipated new collection of songs scheduled to be released in April 2019!

Bob Nesbitt, the Founder and Producer of Ottawa Grassroots has been working for some time to infuse more Indigenous content into the festival. He explains, “Inclusivity is a hallmark of the festival and having Digging Roots as the Saturday headliner goes a long way to satisfying a long-held desire to include more Indigenous people in OGF. This band has a growing international fan base, having travelled across Canada, U.S., Mexico, Europe and Australia. They are back and touring in Canada. Digging Roots has a unique sound, offering a twist on folk music. ShoShona and Raven are known for pushing the boundaries of several music genres, which is resonating well with their fans globally and I’m thrilled to have them perform at OGF 2019!”

Opening night is dedicated to promoting Francophone artists is attracting larger audiences each year. “I’m committed to bringing the two music solitudes together” says Nesbitt. “The continued positive feedback from visitors and artists will ensure Franco-night has a reserved seat in our festival programming.” In October, Ian Tamblyn, with a full band of talented local performers, was announced as the festival’s Friday evening headliner. The full daytime roster will be revealed at the festival launch in February 2019.

Online tickets and festival passes for Ottawa Grassroots evening performances are now available on the festival website. A priority for OGF has always been to keep it affordable for families (children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult). New this year, early-bird pricing for the festival pass is $55. Starting February 1 2019, the pass will be $59 (online); $60 at the door. Ticket prices for individual nights are: $20-Thurs., $30-Fri. and $35-Sat. The daytime programming on both Saturday and Sunday is free for everyone!

“It is really important that we keep this festival as affordable as possible” explains Nesbitt. “The costs associated with delivering an event like this have increased, including the calibre of the artists. It’s always a tough decision when it comes to raising prices. Providing an opportunity to buy the pass early at a discount will help to keep this event as affordable as possible.”

The Ottawa Grassroots Festival is a family-friendly gathering of folk music, dance and spoken word. This not-for-profit organization is run entirely by volunteers and prides itself on the participatory workshops it provides, cultivating community, and nurturing inclusivity and diversity in a fun and friendly way. Ottawa Grassroots is made possible by the dedication of over 100 volunteers working together to bring visitors a really special musical experience. If you are interested in volunteering with this group, there are opportunities to help with pre-fest work and also during the event. Sign up via the volunteer link on the festival website homepage at www.ottawagrassrootsfestival.com.

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