Performers 2022

  • Acacia Lyra

    Acacia Lyra harp duo, with Janine Dudding and Susan Sweeney Hermon, sing a wide variety of original and traditional songs in English, French, Spanish and Gaelic accompanying themselves on Celtic harps and guitars. Their compositions are a reflection of the duo’s Irish heritage and Canadian landscapes. Janine draws some inspiration from the haunting beauty of the far North where the has lived, while Susan tends to look southward , with thoughts of swaying palm trees and Latin rhythms. The duo has launched three recordings to sold out audiences at the NAC Fourth Stage, and are currently working on a fourth album. “Susan and Janine’s music is a beautiful melding of voices, instruments and spirit. A true friendship in music”. (Sharlene Wallace, harpist-composer)  

  • Alan D Sandeman

    I have been playing guitar for about 50 years, originally in Kingston, Ontario, where I grew up. When I was 18, we moved to Ottawa and found an increased passion for music. Since then I have focused my attention in a more secular direction, playing in several Ottawa bands doing music which varies from light rock, 50’s and 60’s and through to country and blues. At this time I play bass and guitar with a five piece band called Assembly Required doing all kinds of dance and party music. In fact we regularly play the family Christmas parties of at least six of the local seniors residences. For the past few years I have been doing shows for the seniors in our community residences and have really enjoyed the experience and by all reports the seniors have a wonderful time with my music and my humour.

  • Albert Dumont

    ALBERT DUMONT, Spiritual Advisor, Poet, Storyteller Algonquin, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Albert Dumont’s artistic talents touch many areas of the arts community. He is a respected poet, a pen & ink artist, actor, storyteller and playwright. Albert has acted in fire prevention videos, TV commercials and plays. Albert has written 5 books of poetry and 2 children’s books. He is the founder of Turtle Moons Contemplations, featuring his artwork and poems. Albert was presented with a Human Rights Award by the Public Service Alliance of Canada in 2010. In January 2017 he received the DreamKEEPERS Citation for Outstanding Leadership. Albert has dedicated his life to promoting Aboriginal spirituality and healing and to protecting the rights of Aboriginal Peoples particularly those of the young. He is the father of three daughters and grandfather of five grandchildren. In April of 2021, Albert Dumont was named English poet laureate, for the City of Ottawa.

  • Allysann Foehring

    Allysann Foehring, a young musician from the Gatineau Hills/Ottawa region brings a very special talent and joy to her music and songwriting. Her first single, Darlin’, was released this June and is available on all streaming platforms. Many amazing mentors have contributed to her musical achievements including Kyle Burghout, James Stephens, Ian Tamblyn, and Chris McLean. As she continues to explore and discover different forms to express her way of seeing the world, she is continuously working on creating music and connecting with other artists. Allysann loves a show filled with dancing, singing, and fun!

  • Angelique Francis

    Angelique Francis is a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, multi-genre singer song writer and composer has wowed audiences across the globe with her electrifying performances, instrumental abilities and powerful textured vocals. Angelique’s soulful Smoky vocals and instrumental techniques are reminiscent of a bygone era, but with a unique and modern sensibility. Within her vocal style, you can hear influences of legends like Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Bessie Smith and many more. Her instrumental abilities call to mind Willie Dixon on the bass, Sister Rosetta Thorpe on guitar, Big Mama Thornton on the Harmonica and Aretha on the piano. Her diversity, passion and love of music can be heard in all of her original compositions.

  • Birdie Whyte

    Ottawa singer-songwriter Birdie Whyte is at home on the stage with her banjo. Songwriting is Birdie’s passion and her lovely voice lends an aching depth to the simple country lyrics she lays down. Birdie’s songs are witty, insightful and mindfully crafted, drawing the listener in and leaving them with melodic imagery that’s vividly colorful and true to the storytelling form of the folk tradition.

  • C.A. & Sonny

    The C.A. & Sonny Show, featuring Sonny Aiken and C.A. Jackson!

    An Ottawa based duo focused on preserving the tradition of folk music. Using a variety of stringed instruments, C.A. & Sonny sing songs, crack jokes, and tell tales of yesteryear. Their musicality is balanced expertly in their laid back performance, showcasing an enormous repertoire of antiquated melodies and stories. Stompin’ soon on a stage near you!

  • Chris White

    Chris White loves connecting people with music and with one another.  He co-founded the Ottawa Folk Festival with Max Wallace in 1993 and spent the next 16 years creating an atmosphere of celebration, inclusion and participation in the role of Artistic Director.  He hosts ‘Canadian Spaces’, the Saturday morning folk show on CKCU FM, and ‘Canadian Faces’, a live Sunday evening gathering of artists on Facebook.  Chris has led singing groups for home-schooled children (‘The Sparrows’), for people with dementia (‘Turquoise’), for seniors (‘The Merry Songsters’) and for men (‘Brothers Aloud’).  He organizes concerts and community events through Folkzone, a company he co-founded with long-time Grassroots Festival contributor, Mark Delorme.  Chris has released three albums of his songs – ‘Inner Voice’, ‘Music All Around’, and ‘I’m A Poet… And I’m Aware Of It’ – and is currently working on a memoir.  

  • Christine Graves

    Christine is an exemplary contemporary Canadian folk-roots singer and songwriter. She has created a significant body of work, releasing four independent recordings on her own label Brave Music and touring Canada and parts of the US. Her love of genre busting, improvisation, community participation, and teaching mark her career as a quintessential Canadian folk-roots artist. She is based in Eastern Ontario

  • David Mayerovitch and J.P. Lacroix

    Guitarist J.P. Lacroix has played with a number of groups including a 13-year run with the Top-40 dance band Atlantis, which played pop, rock, country “and even disco”. He has taught guitar for many years and is a regular performer with Spirit of Rasputin’s and elsewhere with his own compositions and as a skilled accompanist. Songwriter-Xaphoonist David Mayerovitch and guitarist-composer J.P. Lacroix will present a varied set of David’s comedy songs and J.P.’s evocative guitar originals, along with a beloved Beatles tune. This will almost certainly be the first public performance in Ottawa on the Xaphoon, a musical invention that combines the simplicity of the recorder with the vibrant reed tone of a saxophone or clarinet.

  • Douglas Campbell

    Douglas Campbell is a student at Algonquin College in the performing arts program. He’s from Carleton Place Ontario and aspires to be a performer.

  • Ed Lawrence

    Recently retired after 30 years of outstanding achievement in the field of Canadian horticulture, Ed Lawrence’s tenure as Chief Horticultural Specialist to six consecutive Governors General spanned a period of vice-regal history dating from Jules Leger in the 1970s to Adrienne Clarkson in 2005. In his capacity as head gardener, Ed’s responsibilities included not only the oversight of the 85 acre historic grounds and greenhouses of Rideau Hall, but of all six official residences under the authority of the National Capital Commission, including those of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. During that same period, Ed’s gardening expertise gained popular recognition through CBC Radio’s “Ontario Today” noon-time gardening phone-in show heard every Monday. After more than two decades, enthusiasm for Ed’s down-to-earth practical advice shows no sign of waning, making the Monday gardening hour one of the longest-running and most successful features in the annals of Canadian broadcast history. His on-air popularity has led to other appearances on numerous radio and television gardening programs, including The Hobby Garden, From a Country Garden, The Canadian Gardener, and Vie de chalet on Radio-Canada. In the summer of 2001, Ed hosted a 13-part television gardening series, “The Gardener” produced in partnership with the National Capital Commission in Ottawa and WPBS TV in Watertown, New York. Ed has written gardening columns for newspapers throughout the Ottawa Valley and a weekly column for the Toronto edition of the national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. In 1988 he won Landscape Ontario’s Garden Communicators’ Award for his broadcasting work and in 2000, Ed was the recipient of the prestigious Award of Merit from the Ontario Horticultural Association. Toronto-born and Humber College educated, Ed now resides on a farm in the Almonte, Ontario region and continues to share his gardening know-how through a broad range of national and community-based horticultural endeavours.

    Ed’s book is available throughout Ontario at your local independent bookstore or garden centre, at all Chapters, Coles, Smithbooks locations, and online at

  • Emily Shepherd

    Emily Shepherd was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. From a young age, she enjoyed singing in both English and French. 
    ?Growing up in Montreal, Emily’s parents played guitar and sang with her almost everyday, an experience which sparked an interest for music early on.

    ?Emily moved to Ottawa with her family at the beginning of her teenage years. She develop her vocal skills as a member of her high school chamber choir, and began writing and performing songs at school and neighbourhood events (Westfest) and on Youtube. 

    ?Emily graduated in 2017 from the Bachelor of Music program (Singer-Songwriter Stream) at Carleton University. She also taught music for six years to primary school students with a wide range of musical interests. Her most recent influences are Rose Cousins, Joni Mitchell, Adele and Francis Cabrel, just to name a few!

  • Erica O’Reilly

    From a young age, Erica recalls always feeling a deep sense of connection to nature and a desire to connect with people through stories. Her love for the arts, collaboration in community, and self-expression has taken her all over the world, including: Toronto (Bachelor of Arts with Honours, in Theatre), New York (The American Academy of Dramatic Arts) and Northern Italy (Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational). Several years after graduating from York University, Erica found herself profoundly missing a particular depth of connection with people. After receiving her Bachelor of Education, with specialization in Arts Education (Queen’s University), Erica combined her love for creative expression and nurturing personal connections with others through teaching. Today, Erica is happy to be nurturing roots back home in the nations capital – including building her spiritual counselling business.

    Over the years, Erica has enjoyed sharing her work with several creative communities in Ottawa – including Orpheus Musical Theatre Society, The Ottawa Storytellers and Urban Legends Poetry Collective.

    This afternoon, Erica is very excited and grateful to be a part of the Ottawa Grassroots Festival. She hopes that in sharing some of the stories that align with her heart and spirit that they may also resonate with yours.

  • Fred Dell’Amico

    Fred, a retired carpenter and back-to-the-lander, stopped swinging a hammer and started strumming the four-string tenor guitar several years back. Making up songs, usually story songs, soon wormed its way into his brain. His songs are “quirky and original and among the most delightful, touching and surprising that I have heard anywhere,” wrote songwriter David Mayerovitch.

  • Gil’s Grassroots Hootenanny

    Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 4:00 pm: The Basement

    Inspired by the legacy of Gil Levine, and first presented in 2010, Gil’s Hootenanny has continued to thrive over the past many years.  

  • Jack Pine

    Jack Pine is “driving”, “dynamic”, “giddy, bittersweet” Alt-Folk Singer-songery at it’s best. Nominated at the 2019 JUNOs  and the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Jack Pine is without his band The Fire for this intimate performance at his favourite local venue, Irene’s Pub. He won’t be alone though, as Joe McDonald will be joining him on guitar for a never before heard duo of rootsy Ottawa talent. Jack hollers and howls like a lone wolf, spitting wry words and tall tales, while strumming his mandolin furiously, then softly. He sings songs of lost souls and forgotten truths, with lyricism that blends vivid and powerful imagery with quirky wordplay, dark humour, and biting social commentary.

  • James Blondeau

    James Blondeau has produced, directed or perform over 100 video, television, music and educational internet projects in 17 different countries. James Blondeau will be playing some original songs and featuring videos from a major international education project called TimeKeepers Canada. The music program will be about Canada, our past, present and future. If you want to experience something that will move you and make you proud to be a Canadian, come to our concert and visit

  • Jillian Kerr

    “Ottawa singer-songwriter Jillian Kerr grew up in rural Ontario, and like Sarah Harmer, for instance, you can hear those backfields and long summer nights in her type of acoustic folk. There’s an edge to her soothing vocals, though, and sometimes a bit of darkness to her lyrics, too. All of it’s handled with a depth of confidence and skill not always heard in a recent music graduate (she earned a Bachelor of Music from Carleton University).” – Jordan Whitehouse, 10 KINGSTON CONCERTS YOU CAN’T MISS THIS JULY Jillian Kerr has released two EP’s entitled, Dreams and Downtown, as well as a third collaborative album for kids of all ages, How to be Awesome with four other artist-educators. She has performed for several festivals in Ottawa including, Megaphono, RBC Bluesfest, CityFolk Festival, and the Festival of Smalls Halls. She has been honoured to share the stage with notable artists such as Joseph McDonald, Ian Sherwood, Basia Bulat and many more. Jillian is thrilled to be performing alongside one of her best friends, Emily Shepherd, as she returns to the Grassroot’s festival for the third time.

  • Jim Bryson

    Jim Bryson is a Canadian Songwriter, Singer and Record Maker. He has released 6 critically acclaimed solo recordings, the most recent being 2018’s “Tired of Waiting”.

    Jim latest unintentional project is s series of $30 singles he calls the “Survival Tactics Series”. Meant as a offset to the offset of the Spotify/Streaming world we now live in.

    In recent years, Jim has been recording and producing records for artist from all over the map in his Fixed Hinge Studio he built in 2013. Most recently is the August release of Kathleen Edward’s Total Freedom, which he co produced with Kathleen and Nashville resident Ian Fitchuk (Kacey Musgraves).

    Jim Lives with his partner and children in his old family homestead in Stittsville, Ontario.

  • Joe McDonald

    Joe McDonald is a Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist and record producer from Ottawa, ON. After years of private study in jazz guitar and composition he spent time on the Toronto music scene playing in bands before founding the successful roots group, The Ramblin’ Valley Band (2015 – 2019) of which he was one of the primary songwriters, guitarists and singers. They toured Canada extensively and released Farm Days (EP 2016) and Snooze Grass (LP 2017). After the RVB, Joe wrote and produced a lo-fi style blues album The Underground Rattlesnake Party (2019) and a country/roots album Human Dogs (2020). To satisfy his love for electro production he released two singles in 2020 under the guise You Everyone Someone. Having performed big festivals like Ottawa Bluesfest, Cityfolk and countless other club, fair and private events as a solo artist and band leader, Joe has developed a strong command of the stage.

    Joe currently gigs regularly in and around the Ottawa area performing bluegrass, blues and original music.

  • John Carroll

    John Carroll’s successful 25 year career as a singer, songwriter and performer is deeply rooted in his ability to create mindful, pithy, and insightful songs from his observations of everyday life. He is a sure footed teller of yarns, and his tales of wit are woven seamlessly through song and stage banter, making him an enthralling live performer. His songs gain further depth by his skilled finger-style and slide guitar playing, lending an aching melody or creating gritty background for the images embedded in his lyrics.
    To date, John has recorded five full length albums (True Confessions of an Infamous Liar – 2002, Lost Radio – 2008, Everybody Smokes in Hell -2012), with critically acclaimed engineer, Dave Draves at Little Bullhorn Studio, (Kathleen Edwards, Jim Bryson, Camp Radio, HiLo Trons) ,Live at the Acoustic Grill -2014 , and “John Carroll Sings and Plays, Plays and Sings, Volume 1” in 2021

  • Kate Weekes

    Few artistic journeys have been as expansive as the one mounted by Kate Weekes as she assembled ‘Taken by Surprise’, recorded in 2019 with James Stephens in Chelsea, QC. Now based in Chelsea, Quebec after nearly a decade spent immersed in the Yukon’s vibrant music scene, Weekes drew on an astonishing array of experiences including dog mushing-for-hire in Norway, touring China with a swing band, canoeing from Whitehorse to Dawson City and, notably, several intense personal relationships to write these by turns mournful and joyous songs. That unique backstory explains why a one-genre description simply cannot capture the album’s musical scope. It’s more like: eclectic, lyrical, vocally propelled folk/pop with subtle jazz underpinnings buoyed by everything from organ to flugelhorn to trumpet. Indeed, you might say ‘Taken by Surprise’ is the ultimate sonic scrapbook of a bold life lived to the fullest.

  • Kristine St-Pierre

    Kristine St-Pierre is a folk singer-songwriter with soul-searching ballads and a rollicking bluesy flair. Described as a ‘chansonnière’ with a traveling heart,’ Kristine sings her life with passion, vulnerability and authenticity. She has released three albums (as well as Christmas album) and has received several nominations for her songwriting. She is currently working on a fourth solo album, which will come out in the fall of 2022. She will lead a workshop in English and French for the youngest with music, song and movement. ____________ Kristine St-Pierre est une auteure-compositrice-interprète à la voix de velours. Cette chansonnière au coeur voyageur charme son public avec ses mélodies accrocheuses et l’authenticité de ses textes. Elle a trois albums à son nom (ainsi qu’un album de Noël) et quelques nominations. Kristine oeuvre présentement sur un quatrième album solo qui sortira à l’automne 2022. L’auteure-compositrice-interprète Kristine St-Pierre animera un atelier en anglais et en français pour les plus jeunes avec musique, chant et mouvement.

  • Maggie Decady

    Maggie Decady: is excited to be part of Hairspray the Broadway Musical cast produced by Suzart Productions. She recently has had multiple opportunities to showcase her talents. Singing for her school’s President’s Coffee Break event and the Hothouse Reading Series where she recorded different 10-minute plays written by her school’s scriptwriting program. Maggie started her acting studies at Vancouver Film School where she took the acting essentials program. Afterwards, she continuously worked on improving her acting skills by attending Actorium’s acting studio taught by Michelle Meyrink and now is enrolled at Algonquin College Performing arts program. She enjoys singing and playing piano in her free time.

  • Marc Audet

    Marc Audet is a Canadian folk music singer/songwriter from the Ottawa Valley. From a wide range of influences, Marc’s songwriting speaks to a range of life experiences, but central to his act is his specialization in historical songwriting … songs about the history and heritage of the Ottawa Valley. In 2019, Marc released his debut album “The River”. In 2020, Marc developed a unique folk music show involving storytelling and songs about the Ottawa Valley, “Forgotten Memories of the Ottawa Valley”. In 2021, this folk show was recorded and videographed and it is being distributed to audiences interested in historical songwriting, including through community radio programming. This show received official recognition in a Certificate of Congratulations issued by MPP John Yakabuski. Marc is very active performing live at venues throughout the Ottawa Valley and Eastern Ontario, with weekly Livestream shows keeping him active during the pandemic shutdown periods. In 2022, Marc intends to return to a recording studio to record a second album. Collectively, Marc has something to say, musically.

  • Megan Jerome

    If you’ve never caught Megan Jerome’s life-affirming performances, you’re in for a treat. Backed by the Together Ensemble—all stellar musicians in their own right—Jerome brings a big sound, rich harmonies and vintage keyboards to her original compositions. Variously described as roots, jazz, cabaret and R&B, her songs are really just 100% Megan. By intuitively connecting with her audience, Jerome draws us into her stories, her joy, and her love of life.

    Jerome’s upcoming recording will be the seventh album for the Stingray Rising Star Award Winner who is heard regularly on CBC and whose performance highlights include the Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa Folk Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest and NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall. This will be the third album with her band, The Together Ensemble, whose first album earned Best Bet picks by The Ottawa Citizen and CBC News.

    “Ottawa singer-songwriter-pianist Megan Jerome strips her music down to its bare essentials…The pure-voiced Jerome has crafted an intimate and highly personal disc that pulls from folk, classical and jazz sources to build songs with their own distinctive charms.”

    —Peter Hum, Best Bets, The Ottawa Citizen

    “A captivating performer and fine singer, Megan’s songs are quirky and fun, dark and brooding, rich — like traditional music. Still modern though for all you trad-avoiders — a big grooving sound. I’ve rarely been so entertained and satisfied.”

    — Bobby Read (Bruce Hornsby)

  • Meredith Brown

    Meredith Brown is a champion for freshwater protection, a believer in Indigenous-led conservation and an advocate for rights for nature. Meredith was the founding Executive Director of Ottawa Riverkeepeer and acted as the Riverkeeper for over 15 years. Meredith holds degrees in biology, Enviromental Engineering and Resource & Environmental Management.

  • Mike Leeworthy – Guitar Building Workshop

    Scheduled during the free daytime programming. Saturday April 23, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, Workshop Room Mike Leeworthy operates Frogman Original Cigar Box Guitars from his home workshop in Limoges, Ontario. He has been building Cigar Box Guitars since 2007. For the workshop, there will be a maximum of 20 participants and only one instrument per family so that as many families can participate as possible. Children are able to share building an instrument. To reserve your spot, please email Emily Mountjoy at, or in person at the workshop if space remains.

  • Moonfruits

    Living and working on the unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation, Ottawa-based Moonfruits – partners Kaitlin Milroy and Alex Millaire – are bilingual makers of contemporary folk music. In a forest of guitar, banjo, chord organ and glockenspiel, their voices burrow and soar. Here is a reverie, tender and powerful, beckoning listeners to elevate the stuff of everyday life. Stingray Rising Star Award, SOCAN Award and Trille Or winners, Moonfruits have toured Canada, the Northeastern US, France, Belgium & Germany, moving audiences with a live show that mixes French and English organically, playfully, intentionally. Moonfruits’ anticipated sophomore album, Salt, is a lushly orchestrated 12-song suite that explores what it means to the band to live, dream and raise a family in an era of climate change, deepening socio-economic inequality, and runaway profit-minded urban development. It tells stories of their families; their coming together as work and life partners; and the kinds of communities they hope to uphold and help build. Salt is set for release in Fall 2022 with lead singles poised to share in the run-up.

  • Mystery

    Shruti Mistry (they/them), also known by stage-name Mystery, is a queer, Indo-Canadian spoken word poet from Brampton and is presently based in what is colonially known as Ottawa. After finding solace in the craft of spoken word six years ago, Shruti soon discovered empowerment, connection, and healing in the vulnerability of creative storytelling. They now explore the radical intersections of identity, culture, and more through performance poetry and academia. Having previously placed on national stages including the 2020 Voices of Today youth poetry festival and JAYU Canada’s Individual Poetry Slam, Shruti is currently balancing the chaos that comes with being a university student, poet, volunteer, and average human being. You can often find Shruti stress baking, writing yet another poem about the sun, or @wordsbymystery / @s.mistryy on Instagram.

  • Pat Moore Duo with Pat McLaughlin

    Pat Moore: Pat Moore’s voice has a warm and expressive quality, as perfectly suited to a rich ballad, as it is to an up-tempo power song. She moves easily from the storytelling of the singer/songwriter genre, to jazz standards, to the lonesome sound of traditional country and bluegrass. Well known for her powerful and expressive voice, Pat Moore has the gift of drawing you into each song, and taking you on the journey. Whether it’s an original song, jazz, roots, blues or bluegrass, the emotion, playfulness, and depth of Pat’s style will linger with you long after the show. Joined by long-time collaborator Pat McLaughlin on guitar and harmony vocals, this duo brings you a dynamic and captivating show. An all round entertainer, with an engaging stage presence, Pat is also well known for her productions such as the annual Christmas GOOSE concerts, the Ottawa Opry, and and as one of 4 hosts on the Saturday Morning Show on CKCU. “Audiences delight in Pat Moore’s radiant stage presence and warm, expressive voice. She writes, plays and sings from the heart, delivering strong stories of life and love we long to hear again… and again… and again!”?Chris White, Host, Canadian Spaces, CKCU. & Founding Artistic Director, Ottawa Folk Festival

  • Rick Fines

    Rick Fines has had a long and storied career as a hard working musician, touring across Canada countless times solo, as a duo or with a full band. He has recorded 14 albums and has been a guest on many others. Steeped in roots music, Rick crafts a unique blend of warm-hearted blues, juke joint folk, and dockside soul that both embraces and defies the genres that influence him. Rick engages audiences with captivating songs, diverse guitar styling and his signature vocal growl. Rick’s career has seen him working in stellar collaboration and as a successful solo act.

  • Robert Cretien and Marcel Beauchamp

    Marcel Beauchamp and Robert Cretien are former supervisors at the Dominion Arboretum. Marcel has established a collection of exotic and ornamental trees on his property near Morewood, Ontario, and has served as president of the Russell and District Horticultural Society and is their resident tree expert. Robert is a retired certified arborist and holds a degree in Environmental Science.

  • Robin Castelle

    Robin Castelle is a young trans male performer currently attending Algonquin College’s Performing Arts program. Robin has always enjoyed participating in a variety of artistic activities, including writing, acting, dance, and music. He has been a self-taught pianist for around thirteen years, and loves sharing his music with others. While he is not adept at reading sheet music, Robin finds other ways to learn songs, such as by ear or using visual tutorials. Performing is one of Robin’s greatest passions, whether he’s in front of a camera or an audience. This will be his first time performing at a live music festival!

  • Russell Levia

    Russell Levia has been active in the Ottawa music scene for over 40 years. He usually performs solo but has also been part of several collaborations including…..” Bec and Rusty ” with Rebecca Campbell ; ” The Lobster Buoys ” with Bill Cameron and Victor Maltby ; and ” The Old Showoffs ” with Jody Benjamin and Michael Ball. He has also worked extensively with the ” Rag And Bone Puppet Theatre ” {? John Nolan and Kathy MacLellan } as their musician for 27 years. Russell has released 4 c.d.’s” Tea For Two ” {? Bec And Rusty }” So Rare ” {? Jazz standards } ” The Wayward Wind ” {? classic country }” Morningtown Ride ” {? songs for children }. At this years’ festival he will be performing his favourite jazz standards, folk songs, country and gospel tunes.

  • Sally Robinson

    Sally grew up playing classical music.  At age 30, she took up bass guitar and co-founded the Toasted Westerns with her friend, Jody Benjamin.  So, her influences are from classical to country, and everything in between. She moved from Manitoba to Ottawa several decades ago.  Ottawa has always treated her well.  She teaches piano (online these days) to students from age 6 to 87!  Freelancing has taken her in many directions, from working with dance & theatre companies to accompanying instrumentalists, singers and choirs, to playing with several bands over the years. Presently she plays clarinet & accordion with the Shirt Tearing Boys.  Oh, and she leads singalongs – “Sing along with Sally” at Retirement Homes. She’s happy to be giving a workshop on “Piano Styles” at Grassroots this year.   She has a CD of original songs, called The S Files.

  • Sidney Moon

    Sidney Moon is currently studying Performing Arts. She has been in many productions but this will be her first time at Grassroots Festival. She is very excited.

  • The Blind and the Beautiful

    Visually impaired since birth, Lucas Haneman started playing guitar at age six. An expressive and soulful guitarist/vocalist with a wide-ranging sound centered in blues and funk, Haneman’s original songs are built on bold melodies and finely-crafted lyrics. Along with Megan Laurence’s sultry voice and ability to hold an audience in the palm of her hand, the duo delivers a variety of original blues material with seamlessly blended vocals and soaring harmonies.

  • The Grassroots Song Kitchen – Community SING! with Chris MacLean

    Chris MacLean is an award-winning Singer-songwriter; a registered Voice Movement Therapy practitioner (VMT); and Community Choir Facilitator. She LOVES to sing and considers it a universal birthright. Her career spans 30+ years of composing and performing Folk/Roots, World, and Jazz; and has taken her across the globe. She has 3 recordings of original songs, and is featured on several others. She is one-third of the acoustic, harmony-rich trio, Paugan Dames. Fuelled by a desire to share her passion for singing, Chris took the Ubuntu Community Choir Leadership Training in 2015. She subsequently started the non-auditioned Song Kitchen Community Choirs in Ottawa and Wakefield QC. She teaches by ear (no sheet music), with a strong focus on building community through the joy of singing in harmony, as a team. Having FUN is paramount. For 2 years, Chris led The One World Choir, pairing new Canadians, many of whom were refugees, with more established immigrant Canadians for a fun, mutually rewarding experience. Stress from trying to cope with an unfamiliar language, feelings of isolation, and estrangement were mitigated by singing together. Chris leads Lifesong, an intensive voice-liberating workshop based on VMT principles; Circle Singing; and singing retreats in the Outaouais and beyond. A bow to her mentors – Amanda Mabro (vocal technique); Rhiannon & Bobby McFerrin (Vocal Improv & Circle Singing); Anne Brownell & Barclay MacMillan (VMT); Siobhan Robinsong & Denis Donnelly

  • The Mavens

    Lynn, Susan and Shari have crossed paths many times through their lengthy careers as songwriters and touring recording artists, sharing festival workshop stages, song circles and endless stories. In the summer of 2019, Shari spent a few days in the middle of a Maritime tour at Susan’s place on the Nova Scotia coast. An evening chat about their favourite songwriters hatched the idea that their dream trio would include the incomparable Lynn Miles, based in Ottawa. The following February the stars aligned for them all to be together at Shari’s on the west coast to spend several days exploring tunes, laughing, playing, laughing, walking, eating, playing, and laughing. And lo, The Mavens were born

  • The Vanier Playboys

    The Vanier Playboys came together in 2018 to form Ottawa’s first and only Zydeco Band. They are built on the same solid frame as Ball & Chain and The Wreckers with Jody Benjamin and Michael Ball leading the band. The rhythm section is Bob Bangs-drums, Derek Jeffrey-bass, and Fred Guignion-guitar. Various accordions at stage left are in the capable hands of Antoine Larocque, from Montreal. Zydeco music is made for dancing. It springs from SW Louisiana and East Texas with influences from Africa, the Caribbean and Native American cultures… this combined with French lyrics makes for a zesty, groovy gumbo. Popular Zydeco artists over the years, include Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis, Queen Ida and Buckwheat Zydeco. Everybody in the band has Ottawa East connections – that puts the Vanier in Vanier Playboys. The band name arises from the tradition of adding the suffix “Playboys” to the name of the place you call home… thus: Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Steve Riley and The Mamou Playboys, Walter Mouton and The Scott Playboys, etc. Jody Benjamin and Michael Ball have been active on the Ottawa music scene for 27 years. They started out as a duo, “Ball and Chain”, playing vintage country and cajun dance music, later expanding to include their band “The Wreckers”, and most recently branching out into Zydeco with The Vanier Playboys. Dancing to live music is simply, The Best!

  • Twin Flames

    Indie rock, synth rock, and folk-pop are just a few of the ways critics have tried to label the music of Twin Flames. It isn’t an easy task, and really, labels only serve the needs of those who choose to employ them. From the beginning, husband and wife duo Chelsey June and Jaaji have decided to let their music speak for itself. When considered alongside the 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards and 3 Native American Music Awards wins and over 30 various music awards and nominations, they have accumulated over the past six years as Twin Flames, it is obvious they have something special going on. Chelsey June, Métis (Algonquin Cree heritage) from Ottawa, and Jaaji, Inuk and Mohawk from Nunavik and Kahnawake, are part of an Indigenous renaissance. Their cultural backgrounds span Canada’s geography and their songs, delivered through a mix of English, French and Inuktitut, have helped them earn a unique place among contemporary music makers from coast to coast. Truthful and compelling storytelling accompanied by their playful humour makes a great combination with the level of musicianship they bring to the stage. Twin Flames realness resonates with audiences, they create a genuine human connection everywhere they go. Twin Flames have released three full-length albums since joining together, both professionally and as spouses. They have played more than 1000+ shows throughout Canada, Greenland, the United States, Australia, France and the Cayman Islands.