Alex Cuba is a Latin Grammy/Juno winner, singer-songwriter who is not tied to tradition; Alex has a vast musical vision. His sugarcane-sweet melodies, pop-soul hooks and powerful guitar riffs, relinquish a conventional stereotype that exemplifies much of the Latin music landscape. Collaborating with artists such as: Nelly Furtado, Juan Luis Guerra, Juanes and Ron Sexsmith, just to name a few. Born Alexis Puentes in Artemisa, Cuba, was immersed in music at a very young age. Being in the family business since the early age of 4. This is when he joined his father (respected guitarist and teacher Valentin Puentes), and a group of 24 guitarists in a performance aired on Cuban national TV. Alex then went on to study guitar and bass and touring nationally and internationally.
In 1999, Alex moved to Vancouver, B.C where he recorded an album titled “Morumba Cubana” alongside his twin brother Adonis, as The Puentes Brothers. Alex then went on to record his solo debut album “Humo De Tobaco” in which earned him a Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2006. In 2007, Alex released “Agua Del Pozo” which also earned him another Juno award for World Music Album of the Year in 2008. From there, Alex released his third album, a self-titled project “Alex Cuba” in 2009.
The album features his first ever English track titled “If You Give Me Love”. The album gained recognition on an international level. In 2010, Alex took home the award for Best New Artist at the 2010 Latin Grammy Awards, where it was also nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Album. It also followed a nominated for Best Latin Pop Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards and in 2011 Alex took home a BMI Latin Award for his songwriting on Nelly Furtado’s #1 Spanish hit “Manos Al Aire”. In 2012, Alex released his fourth album “Ruido En El Sistema”, which Alex received his second Socan Hagood Hardy Award for outstanding achievement in Jazz and World Music. He also won his second Latin Grammy Award – this time as a songwriter. Alex alongside his co-writer Yoel Henriquez received the award for Best Tropical Song for the single “Toma Mi Vida” from Milly Quezada’s album Aqui Estoy Yo. In 2013, he again brought home a Latin Grammy for the video Eres Tu from Ruido En El Sistema, a video produced entirely in his hometown of Smithers.
Songwriting was the focus for the latest album "Healer" that was recorded in New York, USA and Victoria, Canada. Using a live rhythm section the songs take on a live appeal and Alex traded in horns for guitars and vocal harmonies that take Alex back to his roots. There are five duets with singersongwriters, five being Canadian, Ron Sexsmith, David Myles, Alejandra Ribera and Kuba Oms as well as New Yorker Anya Marina. It is an upbeat, acoustic soul album full of optimism and reality as Alex always has a silver lining on melancholy of any form. The album won a Latin Grammy for best Singer-songwriter and nominated for a Grammy as best Latin Pop in 2016.
Still based in Smithers, Alex Cuba has put together a four piece band of Ian Olmstead on Bass, Jake Jenne on Drums and Jose Sanchez on percussion. Ian and Jake, both from Smithers have known Alex since their high school years and Cuban expat Jose has toured previously supporting the album Agua del Pozo. Coming together for this latest project highlight the songs with lots of melody, groove and vocal harmonies.
Recently awarded with "Male Artist of The Year-2016" at the Edmonton Music Awards, Mohsin Zaman is an old hand at being a new comer. Carrying Pakistani roots and an upbringing in the Middle East, Zaman has created quite the buzz in the Albertan music scene in the year and half that he's given music "a serious" go! With two albums under his name (Waking Up-2105, and Fly Home- 2016), Zaman has made appearances in the Albertan festival circuit. The Edmonton Folk Festival (2015, 2016), North Country Fair (2015, 2016), Canmore Folk Festival (2016) and Bear Creek Folk Festival (2016) are few to name. Zaman is quickly being recognised as one of the best new voices in the province, carrying a sound that has been described as "unique & unheard of".
Nadine Kellman is an Edmonton based singer/song writer with humble beginnings. She was raised in the working class community of Clareview, in Edmonton’s North east.
She purchased a used Squire Stratocaster from a pawn shop on 118th avenue, when she was 19 and taught herself to play it. After knee reconstruction sidelined her athletic career she started writing songs and performing them on open stages, connecting her to Edmonton’s rich music community. She released an EP and a full length album with the help of this supportive and thriving community.
A Contralto vocalist with a unique guitar technique; Nadine often draws comparisons with Tracy Chapman and Joan Armatrading.
She slips between blues, soul, roots folk, country, and plain rock and roll.
Her backing band (which she describes as a band “on steroids”) features some of Edmonton’s great talents: Billie Zizi, Dana Wylie, Matt Blackie, and Rand Kowaluk.
Whether playing with The Black Wonders or solo Nadine is a fan favourite weaving humour in both her song writing and candid stage banter.
“Edmonton’s best kept musical secret” the Edmonton Journal