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Vancouver Island Musicfest announces performers for 2023

Bands for Vancouver Island Musicfest have been announced for this year’s show, featuring multiple genres.

First up on the list of artists is a roots duo with history unrelated to each other’s music. Consisting of Dale Alvin and Jamie Gilmore, the two started playing together in 2017 after being friends for over 30 years but never playing a gig together.

Alvin is known through playing in many rock and blues bands and for winning a Grammy Award in 2000 for best contemporary folk album. Gilmore has twice been named country artist of the year by Rolling Stone.

VI Musicfest says their shows are spontaneous and provide plenty of entertainment through original and cover pieces.

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Following the roots duo are Blue and Gold, who consist of Juno nominated and WCMA Blues artist of the year Ndidi O and banjo player Trish Klein. They started in 2020 as a remote recording and research project that gave way to their first album.

The two are known for their homages to Black female artists of the 20th century such as Memphis Minnie, Lottie Kimbrough and Victoria Spivey.

Gospel inspired Nikki D and the Sisters of Thunder will grace the stage in July. Nikki has been described as the “Jimi Hendrix of sacred steel” by Guitar World and is returning to Musicfest for her second time, according to artistic director and executive producer David Cox.

“Nikki D won the hearts and ears of our Musicfest audience last year when she took part as a member of the incredible collaboration, HER Majesty, which featured an unprecedented group of fabulous women blues singers and players from around North America,” said Cox.

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Angelique Francis is another musician who Musicfest says is highly sought after. Known for her blues-infused songs and instrumentals, Francis has been nominated for four Canadian blues awards, a 2023 Canadian folk music award, a 2023 Juno award and a 2022 Ontario folk music award.

Those looking for funk, jazz and hip-hop put together in one will find it through LappElectro, fronted by Daniel Lapp. The band featuring musicians from Victoria has a wide variety of instruments spanning saxophones to keyboards.

Lapp is known for performing with artists such as 54-40, Gord Downie and Lou Reed.

Finishing the lineup off is trans-Atlantic group Skye Consort and Emma Björling. The duo is performing songs from Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Scotland and England as well as other original compositions.

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Musicfest is set to run from July 14 to 16, with Cox adding the lineup will present something for everyone.

“I couldn’t be more excited about these performers and those yet to be announced,” said Cox. “The diversity of genres truly represents the world of music.”

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