The Itals – Jamaica

The Itals are a Jamaican Reggae harmony group formed in 1976. The group recorded several albums in the late 1970’s and 1980’s.  One of Jamaica’s signature harmony groups, The Itals were chiefly responsible for keeping the sound and spirit of roots reggae alive well into the dancehall era. Founder Alvin “Keith” Porter is one of the few living early roots reggae artists.   The Itals’ debut single, “In a Dis’ Time” is considered the groups finest work date and topped the Jamaican chart.

BC/DC – Canada

There are tribute bands, and then there’s BCDC. They were born of bush party ashes in the summer of 1999. Some 500 unexpected gigs later, Canada’s BC/DC has systematically redefined the concept of a tribute band, garnering iconic status amongst diehard fans, agents, and venues. BC/DC’s live show has become a legendary, and necessary, “rite-of-passage” amongst their unwavering supporters and believers.   Yes, it’s BC/DC LIVE in Slocan.

Ganga Giri – Australia

A didgeridoo virtuoso and innovator and a descendant of Truganini, from the Palawa people Tasmania, Ganga has taken dance-floors of the world by storm with his unique Australian sound; modern primitive world music fused with deep earth bass music. With eleven albums to date, and two decades of touring  Ganga and his psychedelic tribe of musicians have performed everywhere from dance clubs and hidden caves to large outdoor festivals such as Glastonbury (UK), Burning Man (USA), Rainbow Serpent and Woodford Folk Festival (Australia), Winnipeg Folk Festival (Canada), BOOM (Portugal), Shambhala (Canada), and Szieget (Hungary).

“Ganga Giri is a wonderful musician. I loved the mix of his ancient and primitive instrument with a wide range of great dance grooves. Ganga is really taking the didgeridoo places it has never been before and developing a unique style of music.” – Peter Gabriel

El Papachango – Argentina / Cali

El Papachango moved from Buenos Aires to the west coast of the US as a young adult. He brought with him a love of music from South America that he blended with underground beats to create a groove that is infectious to dance floors everywhere. El Papachango is one of the core creators of the legendary El Circo, one of San Francisco’s prominent avant-garde performance groups. He is a long time festival favorite having played Shambhala for eleven consecutive years. This year he is bringing his Latin fusion and hip hop influenced set to Unity.

Gabriel Palatchi – Argentina

Pianist and composer Gabriel Palatchi has been called “one of the new young lions of Latin jazz” by Edward Blanco of  And if you caught him last year at Unity you will remember what a spectacular set that was.  We had to bring them back.  Palatchi’s trio takes us on an eclectic musical journey, blending latin jazz, tango, middle eastern influences and funk. With Chema Gonzalez (Mexico) on drums and Kerry Galloway (Canada) on bass.

Erica Dee  – Canada

The daughter of Bostonian jazz musicians, Erica Dee has been immersed in music her entire life. She discovered her sound within the underground electronic and hip-hop culture of Nelson, BC. and began singing with DJs and bands at the age of 17 .  Erica Dee has captivated audiences from Brazil to Israel, and performed with a wide array of artists such as Quest Love, Mark Farina, Masta Ace, Lil’ Kim, Nneka , Thievery Corporation, Erick Morillo, Justin Martin, and Bassnectar. We are delighted to bring Erica back to Unity. “A honey laced voice with peachy summer day melodies over stick-to-your-ribs beats & sub-synth harmonies’’

Bocephus King – Vancouver

Known for his worldly folk sound, Bocephus King has (James Perry) has collaborated with master musicians from all over the world. He carries a sound from places near and far, familiar and foreign, rooted in folk tradition and infused with his contemporary, unique approach. He is a storyteller through and through and his ability to connect with his listeners transcends cultures. His voice makes you feel like you’re coming home. Ali Razmi – Setar/Vocals, Owen B Connell – Keyboards, Curtis Andrews – Drums, Hamin Honari – Tomback, Bocephus King – Guitar / Vocals

“One of the most interesting songwriters to come out of North America in the last two decades.” – Disco Club

Adham Shaikh+Buckman Coe      Slocan Valley/Vancouver

Composer, performer and DJ…. Adham’s work has received Juno and Emmy nominations, and is a mainstay attraction at Shambhala’s Grove (Labyrinth). Always at the front of musical exploration, his beats both lead and influence the World Fusion, Global Bass, Dub and Chillout scenes. He is bringing Buckman Coe with him to Unity… their collaboration has been amazingly fruitful!  With guest artists includes horn players Andy Cakes and Marty Carter. This is gonna be good.

The Bo Conlan Clinton Swanson Collaborative – Slocan Valley / Nelson

Bo Conlan and Clinton Swanson started making music together in the Slocan Valley twenty something years ago.  Both musicians have extensive performance experience on local, national, and international stages.  The Collaborative brings the two musicians together to explore groove, melody, and improv showcasing Bo Conlan on vocals, vibes, and percussion and Clinton Swanson on saxophones.  Joining Bo and Clinton will be two veteran rhythm section musicians:  Doug Stephenson on electric bass and Steven Parish on drums.

Unknown Mizery with Suzka– Vancouver

Unknown Mizery is a member of the touring band Babylon Warchild and the founder of the collective. He has performed and facilitated healing and alternative education workshops on over 10 tours across Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. Look out for his new album “Sacred Soil 2”  Suzka is a violinist, vocalist and composer who has performed live and recorded with the ‘RZA’ Wu-Tang Clan, Maestro Fresh Wes, k-os, Lights, Chin Injeti and many more. She is a session player and records live for film and TV soundtracks.

Pauline Lamb – Nelson BC

The girl’s a legend. With her gentle yet disturbed voice and breathy rhythmic acoustic guitar she carries her songs to the audience… little imaginings and tales of hope, reflection and secrets.  At times a deep blues mama will emerge with songs that come from singing alone in the rain under the stars in the Purcell Forest. Recent releases are Hillbilly Burlesque and the upcoming Violet Tendancy on her Indi Label Burnt Cookies. If you missed her when she opened for Frazey Ford at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson a few months ago… then here is a special opportunity to experience… Pauline Lamb.

Heavy Airship – Nelson BC

Had to bring these guys in. In just a short time the Nelson-based Led Zeppelin tribute band has gained a faithful following in the area and generated sell out shows. Recreating the classic sound of Led Zeppelin, Heavy Airship consists of Craig Thiessen on vocals, Gus Dixon on guitar, Quillan Hanley on bass guitar and Eddie Thomas on drums.

FRASE – Vancouver

Frase is a singer, multi instrumentalist & beat maker from Montreal, Canada. With his music he pulls from the retro and pushes into the future, blending sounds of Hip-Hop, Neo -Soul, Dub reggae and Blues with the modern dance floor flavours of Trap, Garage, and House.  With a soulful voice, heartfelt songwriting and an energetic live performances Frase is capturing audiences all over the world.

Intersect – Nelson BC

This dynamic duo hailing from Nelson BC is creating 100% original dance music, with organic roots, deep bass, and thought provoking lyrics. In 1995, Hamilton transplant and bassist Scott Milne founded the Penticton Youth Arts Collective, and the early incarnation of underground dance rock legends ‘Wassabi Collective’  with Kootenay boy Rahj Levinson joining soon after.  After many North American tours Wassabi folded and these  two connected musically and the combination of Scot Millions, Rahjaan, and deep bass music, was born.
 Intersect bring musical sensibilities and positive messages, with booty-shaking deep bass and beats, to the Unity beach dance floor!

Alpine Conspiracy – Nelson BC

This power group of talented veterans has crafted a catchy high energy original sound, a cornucopia & fusion of individual eclectic influences, experiences, countless years of wood-shedding and individually playing on stages from the Olympics to shores of New Zealand. At the most recent Kootenay Music Awards Alpine Conspiracy was voted BEST ROCK BAND of 2016.

Immune 2 Cobras – Slocan Valley BC

Immune 2 Cobras is an original locally grown power duo. Compelling, exuberant vocals are fueled by a sleek wall of guitars and a driving, unconventional rhythm section. An understanding of what makes people human informs the songwriting style of this deeply connected pair. The positive energy projected by Immune 2 Cobras is often described with swear words, forehead slapping, and an elevated heart rate. Karl Nygren – Vocals, Guitar, Robin Sittig – Drums

Holly and Jon – Slocan Valley, BC

Blues duo, Holly Hyatt (vocals and bass) and Jon Burden (vocals, acoustic and slide guitar), are making some waves on the international blues scene with their latest release on Flood Plane records. “Shufflin’ The Blues” is a mix of Chicago blues, Delta blues and home-style, original blues and has received worldwide airplay (# 1 on the Roots Music Report International Acoustic Blues chart for Oct 2016), rave reviews and critical acclaim.  They have released three albums to date and have appeared on shows with artists such as: Harry Manx. David Gogo, Paul Reddick, Colin James, Jeff Healey, Jim Byrnes, Ruthie Foster and Leon Russell. “Jon’s guitar playing is impeccable. Ringing like the proverbial bell throughout. Holly’s scat singing is pure delight as well. They hit on a winning formula with exactly what a live set ought to be”.            Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society

In the Sticks – Slocan Valley

In the Sticks is an Afro Sassy drum dance collective from the Slocan Valley. Their high energy performances emphasize and invoke the power of women and inspire all those who experience it. Dunduns are played in a stand up style with sticks, synced with full power dance choreography focused around the drum. The group is influenced by the drumming and dancing traditions from the culturally rich regions of West Africa, whilst simultaneously being inspired by modern day genres such as hip hop, dance-hall, reggae, and ‘step’ choreography.

Dirt Floor – Nelson BC

Hailing from various town in the fabled West Kootenays, Dirt Floor are a five piece Roots band. Original members, Sean Cameron, Jesse Lee and Peter Reed and now joined by Eddie Thomas (Drums) and Brian Kalbfleisch (Keys) as they move seamlessly from North Americana Folk Music to gritty rock and roll. Likened to the Band, Ryan Adams and The National, Dirt Floor blends many influences to deliver their own take on contemporary roots music.

Giant Water Bug – Rossland BC

Energized dirty RocknRoll with a dose of blues, garage and psychedelic influences… Giant Water Bug have quickly gained a strong following in the Koots and southern BC.  Brad MacKay – guitar/vocals, Austin Delaye – drums/vocals, Louis Giardeau Juteau – bass.

Soniko –  Ecuador

Originally from a city in the highest of the Andes, Kitu, Ecuador, SONIKO now resides in Sinixt traditional land also known as the Kootenay region of BC, Canada. Soniko will grace the stage with his beautiful traditional and original songs with guitar, flute and voice and he be leading a HEART MAPPING workshop in the festival workshop area.

Buddhagrass – Slocan Valley

The band goes back a long way…. Started by the Buddhagrass Boys (Tom Elgie and Olin McKay) the band produced four CDs and had many more home spun songs that comprise some of their current repertoire. Current members are Olin McKay (guitar/vocals), Stephanie Darychuk (bass),  Cody McKay (banjo/vocals),  and Carl Butler (dobro).

Marty Carter – Kids Show

One of the most versatile and loved musicians in the area, Marty Carter serves up his authentic joy of music every time he plays.  He will be joining Adham Shaikh  and Buckman Coe on their set and he also will be doing a kids set on Sunday morning.   He will be demonstrating a cazillion different instruments in only the way that Marty Carter can.  Don’t miss this.  Coming all the way from Ymir.

Oxygen Orkestrar – Nelson & area

Based in the Kootenays, for many years Oxygen Orkestar has been spreading the joy of Serbian music at festivals, street parties, and spontaneous events throughout BC. A raucous street band with a mix of tuba, trombone, euphonium, trumpet and drums playing odd time signatures and strange keys of Serbian music. All performers sing, creating dense harmonies. Hard not to dance. Mary Defeo – trombone/voice, Conner Defeo – tuba/voice,  Anneke Rosch – euphonium/voice, Catherine McGrath – drum/voice, Ron Butler – trumpet/voice.

Lazy Poker Blues Band – Nelson BC

The Blues is more than music …it’s more than attitude ….it’s like an itch you can’t quite reach. Veteran players bring relief. Aryn Sheriff – vocals, Bill Lynch – guitar/vocals,  Jack Olson – keys, Clint Swanson – saxophone, Steve Wilson – drums, Rob Van Der Laan – bass.