With Canada’s big 150th birthday bash now in the past, it’s understandable why some might believe that things are about to slow down in Canada’s capital. Well get ready to get excited all over again because RBC Bluesfest is about to kick off the second half 2017 festivities with a bang.
As usual, this year’s installment of RBC Bluesfest delivers an eclectic mix musical fare, from early 2000’s hip-hop to trap, country and electronic music. And, of course, who can forget the All-Star Blues Review that puts the blues in Bluesfest?
What sticks out is the depth of local talent. This year’s lineup is an indication of how far Ottawa’s music scene has grown compared to even two years ago.
Now here’s a quick look at some performances you’ll want to check out:
Toby Keith (Thursday, July 6th, 9:15 pm): Being one of the first artists to perform on the first day of Bluesfest might be a lot of pressure but this experienced American actor and country singer has 17 studio albums under his belt, as well as a strong career that spans over two decades. On top of his charismatic personality, Toby Keith is also a wonderful live performer. Country fan or not, this performance is one you won’t want to miss.
50 Cent (Saturday, July 8th, 9:30 pm): The legendary New York rapper who ruled hip-hop in the early 2000’s will also be performing this year. You can expect him to perform some of his biggest classics, including In Da Club, PIMP, and I Get Money. Now on top of being a hip-hop icon, 50 Cent is also a fabulous entertainer. The man has no filter and you shouldn’t expect him to hold himself back on stage either.
P!nk (Sunday, July 9th, 9:30 pm): This versatile Pennsylvania singer knows how to entertain a crowd. While she is a formidable singer, she’s also a social activist who won’t hesitate to be as direct as she wants. Another performance not to miss.
Migos (Thursday, July 13th , 7pm): With their album Culture destroying sales expectations and their hit song Bad and Boujee being played at clubs all over the world, the crowd has reason to have high expectations of the kings of the South, Quavo, Offset and Takeoff.
A Tribe Called Red (Friday, July 14th, 9pm): A Tribe Called Red wasn’t only the most accomplished Ottawa act over the first half of 2017 but they’ve been one of the most successful Canadian acts period. Fresh off a performance and Producer of the Year win at the 2017 Junos, a Video of the Year win at the iHeart Radio Much Music Video Awards, and a mention on the 2017 Polaris Music Prize long list, this trio is on fire.
The Riot Police (Sunday, July 16th, 4pm): We fell in love with The Riot Police this past April at JUNOfest. They offer a fun performance and their love for the music is contagious. If you’re just looking for a fun time, this is a show to check out.
Souljazz Orchestra (Sunday, July 16th, 6pm): Ever since seeing them perform hip-hop classics for the b-boy crew battles at House of Paint a few years ago we’ve been hooked. If you enjoy a fusion of jazz, afro, latin and Caribbean music with lots of horns, this one should be on your list.
Meet the locals: As we said, the local lineup this year is deep. Aside from checking out the big names, we also recommend that you check out what Ottawa’s music scene has to offer, including Malak, BLAKDENIM, Eddie Quotez, Maurice Moore, Night Lovell, Old Man Grant and ERU-ERA.