Dutcher has announced performances in Fredericton and Sackville as part of summer tour.
Jeremy Dutcher is a classically trained operatic tenor, composer, activist, musicologist and a member of the Tobique First Nation who takes every opportunity to blend his Wolastoq First Nation roots into the music he creates, blending distinct musical aesthetics that shape-shift between classical, traditional, and pop to form something entirely new.
His debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (wool-las-two-wi-ig lint-two-wah-gun-ah-wa) finds Dutcher exploring, reworking, and collaborating with the voices of his ancestors which he discovered and transcribed from turn-of-the-century wax cylinders.
Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa has taken Canadian music media by storm with many reviewers and critics already calling it one of the year’s best albums.
“I’m doing this work because there’s only about a hundred Wolastoqey speakers left,” said Dutcher. “It’s crucial for us to make sure that we’re using our language and passing it on to the next generation. If you lose the language, you’re not just losing words; you’re losing an entire way of seeing and experiencing the world from a distinctly indigenous perspective.”
Last year, Dutcher spent some time on the road with the New Constellation’s tour. Hosted by Jason Collett, the music and literary tour travelled to cities, towns, and Indigenous communities across the nation, featuring a core roster of Indigenous artists alongside a rotating cast of some of the country’s most celebrated musicians, writers, and poets. NOW Toronto claims that if you caught the tour “you were likely blown away by Jeremy Dutcher’s booming operatic voice and sweeping performance.”
Dutcher will spend some more time on the road this spring and summer, with stops and festival dates throughout Canada including two performances in his home province of New Brunswick.
May 11 | Halifax, NS – St. Matthew’s United Church
May 10 | Fredericton, NB – Beaverbrook Art Gallery
May 25 | Ottawa, ON – First Baptist Church
June 9 | Toronto, ON – The Great Hall
June 16-17 | Winnipeg, MB – Sākihiwē Festival
June 27 | Vancouver, BC – Queer Arts Festival
June 30 | Dawson City, YT – KIAC Ballroom
July 4 | Montreal, QC – GESU (Montreal International Jazz Festival)
July 13-15 | Guelph, ON – Hillside Festival
July 18 | Stratford, ON – Avondale Salon
July 28-29 | Calgary, AB – Calgary Folk Festival
Aug 8 | Sackville, NB – Sappyfest
About the Artwork
Together with Cree visual artist Kent Monkman, the piece began with the iconic image of ethnographer Frances Densmore collecting songs from Blackfoot chief Ninna-Stako in 1916. The image “is one that has followed me through the process of working on Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa; maybe haunted me,” says Dutcher. “I wanted to flip this image on it’s head and reflect on a contemporary musical self-determination, while integrating the supposed objectivity of the archival project and how it reinforces detachment from communal rematriation. We are reclaiming it.”
The album cover, photographed by Matt Barns and features a custom jacket from Wolastoq designer Stephanie Labillios, also includes Monkman’s stunning work “Teaching The Lost” as a backdrop.