MARY J. BLIGE
Global R&B superstar Mary J. Blige will be making her Bluesfest debut in 2017. The iconic Grammy Award winner, singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist is a defining voice of the contemporary music era.
Mary J. Blige has amassed an impressive eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards, 32 Grammy nominations, a 2012 Golden Globe nomination and five American Music Awards. She has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and is responsible for a plethora of hit singles including; ‘Be Without You’, ‘No More Drama’ ‘Not Gon’ Cry’, ‘Love Is All We Need’, ‘Seven Days’, ‘All That I Can Say’, ‘Family Affair’ and ‘Just Fine’.
Influenced at an early age by the music of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Gladys Knight, Blige brought her own gritty, urban-rooted style—fusing hip-hop, soul and honest, frank lyrics—to the forefront on her 1992 debut album What’s the 411?. The successful debut featured hits such as ‘You Remind Me’ and ‘Real Love’ and went to number #1 on the Billboard R&B/ Hip Hop Album Chart.
Mary J. Blige helped redefine the R&B genre as the hit albums followed over the next two decades including her 2005 release The Breakthrough which debuted at number #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Her most recent release and 13th studio album The London Sessions (2014) went to number #1 on the iTunes R&B Chart, and was included in Billboard’s 10 Best R&B Albums of 2014.
It is an absolute honour to welcome R&B royalty Mary J. Blige to Bluesfest for the first time.
MARY J. BLIGE WILL PERFORM AT BLUESFEST ON FRIDAY 14TH OF APRIL.
CORINNE BAILEY RAE
Corinne Bailey Rae is coming to Australia to perform for the first time at Bluesfest in 2017.
With over five million albums sold, two-time Grammy winner Bailey Rae released her self-titled debut album in 2006, reaching number one in the UK and number four in the U.S. The album featured the global hits ‘Put Your Records On’ and ‘Like A Star’.
Originally the front-woman of an indie band, Bailey Rae's music spans electronic, soul and experimental genres. She has completed her highly anticipated third studio album The Heart Speaks In Whispers which debuted at number three on Billboard's R&B chart. Featuring ‘Been To The Moon’, ‘The Skies Will Break’ and ‘Green Aphrodisiac’, NPR named it one of the 30 albums of the year so far. The album has gained worldwide acclaim, garnering four and five-star reviews.
“a fascinating listen, one filled with catharsis and inspiration.” – Pitchfork
“What Rae adds to this idealists' songbook is a feminine take that blends dreaminess with nuanced awareness of the heart's hesitations and the need, in life, for clarity… After his death, many fans pointed to Prince's legacy of work with female artists. Rae realizes it here — a woman, not a girl, dreaming in her own colours.” - NPR
Bailey Rae is sure to delight festival audiences with her soaring vocals and impressive stage presence, don’t miss her Australian premiere performance.
CORINNE BAILEY RAE WILL PERFORM AT BLUESFEST ON THURSDAY 13TH AND SATURDAY 15TH OF APRIL.
Michael Kiwanuka makes his highly anticipated return to Bluesfest in 2017. His 2013 performances created a huge buzz around the festival, and his career has continued to go from strength to strength since.
“Michael Kiwanuka’s second album might just be the best of the year” – The Times
“Bittersweet soul-baring and biting self-knowledge” – The Observer
Kiwanuka has the rare honour of having both his debut record Home Again and his sophomore record Love & Hate nominated for the Mercury Prize. He has received critical acclaim from journalists and fellow musicians alike; all paying testament to his incredibly smooth and soulful voice that recalls a number of the greats of our time.
“Michael Kiwanuka, at the ripe old age of 28, musically swaggers back into the room with as confident a second statement as you could wish for, full of strong melodies, affecting lyrics, sharp playing, immense arrangements, and sympathetic production.” – Mojo
Love & Hate was produced by Danger Mouse, who has also worked with U2, The Black Keys, Gorillaz and Beck. It’s a record that sounds as though it has been unearthed from a long forgotten studio canister in the seventies, but is permeated with a timelessness that defies any artist of any specific era. If the “death of the album” is still an ongoing conversation, Michael Kiwanuka’s new record is a startling, emphatic response to its enduring importance.
“You might even say that Falling weirdly resembles one of Kiwanuka’s old folk-soul heroes had they somehow been exposed to the latterday oeuvre of Radiohead. A beautiful melody, wrapped in gauzy textures, it’s a fantastic song, exquisitely arranged, something Love & Hate is packed with: the work of an artist coming into his own.” – The Guardian
He is the real deal, a true artist whose passion and talent will wow Bluesfest audiences.
MICHAEL KIWANUKA WILL PERFORM AT BLUESFEST ON FRIDAY 14TH OF APRIL.
NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE
Nahko and Medicine for the People are returning to Bluesfest with their worldly blend of rock, hip-hop, and alt-folk and will be bringing their new album HOKA with them!
HOKA is the third full-length album from Nahko and Medicine for the People, who have earned a horde of Bluesfest fans after their roof-raising performances in 2014 and 2016, which saw them receive shining reviews like this;
“The man known as Nahko Bear fronts an eclectic group, including very impressive violin and trumpet players. The songs evoke images of mountains, the sea, the sky and our connections with nature. There is no shortage of love in the Mojo tent as they excel..” – THE MUSIC
“As the sun went down, it was time for some spiritual awakening with the powerful message-deliverers Nahko and Medicine for the People. As always, the tent swelled as they played and even the unfamiliar were raising their hands in earnest by the end.” – DAILY REVIEW
Oregon-born singer/songwriter Nahko, who is of Puerto Rican, Native American (Apache), and Filipino descent described the new album HOKA, as “the soundtrack of the movement for a better planet". HOKA was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lucero, Dropkick Murphys).
The countdown is on to hear Nahko and Medicine for the People’s new material and experience their inspiring and energetic performances once again next Easter.
NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE WILL PERFORM AT BLUESFEST ON SATURDAY 15TH AND MONDAY 17TH OF APRIL.
Bluesfest is thrilled to announce Gallant will be making his Australian debut at the 2017 festival. Named by Billboard as the #1 performance of Coachella in 2016, Gallant has garnered accolades for his exceptional voice from artists like Elton John, John Legend, and Seal.
His rise has been meteoric, finding his way onto the stages of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and having his single ‘Weight in Gold’ handpicked by the esteemed Zane Lowe as his inaugural ‘World’s First’ and then the ‘Single of the Week’ on his Beats 1 radio show.
“Precise writing of Frank Ocean, big vocal runs of Sam Smith.” – LA Times
"Gallant is one the best vocalists I've heard in forever. And he sounds better live than he does on his recordings." – The Guardian
The young Los Angeles artist identifies his music as future soul, bridging the contemporary productions with old school song writing. Recognising his generational talent, “the voice that will redefine R&B” according to NME has received sweeping critical acclaim for his first album ology, an innovative take on the alternative and urban music genres.
“A few years from now, when the singer who goes by the name Gallant is holding an armload of Grammys and has his own personal driver, I'll brag about how I saw him in Austin, back before he started selling out arenas.” Robin Hilton - NPR
"It's an honor to be here with such a talented young man. "I love that he's paving the way, and I love that he's the future.... I’m his biggest fan."- Seal
"[Gallant] is going to be huge!" – Elton John
GALLANT WILL PERFORM AT BLUESFEST ON THURSDAY 13TH AND FRIDAY 14TH OF APRIL.
“It’s clear her music comes from deep within. Girl feels it, and as such, so do we” — NYLON
“The Suffers are a ten-piece soul collective that steeps their tracks in jazzy history with a modern twist. They’re the sort of neo-retro group you never knew music was so badly missing” — Brennan Carley (Spin Magazine)
If you like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings then don’t miss The Suffers, Houston’s award-winning 10-piece ensemble is set to bring the house down at their Bluesfest debut.
The Suffers have redefined the sound of Gulf Coast Soul and are as much influenced by classic rock & roll, country, Latin and Southern hip hop as they are the Stax/Volt or Muscle Shoals era. Established in 2011, The Suffers’ line up was curated by bassist Adam Castaneda and vocalist/keyboardist Pat Kelly, who brought on trumpet player Jon Durbin, trombonist Michael Razo, guitarist Kevin Bernier, percussionist Jose “Chapy” Luna, and drummer/vocalist Nick Zamora. Jazz saxophonist Cory Wilson and guitarist/vocalist Alex Zamora filled out the rhythm section, while front woman Kam Franklin topped off the group with soaring vocals.
Last year brought the band to new heights, as they played 150+ shows across North America, visited NPR in Washington, DC for a Tiny Desk Concert, and made their national television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman who later said “If you can’t do this, get out of the business!”.
In 2016, the band officially released their much anticipated self-titled album and performed on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel Live. The Suffers have quickly progressed from packing Houston venues to accepting invitations for featured performances at notable festivals and events, while remaining a local Houston favourite, accepting 20 Houston Press Music Awards in the last three years. Their performance at Jazzfest 2016 was hailed as one of the best of the event.
THE SUFFERS WILL PERFORM AT BLUESFEST ON THURSDAY 13TH, FRIDAY 14TH, SUNDAY 16TH AND MONDAY 17TH OF APRIL.