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Due to unforeseen circumstances, Crystal Shawanda will no longer be performing at the New Moon Folk Club on Friday, April 26. The good news is ... Aysanabee will be the headlining act of the night and your tickets will be automatically transferred.

First Set: Chantelle Marie
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Aysanabee is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer songwriter currently based in Toronto. He is Oji-Cree, Sucker Clan of the Sandy Lake First Nation a remote fly-in community in the far reaches of Northwestern Ontario.

Solemn and soaring, backed by a swirling blend of indie, soul and electronic soundscapes, mournful saxophone and pulse-quickening finger-picking, Aysanabee’s striking sound is equal parts hypnotic and melodic which has been compared to Bon Iver, Matt Corby, Don Ross, Kim Churchill, Kings of Leon and Sam Smith.

His debut album, Watin (Nov. 2022) named after his grandfather, includes 10 tracks and nine interludes featuring the voice of his grandfather and is both part music and journalism, artistry and expression.   The album is being released through Ishkōdé Records, founded by Amanda Rheaume and Shoshona Kish, one of the first Indigenous and women-owned labels in Canada. 

“Watin actually started out as a series of conversations between myself and my grandfather,” says Aysanabee. “We spent the first year of the pandemic talking about things we’ve never spoke about, his life on the trapline on Sandy Lake First Nation, falling in love, his life in residential school and then leaving everything behind..we never spoke of it until now. Even though we were over 1,000 kilometres apart, it was probably the closest we’ve ever been.”

In a short amount of time, three singles were released including “Ego Death” (Oct 2022), “Nomads” (Aug 2022) which charted on Billboard Canada and became #1 on CBC Music and went #1 on Alternative Radio, making Aysanabee the first Indigenous artist to reach #1 on any Mediabase chart. Finally, “We Were Here” (July 2022), which charted on the Indigenous Music Countdown and featured in an episode of Station 19.  Watin was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize in 2023.

With Here and Now, the artist’s latest EP, Aysanabee moves in a new direction, towards his own experiences of love’s end and his process of unflinching self-examination. With high voltage production, Aysanabee shifts Watin’s finger-picked acoustic foundation into soundscape waves that carry his voice forward. The album features six new songs including the hit single, “Somebody Else” (June 2023) which reached #3 on the MediaBase Alternative Chart and delves into the theme of memory –a significant motif in his songwriting. “Here and Now”, the title track off the album, is a coulda woulda shoulda song. “There are a million ways and a million different outcomes to any situation but things unfold the way they unfold,” says Aysanabee, “and sometimes you just need to appreciate the moments, the memories, the people who have come into your life for a time to share their gifts with you and vice versa.

On Mar 23, 2024, Aysanabee made history as the first ever Indigenous Artist to win the JUNO Awards for Alternative Album of the Year and the coveted Songwriter of the year, for Here and Now.  He followed up the wins with a memorable performance on the awards broadcast with a tribute to Robbie Robertson and Gordon Lightfoot alongside Allison Russell, William Prince, Julian Taylor, Shawnee Kish, Logan Staats, and the Rainbow Coalition.

Aysanabee has performed more than 200 shows on major stages and festivals and venues across Canada and globally including Ottawa Bluesfest, Osheaga, Montreal Jazzfest, Tönder Music Festival, AmericanaFest UK, Wake the Giant and many more.  The Here And Now EP tour included cross Canada tours with Dan Mangan and Allison Russell.

The artist has shared the stage with such notable acts including The National, Digging Roots, Amanda Rheaume, Sam Roberts Band, Our Lady Peace, DJ Shub, Julian Taylor, Jeremy Dutcher, Dan Mangan, Mavis Staples, July Talk, Half Moon Run, Tokyo Police Club,  Aqua, and more. 

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