RBC the NEXT Stage Series
6:45 pm Doors Open
7:30 pm Concert
Smithsonian recording artist Kaia Kater makes a rare stop in the GTA between shows in NYC and Europe. Continuing the tradition of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Allison Russell, Rhiannon Giddens and Leyla McCalla, these talented young Black women are shining a spotlight on Americana music and the central role of the banjo. For this concert, Kaia will perform in a duo configuration along with an upright bassist. Fresh off a win at the recent Canadian Screen Awards for Best Original Song (for CBC’s “The Porter”), Kaia Kater draws upon so many musical influences – from her home province of Quebec, her Grenadian roots, and Appalachian folk traditions to create a sound uniquely her own. Join us for this very special event in the intimate performance setting of The Aurora Armoury.
Montreal-born Kaia Kater’s old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements, and songwriting abilities have landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as NPR, CBC Radio, Rolling Stone, BBC Music, and No Depression. She grew up influenced by her instrument-builder grandfather, her mother’s folk festival obsession and by the hip-hop mix tapes lent to her by her dad. A banjo that fell into her hands at a bluegrass festival workshop eventually led to a scholarship to study old time music in college in West Virginia. As a skilled songwriter she began recording songs about close-to-home themes such as poverty and racism, and more personal topics such as love in the digital age. Her musical journey eventually took her to Grenada to investigate her background as a self-described “hyphenated Canadian.” It resulted in her critically heralded third album Grenades where she explores the culture and tumultuous politics of the country her father escaped as a refugee. Musically, she taps into her wide range of influences in an album that cross-pollinates bluegrass, soul, jazz, hip hop and of course old-time folk. Grenades was long listed for a Polaris prize in 2019 and nominated for a Juno. Critics have called Kater’s music ancient and authentic and brand new; she’s a true original.
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