RBC the NEXT Stage Series
6:45 pm Doors Open
7:30 pm Concert
A Montreal-born Grenadian-Canadian, Kaia Kater grew up between two worlds: her family’s deep ties to folk music and the years she spent soaking up Appalachian music in West Virginia.
Her 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.
Updated August 4, 2022
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