Alex Cuba (guitar) performs with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra in Kelowna Friday, April 1, 2022. (Submitted photo)

Alex Cuba (guitar) performs with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra in Kelowna Friday, April 1, 2022. (Submitted photo)

Grammy winner Alex Cuba returning to Salmon Arm for 30th annual ROOTSandBLUES Festival

New slate of festival performers announced

Alex Cuba was astonished to learn he’d won a Grammy.

“I’m still in shock,” commented the Smithers, B.C.-based musician following the April 3, 2022 awards ceremony. “I’m still in shock because I won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album. Unbelievable, I’m so happy beyond words.”

Cuba received Grammy nominations for three of his past albums (Lo Único Constante, Healer and the self-titled Alex Cuba). He won this Grammy for his album Mendó, which Cuba said loosely translates to the “substance of the soul.”

“There are no sad songs on this album, it is full of fun, hope and positivity,” Cuba said of the album made in his living room and the home studios of his collaborators during the pandemic.

Cuba already had several Latin Grammy Award wins to his name, as well as two Juno Awards including World Music Album of the Year in 2008. This summer, the ROOTSandBLUES veteran returns to Salmon Arm for the festival’s 30th anniversary, Aug. 18-21.

On Wednesday, May 11, the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society (SAFMS) and ROOTSandBLUES announced the next slate of artists who will be performing in the upcoming festival.

In addition to Cuba, they include:

• Witch Prophet: Toronto-based singer/songwriter Ayo Leilani delivers a soundscape of vocal layers, loops and harmonies on a bed of hip-hop, jazz and soul-inspired beats;

• Shaela Miller: Alberta artist brings a Joan Jett-vibe, superb songwriting chops and outstanding vocals;

• Colin Linden: Guitarist, songwriter and record producer who specializes in slide guitar, country blues and ragtime fingerpicking;

• Clerel: Breezy and soulful folk music that earned him a spot on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert performing his single Blackstone;

• Le Ren: Close-to-the-bone, heartbreak folk songs and melodies that swirl as though from some classic mid-60s movie set piece;

• Meg n’ Mike: This duo creates unique acoustic-indie music that is rhythmically intricate, with thought-provoking themes and melodies;

• Mozi Bones: Local trio blends genres that range from Afrobeat to jazz, and psychedelic rock to Latin;

• Oral Fuentes Reggae Band: Nine-piece Saskatoon band plays an infectious fusion of reggae and Afro/Latin rhythms.

In March, ROOTSandBLUES announced its first slate of artists for the upcoming fest, including Tom Cochrane, Jann Arden, Antibalas, Ruthie Foster, Five Alarm Funk, Cedric Burnside, Northern Cree, William Prince, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, C. J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band.

“I’m very excited we are able to again provide live music to our members and community,” said SAFMS chair Kimm Magill-Hofmann. “I look forward to seeing our regular festivalgoers and new faces at the 30th ROOTSandBLUES festival in August.”

For more information and/or tickets, visit rootsandblues.ca.

With files by Deb Meissner/Smithers Interior News.

Read more: ROOTSandBLUES: Jann Arden, Tom Cochrane to play Salmon Arm festival

Read more: Salmon Arm ROOTSandBLUES’ Kevin Tobin talks festivals, music and all that jazz


lachlan@saobserver.net
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