Ian Lake

Toronto-based Ian Lake is one of Canada’s most gifted actors, and now he can add musician to the mix. With a voice that ranges from the smooth comfort of a baritone to the emotional belt of a tenor to the raw intimacy of a high falsetto, Lake’s vocal style has evolved from his inspirational influences, like Glen Hansard, James Blake, Justin Vernon, and Jeff Buckley. He sings each note from a place deep in his belly, and the authenticity can’t be denied.

https://www.ianlake.com/

 

2022 PERFORMERS

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Beny Esguerra

Incorporating hip-hop elements such as beatboxing, emceeing/spoken-word and turntablism with Afro-Indigenous Colombian música-de-gaita, champeta, and modern cumbia, Beny Esguerra and New Tradition Music follow up on their JUNO-nominated Return of the KUISi with Northside KUISi (Oct 15, 2021 ~ Lulaworld Records). The album's performance delivers an urgent call for justice, environmental healing, and respect for ancestors and land treaties.

https://www.newtraditionmusic.com/   

Beny Esguerra
Kunle
Ian Lake
Sophie Lukacs
Moonfruits
Grainne Ryan
Tannis Slimmon and Lewis Melville
Julian Taylor
Caroline Wiles
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Kunle

An acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter, Kunle makes folk and soul music that bridges contemporary styles with roots in West African rhythms and stories. Nigerian-born and currently based in Toronto, Kunle brings together his rich vocals, guitar tapping, harmonica, and talking drum to take audiences into what he terms “music with no boundaries.”

https://www.kunlemusic.com

Ian Lake

Toronto-based Ian Lake is one of Canada’s most gifted actors, and now he can add musician to the mix. With a voice that ranges from the smooth comfort of a baritone to the emotional belt of a tenor to the raw intimacy of a high falsetto, Lake’s vocal style has evolved from his inspirational influences, like Glen Hansard, James Blake, Justin Vernon, and Jeff Buckley. He sings each note from a place deep in his belly, and the authenticity can’t be denied.

https://www.ianlake.com/

Sophie Lukacs

Montreal-based Sophie Lukacs is a kora player, singer, and composer, born in Budapest and raised in Canada. In her early 20s, she discovered the kora, a 21-stringed African instrument. It changed her life: She took a master class with kora legend Toumani Diabaté. When he invited her to study with him in Mali, she packed her bags and never looked back, spending six years fully immersed in studying the instrument. She sings in English, French, Bambara, and Hungarian. 

https://www.sophielukacs.com/

Moonfruits

Fronted by partners Alex Millaire and Kaitlin Milroy, Ottawa-based Moonfruits are bilingual makers of contemporary folk. Stingray Rising Star and Trille Or Award winners, Moonfruits have toured Canada, the U.S., and Europe, moving audiences with a live show that mixes French and English organically, playfully, intentionally. Moonfruits’ next album Salt (Fall 2022) explores what it means to live, dream, and raise a family in an era of climate change and deepening socio-economic inequality. 

https://moonfruits.ca/

Grainne Ryan

Grainne (pronounced GRAWN-ya) Ryan has often been compared to the likes of Lucinda Williams, Joni Mitchell, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Aimee Mann. While she's definitely in that elite female singer-songwriter class, she has her own sound -- and it's catchy, compelling, and clever. Even a single listen to her pop gem "Colours of You," or heartbreaking ballad "The Rain," will confirm her as a major talent -- one from whom you'll want top hear more.

https://grainnemusic.weebly.com/about.html

Tannis Slimmon with Lewis Melville

Tannis Slimmon grew up in a musical family on a farm in Manitoba and moved to Guelph in 1980, where she soon became known as a member of the celebrated Bird Sisters. Her exceptional voice “full of gentle grace and unobtrusive dignity” (Penguin Eggs) can be heard on over 100 albums, including some by Willie P. Bennett, Valdy, David Francey, and Rheostatics. In 2008, she won the CFMAs Contemporary Vocalist of the Year honour, and in 2020, the Estelle Klein Award from Folk Music Ontario.

https://tannis.ca

Julian Taylor

Julian Taylor is a major label veteran, Toronto music scene staple, and musical chameleon, whose signature is his versatility, going from electrified R&B glory to solo acoustic folk. He's released 10 studio albums since 2001, has toured Canada numerous times, and was invited to perform at the Olympic Games in both Salt Lake City and Vancouver. Taylor's songs have been placed in TV programs like Elementary, Kim’s Convenience, The Good Witch, and many others.

https://juliantaylormusic.ca/  

Caroline Wiles

Caroline Wiles' new, fourth album Grateful is packed with pop music that sounds as if it's exploding out of '70s AM radio, in a perfect combination of her husky, Ann Murray/Karen Carpenter voice; glorious CSN-style multiple harmonies; Beatlesque chord structures; and the poetic lyricism and Canadian sound of her hero, Gordon Lightfoot. In fact, Lightfoot himself has kindly complimented Grateful, saying that it's got “a lot of really strong material, wonderful vocals and harmonies.” 

http://carolinewiles.com/

Beny Esguerra

Incorporating hip-hop elements such as beatboxing, emceeing/spoken-word and turntablism with Afro-Indigenous Colombian música-de-gaita, champeta, and modern cumbia, Beny Esguerra and New Tradition Music follow up on their JUNO-nominated Return of the KUISi with Northside KUISi (Oct 15, 2021 ~ Lulaworld Records). The album's performance delivers an urgent call for justice, environmental healing, and respect for ancestors and land treaties.

https://www.newtraditionmusic.com/   

 

2022 SCHEDULE

Grainne Ryan
Kunle
Caroline Wiles
Beny Esguerra
Sophie Lukacs 
Ian Lake
Moonfruits
Tannis Slimmon 
Julian Taylor

Donations

Donations in 2022 are going to The Anishnawbe Health Foundation, an Indigenous-led registered charity that works to inspire donations and partnerships to support the health and wellness of the urban Indigenous Community, and to support the preservation and reclamation of traditional healing practices. The Foundation raises funds to enhance the services available at Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT), a fully accredited Community Health Centre that provides traditional healing within a multi-disciplinary health care model. https://aht.ca/

 
 




The SPEAK Music Be Kind Festival is a non-profit Canadian music festival held annually in Toronto, showcasing a diverse blend of Canadian music creators in performances and workshops, with net profits and donations distributed to a different charity each year. We endeavour to invite more kindness into our own lives and into the world. The first one was held Jan.17-19, 2020, on all three stages at The Tranzac Club in downtown Toronto. The second, in 2021, was held online-only because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.