A Tribe Called Red Turning Heads for a Decade

This year has just been another great one for A Tribe Called Red, the Aboriginal DJ collective. They won their third Juno this year, this time for Group of the Year. But the more you read about A Tribe Called Red, you more you realize that their music is more than just collecting accolades and awards. They recently received national coverage on the CBC for their mentoring initiatives.

The DJ collective that Rolling Stone has called “the best sign that Jazz Fest [in New Orleans] may be willing to book a festival like it’s 2014,” has been around for a decade now, and they have experiences they want to share with other Indigenous youth.

“A lot of people think we came out of some kind of void—that there was this talented group that just popped out [of nowhere],” Bear Witness, one of the members, says in the CBC article. So, instead of focusing on festivals this summer (though they did still perform in a few places, including Guelph’s Hillside Festival), they toured to remote reserves in Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, and also met with young Indigenous musicians in larger cities.

“They’re the community we make music for. That’s our community,” Bear Witness says in the article.

Indeed, they have a lot to share with these musicians. A Tribe Called Red came out of the Electric Pow Wow nights formerly held at Ottawa’s Club Babylon. Through the group’s positivity and tireless work ethic, their message has expanded to global proportions with tours in Australia, Europe, Mexico and the United States.

The crew has performed at Coachella, Bonnaroo, AfroPunk, Osheaga, and New Orleans Jazz Fest, to list a few. In 2014, they became the first Indigenous group to win the Breakthrough Group of the Year award at the Juno Awards. In addition, they were long-listed for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize in 2012 and 2013 and its debut album was included in the Washington Post’s top 10 albums of that same year.

A Tribe Called Red will be performing as part of our OnStage series (standing only) on November 19 @ 8PM. $1 from each ticket will be donated to the Gord Downie & Charlie Wenjack Fund.