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On the Canadiana Stage

This year the Brantford International Jazz Festival recognizes Ontario 150 with a special stage on Sunday, September 17 featuring Canadian performers, performing uniquely Canadian music.


Sunday Sept 17

12:15 PM

Indie-Swing chanteuse Denielle Bassels hails from Toronto ON. Her original music whimsically weaves a caravan of influences from her childhood and travels abroad from folk and blues, to Parisian jazz manouche and swing. In 2017 Denielle released her much anticipated album What About Wool Wishbags which has been described as “Ella Fitzgerald sipping tea on a rollercoaster with the Mad Hatter”. Denielle’s voice is as pure and rich as her performance style. She will immerse you in her tales.

“There are few singers-songwriters in North America as original and refreshing as Denielle
Bassels. A star on the rise!” – Jaymz Bee, Jazz FM 91.1
In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Denielle will perform a mixed repertoire of beloved Canadian singers both in French and English, from Molly Johnson and Leondard Cohen to Madelaine Peyroux and La Bolduc.

Photograph of Denielle Bassels
Photograph of the Western Swing Band


Sunday Sept 17

2:15 PM

Western Swing Band is Sonny Sinclair (guitar, vocals), Peter Arthur (bass, vocals), Doug Johnson(pedal steel) and Frank DiFelice (drums, percussion). All creative musicians/artists in their own right but when they combine their talents together the music they make will set your toes to tapping and your feet to dancing. Inspired by the country swing style of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, George Strait, The Time Jumpers and Asleep at the Wheel, this band is making music to celebrate that great tradition. Their repertoire will be featuring music of some of Canada’s best song writers and will also be showcasing some of the band member’s original material.


Sunday Sept 17

4:15 PM

Cheri Maracle hails from the Grand River Six Nations Territory, and is a multi-award nominated actor/singer/songwriter. She has been performing in Canada and abroad for many moons! Most recently Cheri made a trip to Dehli India to perform with her piano player at the Canada 150 celebrations for the High Commision of Canada. Cheri and her quartet have also recently played Dundas square in Toronto, and here at home in Chiefswood Park for the Solidarity Day Celebrations. Her critically acclaimed albums can be found on iTunes.

Cheri spends a lot of her time acting and hosting, and recently performed in Munschtime!,at Young Peoples Theatre Toronto, as well as hosted the Indspire Awards in Ottawa, televised on Global. You can catch her performance as Sarah Bull in Blackstone, on Netflix, for which Cheri was Gemini nominated, or in DeGrassi, also on Netflix. Cheri also regularly performs Paddle Song, a one-woman show on Pauline Johnson, for which she garnered a Best Solo performance nod at the Calgary Critics awards 2016. Cheri is pleased to once again be performing at the International Brantford Jazz fest!

Photograph of Cheri Maracle
Photograph from the Lone Ranger television show, with Clayton Moore as the lead character and Harold J. Smith aka Jay Siverheels as Tonto, with an inset photo of Author Zig Misiak.

Award winning author Zig Misiak will be presenting a reading of his celebrated book TONTO: The Man in Front of the Mask.

This is the first biographical book ever written about Harold J. Smith aka Jay Silverheels. Jay, a Mohawk
from the Grand River Six Nations Territory, was an athlete, a husband, a father and much more than the character ‘Tonto’ that he is so well known for.


Sunday Sept 17

Doug Hunt, also known in his entertainment-life as “Doug the Great” is currently the Director of Fund Raising, Marketing and Volunteer Services at Participation House Brantford. (Participation House is an organization striving to meet the needs of physically disabled adults in our community.) Doug has been recognized locally and nationally for a number of his achievements. On September 14, 2002, Doug set a new Guinness world record in Brantford, for tallest stilt walker. He took 29 independent steps on stilts measuring 50 feet 9 inches tall, and weighing a combined weight of 137 pounds. On May 15, 2008, Doug led 625 people on stilts for the Guinness world record for most people on stilts. Doug was the recipient of the 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Doug was the recipient of the 2014 Brantford Kiwanis Walter Zeller Fellowship Award.

As a child, Doug’s interest in magic, juggling and the performing arts, was encouraged by his parents to help him overcome shyness. It seems to have worked!

Doug’s biggest fans and constant supporters are his wife Katie, and his loving family.

Photograph of Doug Hunt
Photograph of Christy DiFelice.


Master of Ceremonies

Christy DiFelice is the Master of Cereomies for our Canadiana Stage. She was appointed in 2010 to the position of Music Officer, Christy came to TAC from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where she was the Manager of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. A graduate of York University (MA, Ethnomusicology/Musicology; 2008) In addition, she has previously worked with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Fine Arts Cultural Studies Department at York University, and as a music copyist. Since its inaugural season (2008), she has sat on the Board of Directors of the Brantford International Jazz Festival. She is particularly passionate about advocating for diversity, arts education, and community development through the arts.