Harvest Announces 2016 Stingray Rising Star Finalists

The Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival announced today the four finalists that will compete to be Harvest’s 2016 Stingray Rising Star. This competition is presented by the Festival and Stingray—Canada’s favourite continuous music network—and offers up-and-coming musicians a chance for local, provincial and national exposure.

This year’s Stingray Rising Star Finalists are CHIPS (Fredericton, NB), Kenny James (Sackville, NB), Math Class (Saint John, NB) and Tortue (Fredericton, NB). Online voting is now open;  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3027483/Harvest-Jazz-amp-Blues-Festival

As part of Harvest’s commitment to the development of local talent, the Rising Star Showcase will take place on Friday, September 16th at 2pm in the Stingray Music Barracks Tent. Each of the four finalists will perform and be judged on talent, originality and stage presence by a panel of music industry experts. A pre-event online voting campaign will take place and votes will also be taken from members of the audience that afternoon, so participants are encouraged to bring out family and friends for support. The panel of industry judges will comprise 50% of the final vote tally and the audience and online voting will represent the remaining 50%. In the event of a tie, the choice of the industry judges will prevail.

“Harvest places a great deal of important on the role the festival plays in supporting the growth of the New Brunswick music scene and we’re proud to present the Stingray Rising Stars Showcase once again to our Festival audiences for the 15th year,” says Brent Staeben, Music Director “Come out on September 16th and catch these great emerging New Brunswick acts”.

Past winners of the prestigious title include Ross Neilsen, Keith Hallett, Andy Brown and Matt Andersen – whose band Flat Top were Harvest’s very first Rising Stars in 2001.

These four finalists represent the high calibre of New Brunswick’s music industry, spanning a diverse range of genres.

The winner—who will be announced immediately following the competition at 4:15PM on Friday, September 16th —will receive $2000 donated by Stingray and the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. The winning band will also open Friday’s show in the Stingray Barracks Tent with Stephen Lewis & After Funk.



More about each finalist (alphabetically):



Fredericton, NB

Fredericton has become an integral melting pot for east coast music, and CHIPS are no exception to this. CHIPS includes five members who all hail from different corners of New Brunswick, and different sectors of the Fredericton music scene. Kyle Albright, Luke Bailey, Aaron Bravener, Adam Guidry, and Lance McNeill have been all contributing to the local music scene for almost a decade. Reminiscent of HUNGRY HEARTS, BELLE COMEDIANS, OH NO THEODORE, and THE RAY FINKLES are all represented, stretching the influences across numerous genres. CHIPS delivers a fast, melodic, sing-a-long, and dance-driven approach to punk rock. You’re going to feel like moshing, singing, and dancing at the same time.


Kenny James

Sackville, NB

Kenny James brings a twist to rootsy traditional country music and mixes in folk, pop, rockabilly and rock influences from some of the great songwriters from Elliott Smith to Steve Earle to Hank Williams. The music takes unexpected turns, just when you thought you’ve heard it before, it shifts into a new gear. It’s definitely a new take on a retro sound. Catchy hooks, dark and intriguing lyrics, stories about life and death.


Math Class

Saint John, NB

Math Class, Saint John’s newest instrumental DancePunk band began their debut early 2016. Since then they have shared the stage with After Funk, Earthbound Trio, The Brood, and The Barrowdowns to name a few. They have also made their way through a few of New Brunswick’s beloved festivals such as Midsummer Madness, Collaborate & Listen, and FEELS GOOD Folly Fest. They will be doing their first tour fall of 2016.



Fredericton, NB

Tortue is a rock band from Fredericton New Brunswick. Their main influences come from the progressive sound of Rush, the desert sludge of Queens of the Stone Age, the energy of emo revival bands Snowing and Algernon Cadwallader, with hints of jazz-fusion and everything in between. Beginning as a project between two friends at a young age, Tortue has produced several EP’s over the years and played many shows and festivals around the greater New Brunswick area. Between multiple line-up changes, current members include Aidan Bullock on guitar and vocals, Matthew Blanchard on drums and Connor MacAulay on bass guitar.