Harvest Announces 2018 Stingray Rising Stars Finalists

FREDERICTON — Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is once again welcoming patrons to help crown the next homegrown sensation through the Stingray Rising Stars competition.

An important launching pad for New Brunswick artists, the Stingray Rising Stars competition has helped catapult the careers of artists like Matt Andersen, Keith Hallett and Ross Neilsen.

The festival is thrilled to announce today the four finalists competing for the coveted title of Harvest’s 2018 Stingray Rising Stars. The competition is presented by Harvest and Stingray Music—Canada’s multiplatform music service—and offers up-and-coming musicians a chance for local, provincial and national exposure.

This year’s Stingray Rising Stars finalists are The Backstays (Saint John), Jerry-Faye (Fredericton), SHRIMP Ring (Saint John) and Digital Circus (Fredericton). Online voting is now open at http://bit.ly/2wrj7dq.


The free showcase takes place on Friday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. in the Atlantic Lottery Barracks Tent. Each finalist will perform and be judged on talent, originality and stage presence by a panel of music industry experts. Patrons can have their say, too. Audience votes, as well as online voting (open now until the day of the showcase) will comprise 50 per cent of the final vote tally, with the industry judge’s votes comprising the remaining 50 per cent. In the event of a tie, the choice of the industry judges prevails.

“Showcasing the best of up-and-coming local talent is one of our favourite Harvest traditions,” says Brent Staeben, Harvest’s music director. “For 17 years, we’ve put a spotlight on, and welcomed patrons to help crown, the next big act from New Brunswick.”

This year’s finalists represent the high caliber of New Brunswick’s music industry, spanning a diverse range of genres.


The winner—who will be announced immediately following the competition at 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14—receives $1500 and each finalist will receive a promotional video of their performance valued at $1500, donated by Stingray and the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. The winning band will also open Friday night’s show in the Atlantic Lottery Barracks Tent with Five Alarm Funk.

More about each finalist (alphabetically):


The Backstays

Saint John, N.B.


The Backstays, a tongue-in-cheek reference to moving back to the Maritimes, formed in January 2018 by Pete Johnston, Serenna Chapman, Keith Whipple, Derek Hilchie and Lorne Kirkpatrick. Their sound is a fusion of indie and roots rock genres with a style true to the East Coast. Lyrically, their songs talk about everything from love and loss to alienation in the workplace.


Digital Circus

Fredericton, N.B.


Digital Circus offers an experience like no other. The Fredericton-based electro-rock band comprised of Shawn Randall, Anthony Gosselin, Nic Cliche and Lee Smith takes audiences to the fairgrounds of the future. Says the band, “Let’s get weird. Let’s have some fun.”



Fredericton, N.B.


Jerry-Faye Flatt is a singer-songwriter from Saint John, now living in Fredericton, who’s been playing shows and music festivals around the Maritimes since she was a teenager. Her lyrics reflect real life experiences and her catchy tunes will have you singing along with her as she navigates through the real pain and joys of growing up. Flatt plays with bandmates Dylan Ward, Kevin Belyea and Liam Bunin.



Saint John, N.B.


SHRIMP Ring is a new-wave space-goth synth-rock band from Saint John made up of veteran East Coast electronic musicians Dan Chamberlain and Philip Jaguar. SHRIMP Ring’s live show is a high energy, wireless romp where audience interaction is sought out, and always landed!




For more information, please contact:

Jon Macneil

Director of Communications, Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

(e) jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca

(p) 506.238.3539