Performer, composer, activist, musicologist — these roles are all infused into Jeremy Dutcher’s art and way of life. His music, too, transcends boundaries: unapologetically playful in its incorporation of classical influences, full of reverence for the traditional songs of his home, and teeming with the urgency of modern-day struggles of resistance.
A member of Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Jeremy first did music studies in Halifax before taking a chance to work in the archives at the Canadian Museum of History, painstakingly transcribing Wolastoq songs from 1907 wax cylinders. "Many of the songs I'd never heard before, because our musical tradition on the East Coast was suppressed by the Canadian Government's Indian Act." Jeremy heard ancestral voices singing forgotten songs and stories that had been taken from the Wolastoqiyik generations ago.
These "collaborative"compositions, collected together on his debut LP Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, are like nothing you've ever heard. Delicate, sublime vocal melodies ring out atop vibrant piano lines. The anguish and joy of the past erupt fervently into the present through Jeremy's bold approach to composition and raw, affective performances enhanced by his outstanding tenor.
Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa won the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.