Michael Franti and Spearhead, The Revivalists and The Pimps of Joytime Announced for Harvest Jazz

Michael Franti
Michael Franti

The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival announced this week that reggae-rock sensation Michael Franti and Spearhead, soulful New Orleans rockers The Revivalists, and funky Brooklyn party band The Pimps of Joytime join the growing list of bands to headline the 2013 edition of Atlantic Canada’s largest music event.

“These are tremendous additions to our 2013 schedule with the emphasis on energy and a groove party atmosphere,” said Brent Staeben, festival music director. “Franti is someone we’ve had a lot of calls for over the last few years, the Pimps’ unique vibe was a huge hit two years ago and the Revivalists are the most exciting new band I’ve heard this year.”

One of the most sought-after bands each summer on the international festival circuit, Michael Franti and Spearhead will bring their infectious blend of dancehall, funk, reggae, folk, and rock to Fredericton. Franti formed Spearhead in 1994 and debuted the album Home, which was distinctively more funk and soul than his previous music. With the release of four more albums from 1997-2006, Michael Franti and Spearhead’s music became more rock-inspired, while still holding strong to the reggae-funk elements of their sound. They continued to gain influence with a worldwide audience, touring internationally and, in 2008, released All Rebel Rockers. The album was recorded in Jamaica with legendary producers Sly and Robbie and launched Michael Franti and Spearhead into the Billboard charts with the single, “Say Hey (I Love You)”. Their thoughtful and socially conscious lyrics and funky reggae melodies have made them a crowd-pleasing festival favourite as they continuously tour and expand their dedicated fan base.

New Orleans breakout band The Revivalists are bringing their soulful rock and incredible live performance to the Harvest stage in 2013. The Revivalists self-titled debut EP was Editor’s Pick on CDBaby.com for Jam band and American Traditional Rock, and they exploded onto the music scene in 2010 with their first full-length album Vital Signs. Vital Signs quickly became the top selling American Rock album on CDBaby, and they were named Gambit Magazine’s Big Easy Awards “Best Emerging Artist” in 2011. Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke called their performance at the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival “a Crescent City-rhythm spin on jam-band jubilee.” The Revivalists tour nationally, having opened for JJ Grey & Mofro, Rebirth Brass Band and Dr. John. The Revivalists are widely known in the festival circuit for putting on a remarkable live show, and now they’re bringing their blend of rock, folk, funk and soul to the Harvest stage!

Brooklyn-based The Pimps of Joytime are bringing their infectious dance grooves and undeniable swagger back to Harvest in 2013, following their 2011 debut that turned the Barracks stage into a full-fledged funky dance party. Charismatic bandleader Brian J began assembling a group of like-minded, soulful musicians in 2005 that would become The Pimps of Joytime. The band’s diverse sound and enthusiastic spirit is heavily influenced by the Brooklyn DJ culture. With the release of their first studio album in 2008, The Pimps began to expand their passionate fan base, touring constantly, with 100 club dates and festivals in 2009 alone. In 2011, The Pimps released Janxta Funk, which was full of their signature fresh, funky music. With a sound that is described as drawing elements from afrobeat, salsa, rock & roll and electronica, The Pimps of Joytime are returning to rock the Festival stage with their high-energy, super funky show.

The Festival will announce additional headliners over the coming weeks, leading up to the launch of the full line-up on Tuesday, May 7th. Tickets and passes to the 2013 Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival will go on sale Saturday, May 11th at 9 am, available online at www.ticketpro.ca, through Ticketpro call centre at 1-888-311-9090, or at Harvest Central, 81 Regent Street.