Saskatoon Blues Festival

The annual Saskatoon Blues Festival is the highlight of the Blues year! 

The Festival begins in the end of February, and features performance by local, national and international Blues musicians. The festival also includes the Blues in the Schools (BITS), and the Outreach performances for people who would not otherwise be able to attend live music. We also schedule performances in local lounges and bars to introduce the public to our great local Blues musicians. We always need help with the Festival, so please consider becoming a volunteer.

The 2024 Saskatoon Blues Festival will be our biggest in many years. We are planning on four main stage shows, as well as other performances.

Stay tuned for many more announcements!

2024 Festival

Main Stage

This year we had 4 main stage shows, over 2 weekends

Friday March 1 at the Broadway Theatre

John Primer

John Primer is the real deal! 

John Primer has undisputedly helped build the sound and style of Chicago blues as we know it today. The echos of tradition bellowing from the birthplaces he played such as: Maxwell Street, Theresa's, Checkerboard and Rosa's Lounges, pulse from every chord in his fingers today. John Primer is a Chicago Blues Living Legend.

He has recorded more than 87 albums with 17 albums in his own name. He has written and produced more than 55 songs on more than 6 record labels including his own, Blues House Productions. Earning 2 Grammy Award nominations, given 2 Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame, awarded the "Muddy Award" for being a traditional blues icon, winning a Blues Music Award, Blues Blast Awards and countless other awards, John Primer is a legendary Chicago Blues Icon!

John will be backed by Edmonton's own Jimmy and the Sleepers. This will be John's first ever appearance in Saskatoon, It's gonna be an incredible night!

The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer.

"This duo is making some of the most gritty, raw and muddy music north of Mississippi.” – CBC

“Inventive and infectious.” – Roots Music Report 

“A mashup of good-times bar blues, old-fashioned Chuck Berry-style rock and roll and Talking Heads-like funk breakdowns.” – NOW Magazine 

“There is much to be said for the electric grease and king-snake swagger of Shawn Hall and Matthew Rogers.” – Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail

"The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer add a fresh take to the roots music genre via contemporary lyrics and arrangements, but maintain traditional structures and emotion. A welcome addition to the Canadian blues and roots music scene.’" – Holger Peterson, CBC Saturday Night Blues

Saturday March 2 at the Bassment

B.C. Read

Saskatoon's own B.C. Read is a founding member of the Saskatoon Blues Society (he is member #1!). B.C has been performing his unique and original style of roots, blues & Americana music throughout Western Canada since the late 1970’s, and is frequent performer at the Bassment. You know it's going to be another great show!

Jimmy and the Sleepers

Jimmy and the Sleepers are a gritty, genuine house rockin’ blues band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For years Edmonton has had a modest, but reverent blues scene which has fostered a blues sound a little more traditional. Jimmy and the Sleepers are disciples of the early electric blues pioneers combined with a modern, original twist creating a sound all their own. Led by Edmonton Blues Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Guiboche, the band are solid representatives of soulful, Canadian blues.

Russell Jackson Band

Russell Jackson has more than 5 decades under his belt as a master of both acoustic and electric bass.

Memphis born, as a young man Russell Jackson moved to Chicago to hone his craft. He was soon hired by one of the blues city’s greats, vocalist Otis Clay. During this time, he was spotted by none other than Mr. B.B. King, who invited him to join the B.B. King Orchestra. He spent the next seven years travelling the world with the legendary ‘Ambassador of the Blues’.

Friday, February 23 at the Bassment

Super Chikan and The Mojo Stars

James "Super Chikan" Johnson is the real deal! Based in Clarksdale Mississippi, he builds many of his own guitars. Backed by The Mojo Stars,  Super Chikan brings us an evening of high-energy blues.

Steve Marriner

Steve needs no introduction. He's been knocking out audiences for years, on his own and with Monkeyjunk. 

it is nothing short of astounding that this Ottawa-raised, Toronto-based musician has driven, guided and participated in so many impressive and acclaimed recording and live performance projects. The multi-instrumentalist, song writing singer sits at, or near the top of the list, as “Canada’s hardest working person in show biz.”

 We are lucky to be featuring Steve for the first time with his own band "Local Electric".

Saturday, February 24 at the Bassment

Nigel Mack

Saskatoon's own Nigel Mack is now a Chicago blues ‘triple threat’ (slide guitar, harmonica and vocals). Nigel Mack delivers a high-energy show that fuses blues classics with the punch of contemporary original blues. Seamlessly switching between instruments, Nigel Mack is equally proficient at them all. These are talents honed by years of relentless touring in support of his four critically-acclaimed releases; Back In Style, Devil’s Secrets, Road Rage and High Price to Play.  Nigel’s new all-original album, Back In Style is receiving glowing reviews and attained #1 on the RMR Contemporary Blues Charts!  

Dawn Tyler Watson

Multiple award-winning, Montreal-based Singer/Songwriter Dawn Tyler Watson has earned her place among the International Blues elite. Her fiery stage presence and soul-stirring performances have garnered her national and worldwide recognition.

With two recent Maple Blues Awards; Songwriter of the Year, and Best Album/Producer, she was also nominated by the Blues Foundation in Memphis for a 2020 Blues Music Award for Vocalist of the Year alongside greats like Curtis Salgado & Mavis Staples. Her latest record “Mad Love,” was awarded the 2020 JUNO award for Blues Album of the Year!

We are thrilled to be bringing Dawn Tyler Watson to the Saskatoon Blues Festival for the first time ever. Don't miss this evening of amazing music.

Colin Linden

Colin Linden’s tale is the stuff of legend. As an 11-year-old he met his musical idol Howlin’ Wolf at a matinee show in his native Toronto, accompanied by his mom, who took a picture of the two during a nearly two-hour long conversation before the gig, the legendary bluesman idling over coffee and cigarettes

.“I’m an old man now, and I won’t be around much longer,” Wolf told him. “It’s up to you to carry it on.”

He has taken Wolf’s plea seriously, performing since he was 12 years old, leaving home as a teenager to travel the south at the invitation of Mississippi Sheiks delta blues guitarist Sam Chatmon which took him to Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Memphis and Hollandale, Mississippi, meeting and visiting the sites of his heroes – Brownie McGhee, Muddy Waters, Sippie Wallace, Tampa Red, Blind John Davis, the Rev. Robert Wilkins, Sleepy John Estes and Son House, visiting the landmarks and juke joints, many of which he’s played in during the course of a 45-year career producing and playing blues and roots music

Colin Linden is returning to the Saskatoon Blues Festival for the first time since 2016, when he packed the house. 

Free Shows

In addition to the main stage, the Saskatoon Blues Society is pleased to be able to put on free performances, thanks to the help of our generous granting agencies and sponsors.

Saturday March 2 at Amigo's Cantina at 1pm.

Russell Jackson will be giving a bass workshop. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from the master.

See you there!

Our granting agencies and sponsors

Our granting agencies and sponsors are the best! Remember to support the people who support the Blues!