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Congolese-born, Montreal-based musician, songwriter, and DJ Pierre Kwenders (he/him) is a storyteller at his core. Motivated by the intricacies of love, his songs weave together narratives from memories of the past, sketches of his hometown, and reflections on the future. With his third album, José Louis and the Paradox of Love (via Arts & Crafts), for which he was awarded the prestigious Polaris Music Prize, Kwenders arrives at a new juncture – a moment of resonance, carefully wrapped in freewheeling tapestry, hinged in reverence to its diverse heritage, yet revelling in the inventive combination of its elements.
Singing and rapping in Lingala, French, English, Tshiluba, and Kikongo, Kwenders similarly weaves his stories across the boundaries of language and geography. José Louis and the Paradox of Love is a culmination of personal growth and the musical dexterity he has honed over the years, converging his strong songwriting capabilities with the bravado he possesses as a DJ. The album explores an ongoing search to grasp the universal complexities of romance, sometimes through the lens of Kwenders’ own intimate experiences. The songs were written and recorded over the span of four years, and the album is symbolically titled after his birth name, José Louis Modabi. Through different moments of tension and release, romantic narratives of beauty and disaster are packed into powerful poetic musical vignettes.
Portage and Mainers are reknowned for treating their seasonal affective disorder by staying inside to rock and roll when it's 40 below but here's a new remedy: a house call from Dr. Henry, ready to treat your SAD with an exciting hit of groovy, hip-shaking, Afro-fusion jazz! Dr. Henry band's three core musicians met in Winnipeg after moving from Nigeria for higher education pursuits. Their cool sound is shaped by their West African roots as well as familial influences, musical inspirations and collaborations with fellow Winnipeggers. In their vibrant and colourful musical mosaic, you can hear Afro-beat inspired by its master, Fela Kuti, as well as neo-soul and polyrhythmic jazz. It's delightfully infectious and an instant cure-all. Call the Dr. Henry band for whatever ails you.