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Black History Month on CKUA


Every February, people across Canada and the US participate in Black History Month events and festivities to honour the legacy and contributions of Black communities and individuals. At CKUA, those celebrations focus on music, arts, and culture. Tune in to hear conversation, special guests, and music from every genre and era.

Artist of the Day: Tuesday, February 28

Molly Johnson was a child star in ballet and music. Roles in musicals in Toronto’s theatre community allowed her to hone her craft as an expressive singer and a fearless performer.

She did not release a jazz album until her self-titled solo debut in 2000, but once she did, the world took notice of her vocal range, versatility, and nuanced interpretations.

Known as one of Canada’s greatest voices, Molly Johnson is in demand as a solo performer and as a session musician in many collaborative contexts.  She’s a philanthropist, broadcaster, writer, and a Member of the Order of Canada.

On Tuesday, February 28, CKUA will be shining a spotlight on the music of Molly Johnson. Tune in to hear tracks that celebrate her own work and her many collaborations.

Artist of the Day: Friday, February 17

Dione Taylor is a blues, roots, soul, and jazz musician who was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. She calls her music the “Prairie Blues,” and she explores a variety of themes and styles when she raises her unique, electrifying voice. Music has always been an important and integral part of Dione Taylor’s life. A pastor’s daughter, she was born and raised in a family she describes as “really connected to the gift of song.”

Her debut album, Open Your Eyes, was nominated for a 2005 JUNO, and she has performed for audiences that have included the President of the United States and Queen Elizabeth II.

Her 2020 album, Spirits in the Water, is inspired by folklore, nature, and the stories of a strong, resilient community.

On Friday, February 17, CKUA will be shining a spotlight on the music of Dione Taylor. Tune in to hear tracks from Spirits in the Water and her earlier albums.

Artist of the Day: Thursday, February 9

Alex Cuba is a Latin Grammy and JUNO winner, singer-songwriter who is not tied to tradition. His music reflects primarily Latin and African influences, but with a mix of funk, jazz and pop.

In 2016, Alex Cuba performed as part of the national Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

His 2021 album Mendó won the 2022 Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album; it was his fourth nomination for the award, and his first Grammy win.

On Thursday, February 9th, CKUA will be shining a spotlight on the music of Alex Cuba. Tune in to hear tracks from Mendó, and music from throughout his career.


Tune in for other Programming Highlights:

In Our Neighbourhood – Host Oskar Zybart shines the spotlight on a different Alberta artist each week. This month, he’ll explore the musicianship and artistry of:

Nuela Charles – February 3
Sgt X Comrade – February 10
Tarik Robinson – February 17
Tanika Charles – February 24

A Time for Jazz – Host Kodi Hutchinson’s February 9 program will be dedicated to Black History Month.

The Upload – Hear host Kate Stevens’ interview with K-Riz on February 7.

Traffic Jams – Hear host Lisa Wilton’s interview with Clerel on February 9.

Discoveries – Throughout February, host Leo Cripps will focus on different people, from all walks of life, with some Canadians and some international artists highlighted as “artist of the day.”

Far Out – As part of our Black History Month programming on Far Out, February 15, Amy Van Keeken will explore the musical catalogue of record label Jazz is Dead. Jazz is Dead is a record label and project co-founded by Adrian Younge (who’s worked with Wu Tang Clan, among others) and Ali Shaheed Muhammed (one of the co-founders of A Tribe Called Quest). Part of their work involves collaborating with and paying homage to frequently-sampled jazz masters.

Far Out – On February 22, Amy and her guests celebrate the music of Jimi Hendrix. Roy Forbes, Marc Carnes, and Grant Stovel all drop by to share their favourite Hendrix songs and tell us a few stories.

The Departure Lounge – Host Erin Ross will focus on women artists through history, February 28.

Twilight – Hear the work of Black artists throughout the month, when host Amy van Keeken fills the late evening with beautiful music on Twilight.

Dirty Windshields Radio Hour – Host Leeroy Stagger celebrates Black History Month on February 18, with music by Mavis Staples, John Lee Hooker, and Sunny War.

Roy’s Record Room – Celebrate Black musical pioneers with Roy on February 19. You’ll hear some familiar tunes and some obscure ones, too.