City of Om is Featuring Great Local Musical Talent

Rise Ashen

Juno Award-Nominated Producer, Musician, DJ and Dancer Rise Ashen has devoted his life to the study of sound and movement. From his early years immersed in the early Hip Hop as a B-Boy in Montreal in the 80s, to his studies at Fanshawe College (North America's Oldest Recording School) and the Banff Centre for the Arts, his focus has been on applying hi-fi knowhow to underground music. His record collection spans the 4 corners of the world with House and Breakbeats as is his primary focus. As a DJ, he blends it all in a worldy mash and is always the sweaty and dynamic life of the party and has played in clubs across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia.

He has remixed and collaborated countless artists including Brazil’s Bebel Gilberto, Mali’s Issa Bagayogo, Montreal Juno award winner Miguel Graca, Jojo Flores, Fred Everything and Kat 5 of the KALMUNITY collective, Toronto based (Juno nominated) Ammoye, (Juno Award winner) Dubmatix, Version XCursion, LAL, (Juno Award Winner) Eccodek, King Sunshine, the New Deal and Bageshree, UK’s Sean Escofferey, John Beltran, Steph Lefrancois and Josef Malik, New York’s Angel Moraes, Winnipeg’s Paris to Kiev, Kasm and Seed Organisation, and Trevor “Lifeboogie” Walker, John Akpata, and Shegun Beautiful Nubia Akinlolu, Brandon Wint, Bhavan2 , Tara Proter, Lucila Al Mar Ottawa Algonquin Singer Flying Down Thunder with whom he received a Juno nomination in 2012 for their debut album: One Nation, as well as a Native American Music Awards nomination in 2014 for their sophomore album: North Wind.
His music gets played played by the likes of Larry Heard, Masters at Work, Roger Sanchez, Paul Murphy, Gilles Peterson, Laurent Garnier, Maurice Fulton, Bonobo, Mr. V, Rainer Truby, and Quentin Harris among others. He has shared the stage with such varied greats as K’Naan, The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, Kid Koala and Jully Black among others.

Recently he has been collaborating with Silla, an Inuit throat-singing duet with whom he just released a full-length debut which was long-listed for the Polaris Prize and nominated for a Juno Award for Best Indigenous Recording.  They perform as a trio with rise playing electronic instruments.  He has also been working with Ottawa-based Jesse Stewart on a percussion concept piece.
He believes music and dance are essential to human culture and that united, artists can lead humanity towards a more enlightened way of living. "We need to make a shift towards long-term thinking"... Quoting Fela Kuti:"when the higher forces give you the gift of musicianship …it must be well used for the good of humanity”

Bhavantu Collective

Bhavantu Collective are Devin Johnstone, Tara Porter and Rise Ashen, a trio of musical yoga teachers who perform live music for yoga. They chant, sing, percuss, melodize and harmonize a mind-expanding soulful fusion of meditative chants and rhythms to flow with the effort and bliss of the class.  For the past 5 years their weekly live music class on Fridays at Yogatown on Preston Street in Ottawa has been their homebase and they have played for yoga festivals in the area and led many kirtans in Ottawa and Montreal.

Lucila Al Mar

Lucila Al Mar is a musician, artist, yogi and collaborator extraordinaire whose greatest passion is empowering the community and bringing people together through the creative arts. Within the same performance, this singer/songwriter captivates the audience with the ability to move between genres. From the gnarly defiant energy of punk rock to the lushness of folk music, into the soulful resonance of an acapella song.

Small but mighty, this woman has a voice and a presence that easily breaks down barriers, celebrates humanity and fosters true connection. Lucila Al Mar dares to represent herself in the unambiguous light of her personal truths.

Her debut album “Nada Es Para Siempre// Nothing is Forever” welcome’s you into the precious space of her life; to revel in the many ways human presence can be shared, the multitude of ways music and performance can beautify our experience of both life and death.

Megan Marie Gates

Megan Marie is a yoga/movement teacher, sound healer, and meditation guide with feet in the forest, the big city and world-wide.  She has been facilitating special events and workshops internationally since 2012. Coming from a background of theatre and dance, the fusion of creative and yogic arts led her to find her voice as a sound artist and holistic movement facilitator, with the desire to inspire joy and curiosity in her students.  Megan Marie weaves sound work, shamanic practices, Earth-based ritual and fluid movement into her teachings and is deeply inspired by conscious communities, rewilding the heart, creative collectives and the healing power of nature.

Souljazz Orchestra

Pierre Chrétien - vintage keyboards, percussion, vocals
Marielle Rivard - percussion, vocals
Ray Murray - baritone saxophone, percussion, vocals
Philippe Lafrenière - drums, percussion, vocals
Steve Patterson - tenor saxophone, percussion, vocals
Zakari Frantz - alto saxophone, percussion, vocals

Since first arriving on the Canadian scene at the turn of the millenium, the Souljazz Orchestra has never stopped pushing the limits of its signature sound: an explosive clash of Soul, Jazz, Afro, Latin and Caribbean styles, unleashed by blaring majestic horns, dusty vintage keyboards, and an arsenal of earthquaking percussion.

The multicultural collective surfaces with a hard-hitting new record for the fall of 2015, Resistance, resuming its link-up with UK-based Strut Records. "We approached this album with a fresh ear," explains composer Pierre Chrétien. "We were keen to build on the band's sound and message, so I brought in some of the French Caribbean and Francophone West African influences that I've loved since my youth." Consequently, the new album adds fresh dancefloor-oriented elements of Coupé-Décalé, Zouk, and Ndombolo to the band's heavy mix of Afro, Soul and Jazz styles.

In keeping with the group's previous work, the band maintains powerful lyrics at the heart of its music, delivering some biting social commentary alongside messages of hope. Recorded using the group's signature analogue techniques, the resulting album is a bold musical statement, a defiant celebration of social justice and human empowerment.

Kaleigh Watts

Kaleigh Watts is a Canadian musician and songwriter, born a songbird of the wild, water, and woods. Her alto singing voice has been described as raw and hauntingly beautiful, which perfectly complements her rhythmic fingerpicking on acoustic guitar and her old soul as a lyricist. Throughout live performances, Watts musically captures audiences with her on-stage performance charisma, nostalgic melodies, and imaginative use of household objects and trinkets that she plays using violin and cello bows to create breathy, eerie sounding textures. 

Watts’ debut project “Smoke Lake was recorded without electricity in her family cabin and along portage trails in Smoke Lake, Algonquin National Park, Ontario. Many of the tracks were inspired by the familiar surroundings of Algonquin, and include field recordings and textures of the park’s wildlife and natural atmosphere. 

While obtaining a Bachelor of Music degree from Carleton University, Watts was mentored by many notable Canadian musicians, including Juno Award and Canadian Folk Award winner Lynn Miles, and songwriter Ian Tamblyn. Over the course of her training and mentoring, Watts has developed an eclectic and diverse vocal resume, with performing genres ranging from electronic pop, indie, folk, blues, and jazz. Watts’ voice and instrumentation have been featured on electronic tracks with Toronto EDM duo Snowday, and as an alto jazz vocalist in the Carleton University Jazz Ensemble. Watts’ notable performances include the National Arts Centre, CityFolk Festival, and RBC Ottawa Bluesfest. 

On May 21, 2017, Watts is set to release her second project “Hung Me Dry”, which will feature songs that were composed during and inspired by her five years living in the city of Ottawa.