April 17th, 2024

Maestro Fresh Wes to honour Black Nova Scotians with Halifax Junos performance

By David Friend, The Canadian Press on March 17, 2024.

Maestro Fresh Wes is photographed in Toronto on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Maestro Fresh Wes is planning to celebrate the lineage of Black Nova Scotian artists at the Juno Awards in Halifax.

The hip-hop trailblazer known for his formative hit “Let Your Backbone Slide” says he’s brought together a group of Halifax musicians to back him in a medley of his past hits next Sunday.

Maestro Fresh Wes, born Wesley Williams, is this year’s inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in recognition of his career of firsts, which includes being the first to win a Juno for rap recording of the year in 1991.

He’s set to be honoured on CBC’s Junos broadcast by Kardinal Offishall before he takes the stage to perform.

Williams says he would be remiss if his spotlight didn’t also draw attention to local Black artists whose ancestors escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad.

He says local R&B singers JRDN and Kaleb Simmonds will be a part of his performance, as will Halifax-area musicians Cyndi Cain, Gary Beals and Reeny Smith.

Listen to The Canadian Press playlist of 2024 Juno Award nominees on Spotify: https://bit.ly/Junos2024

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2024.

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