Biography

(Note: For short bios, please see: Press Kit - EPK page)

Good songwriters venture out beyond their immediate time and space. Twice Juno-nominated Maria Dunn finds power in the long view, following her curiosity to examine history and deeper meanings in everyday situations. Her breadth of large and small stories documents momentary snapshots and life-long lessons but the most important part comes in the way she fits personal portraits to the cinematic widescreen.

Dunn's new album Joyful Banner Blazing is her first release in four years and seventh album in a career spanning over 20 years, an intriguing set of contrasting numbers from the simple love song to stories of wider human triumph.

Produced by Shannon Johnson (Juno award winner with The McDades), Joyful Banner Blazing was meant for release in late May 2020 with subsequent touring plans, but like so many other artists, Dunn's project was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who knows when the singer will be able to hit stages to show off this compelling new material live, but in the meantime listeners can enjoy the album itself, celebratory, reflective, and joyful as it is.

Roger Levesque, Music Journalist (January 2021)

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Maria Dunn’s seven independent albums (published by Distant Whisper Music; distributed by Outside Music) are all produced by Shannon Johnson of Juno Award-winning band The McDades.

Discography

2021 Joyful Banner Blazing
2016 Gathering (Nominee - 2017 Juno Award, WCMA; Winner - 2016 Edmonton Music Prize)
2012 Piece By Piece (Nominee - 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award)
2008 The Peddler (Nominee - 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award)
2006 Alberta: Wild Roses, Northern Lights (Smithsonian Folkways)
2004 We Were Good People
2004 Songs of the Christmas Carol Project (Brass Monkey Productions)
2001 For A Song (Nominee - 2017 Juno Award)
1998 From Where I Stand (Nominee – 1999 Prairie Music Award)

Highlights

Awards:

  • 2017 Juno Awards nominee – Traditional Roots Album of the Year (Gathering)
  • 2017 Western Canadian Music Awards nominee – Roots Solo Artist of the Year (Gathering)
  • 2016 Edmonton Music Prize winner (Gathering)
  • 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee – Solo Artist of the Year (Piece By Piece)
  • 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee – Solo Artist of the Year (The Peddler)
  • 2009 USA Songwriting Competition Honourable Mention (The Peddler)
  • 2002 JUNO nominee – Roots/Traditional Solo (For A Song)
  • 1999 Prairie Music nominee – Outstanding Songwriter (From Where I Stand)

TV Features & Performances:

The Carol Project (Bravo TV, Canada); Huron Carole 2002, Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary (CMT); Voice of America (Washington, DC); Mac-TV (Scotland); Alberta Primetime (CTVtwo, Alberta)

Radio Features & Performances:

CBC Sunday Edition w/ Michael Enright (Canada); BBC Scotland Travelling Folk w/Archie Fisher (Scotland); CBC This Morning w/Shelagh Rogers (Canada); Folkscene w/ Roz Larman (Los Angeles, CA); Bound For Glory w/ Phil Shapiro (Ithaca, NY); KVMR w/ Larry Hillberg (Nevada City, CA); CBC RadioActive w/ Peter Brown (Edmonton); CBC Key of A (AB); CBC Daybreak Alberta w/ Russell Bowers (AB); CKUA The Celtic Show w/ Andy Donnelly (AB); CiTR The Saturday Edge w/ Steve Edge (Vancouver); CKCU Canadian Spaces w/ Chopper MacKinnon (Ottawa); CKUT Folk Roots and Branches w/ Mike Regenstreif (Montreal); CBC Basic Black (Canada); CBC Definitely Not the Opera (Canada)

Canadian Folk Festivals

  • Main Stage: Edmonton (AB); Summerfolk (ON); Lunenberg (NS); Mission (BC); Stanfest (NS); Frostbite (YK); Canmore, South Country Fair (AB)
  • Side Stages: Salmon Arm Roots & Blues, Vancouver, Vancouver Island Music Fest, Powell River (BC); Calgary, Edmonton, Bear Creek (AB); Winnipeg (MB); Mariposa, Ottawa (ON)

 

Recent Touring Highlights:

  • Summer 2019: Summerfolk (Mainstage)
  • May 2019: 20th Anniversary Tour including ON/NY/BC and Concert for 100th Anniversary of Winnipeg General Strike, Mayworks, Winnipeg, MB
  • November 2018: 20th Anniversary Concert, Festival Place, AB
  • Summer 2018: Edmonton Folk Fest
  • October 2017: UK Tour
  • Summer 2017: Vancouver Island Music Fest, Pigeon Lake Music Fest, Live From The Rock Folk, Salmon Arm Roots and Blues
  • March 2017: Triple Bill Tour (NY State) with Si Kahn and Joe Jencks
  • Summer 2016 Festivals: Canmore (Mainstage); Bear Creek, AB
  • UK Tour (Nov 2015)
  • Ireland (Oct 2015), opening for the legendary Andy Irvine (Planxty, Sweeney’s Men, Patrick Street)
  • Summer 2014 Festivals: PEI 150, Charlottetown (Mainstage); Edmonton, AB; Mariposa, ON; Hillcrest 100, Crowsnest Pass, AB
  • Summer 2013 Festivals: Summerfolk, ON (Mainstage); Vancouver, BC
  • September 2012, CD Release: Piece By Piece
  • Project 2012 Alberta Tour: Troublemakers and GWG: Piece By Piece multimedia shows (May-Jun 2012)
  • Netherlands Tour – Double Bill with The McDades (Nov 2011)
  • Double Bill Tour with John Wort Hannam , Ontario, Illinois (Apr-May 2011)

 

International Festivals:

  • 2008 Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Scotland
  • 2006 Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, Washington, DC

 

Other Information

  • Maria performs solo (vocal, guitar, accordion), duo or trio, most often with Shannon Johnson (violin, harmony vocals), Jeremiah McDade (whistles, saxophone, guitar)
  • Maria has performed on stage with the legendary Andy Irvine (of Sweeney’s Men, Planxty, Patrick Street), Si Kahn, The McDades, Bill Bourne, John Wort Hannam, Craig Korth (Jerusalem Ridge), Laura Vinson and Free Spirit, Joan Besen (Prairie Oyster), Cindy Church, Ron Hynes and others.
  • Maria’s songs have been recorded by: Niamh Parsons (The Peddler), Bob Bossin (We Were Good People), The Outside Track (Poor Lonesome Hen) and others.
  • Maria’s song God Bless Us Everyone is published in the Rise Again songbook (2015); Sing Out! and Penguin Eggs magazines have published Maggie Thompson, Troublemaker, Can You Blame the Poor Miner?
  • Multimedia shows (video ballads) developed in collaboration with videographer Don Bouzek: On The River (with Aboriginal women’s trio Asani), GWG: Piece by Piece (with historian Catherine C. Cole), Packingtown (with historian Catherine C. Cole), Troublemakers
  • Song Commissions: Friends of Medicare 40th Anniversary (2019); Alberta Labour History Institute for 100th Anniversary Great Labour Revolt 1919 (2019); Public Interest Alberta (2009/2014); Alberta Federation of Labour 100th Anniversary (2012); CBC Radio “Canada Reads” (2007); Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (2006); Edmonton Trades & Labour Council 100th Anniversary (2006); United Nurses of Alberta (2002)