Banff International Songwriter Showcase | Kevin Welch, Cadence Weapon, Kim Richey, Fats Kaplin

Cadence Weapon, photo by Brad Casey.

Don’t miss this extraordinary night of music and song featuring award-winning artists Kevin Welch, Kim Richey, Fats Kaplin, and Cadence Weapon along with senior artists and participants from the Banff International Songwriter Residency!

Featured Faculty

Kevin Welch

Kevin was raised, from a very young age, in Oklahoma.  He began his professional life as a touring musician right out of high school.  He was on the road for years before he moved to Nashville in 1978 to work as a songwriter.  He signed on with Sony/Tree publishing and went on to have amazing success with artists such as Garth Brooks, Ricky Skaggs, Waylon Jennings, The Highwaymen, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, and Don Williams all recording his songs. 

Cadence Weapon

Cadence Weapon is Edmonton-born, Toronto-based rapper, producer and poet Roland “Rollie” Pemberton. His debut album Breaking Kayfabe received international critical fanfare and was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize; his 2012 album Hope In Dirt City would do the same. Cadence has played festivals like Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Music Festival, Roskilde and Primavera Sound and performed with artists such as Public Enemy, Mos Def, Saul Williams, Diplo, Questlove and De La Soul.

Pemberton served as Poet Laureate of Edmonton from 2009 to 2011. His debut book of poetry Magnetic Days was released by Metatron in 2014 and his poem “The Garden” was incorporated into a bronze sculpture at the Alberta Legislature Grounds in Edmonton in 2018. Pemberton also acted as the narrator for the VICELAND TV series PAYDAY and Mister Tachyon and has hosted lectures for Red Bull Music Academy and Native Instruments.

Kim Richey

Over the past two decades, two-time Grammy-nominated Kim Richey has released eight critically acclaimed albums and been listed in the ‘Top 10 Albums of 1999’ in Time Magazine for her album Glimmer. Her album Rise received four stars in Rolling Stone and was named ‘Alt-Country Album of The Year’ in People Magazine

Kim has written two #1 singles and four others that hit the Top 10. Thorn In My Heart was listed by the Associated Press as one of the best albums of 2013.  Known for her harmony vocals, Kim has appeared on records by Ryan Adams, Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jason Isbell, Gretchen Peters, and many more.

Her latest album Edgeland released in April 2018 has gotten rave reviews.  Kim enlisted a gang of talented pals to make this record including Chuck Prophet, Pat Sansone, Robyn Hitchcock, Mando Saenz, and Pat McLaughlin. Producer Brad Jones led the way.  

This is Kim’s fourth year as a mentor in the Banff International Songwriter Residency.

Fats Kaplin

Fats Kaplin can play anything with strings. Born and raised in New York City, influenced by jazz, gypsy, and traditional string band music, Fats Kaplin had already been featured on legendary recordings and extensive tours by the time he was 18-years-old.

Now, living in Nashville, he is one of the music industry’s leading multi-instrumentalists (fiddle, steel, accordion, mandolin, guitar and so on). The list of people he has recorded and toured with is extraordinary. It includes John Prine, (currently) Jack White, Nanci Griffith, The Mavericks, Suzy Boggus, Buddy Miller, Tinariwen, Colin Linden, just to name a few.

At age 17 Fats went on the road and recorded two duo albums with country blues guitarist Roy Bookbinder for the Blue Goose label. After playing for several years in numerous New York early jazz and old-timey outfits, Fats joined the Tom Russell band in the mid-80s. They recorded and toured extensively.

In 1992, he moved to Nashville at the urging of Kevin Welch. Since then, Fats has worked with Kevin in his band The Overtones, with The Dead Reckoners, and Kane-Welch-Kaplin.

In addition to working with a wide array of artists, Fats composes, records, and performs his own music with his wife Kristi Rose and the Fats Kaplin Gang.