Canadian Music and the World

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Although it is a country that is sparsely populated compared to its size, Canada has contributed more than its share to the World Music scene. While many music lovers associate Canadian music with international superstars like Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, and Shania Twain, Canada has a rich musical mosaic that has an ever richer history and breadth.

Canadian singer/songwriters like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and The Band were at the forefront of the roots rock/folk scene in the 1960's. Poetic lyrics and solid musicianship put these aformentioned acts right along side of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez on recordings and on stage.

During the 1970's, the evolution of progressive rock and art rock paved the way for the band Rush to dominate the airwaves. Who can forget "Tom Sawyer" and "Distant Early Warning," songs which still get heavy rotation on many Classic Rock radio stations?

Today, the Canadian popular music scene is as strong as ever, with some acts gaining a small but loyal following south of the border. Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Our Lady Peace, Rheostatics -- these are bands that encompass a wide variety of styles, yet somehow fell into the Alternative category at one point in time or another.

But in addition to mainstream, popular genres of music, Canada has many ethnic and cultural groups with strong musical traditions. Canada's Native community has given rise to Robbie Robertson and Buffy Sainte-Marie, both of whom draw heavily on their native roots in their songs. The Native community of the North gained a lot of attention when Susan Aglukark became noticed for her pure voice and intriguing songs.

Toronto has one of the largest Jewish communities in the country, and therefore it is no surprise that one of the most popular klezmer acts, The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, hails originally from that city.

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