Schedule

Friday, July 26

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Calgary's Blue Sky City Stage 5

Session

Friday, July 26

8:45 pm – 9:40 pm

National stage 4

Concert

Saturday, July 27

10:30 am – 11:40 am

Field Law stage 3

Session

Kassa Overall

Seattle, WA

It’s rare to find a musician whose methodically tight rap lyrics are rivalled only by his tight stickwork, but drummer/MC Kassa Overall possesses unicorn-level talents. His mastery goes back to toddlerhood, when his parents gifted his older brother a drum set. Overall was intrigued by the noise-making toy in the middle of his living room. He landed at the legendary Oberlin Observatory — but his jazz instructors didn’t approve of his dual interest in making hip hop beats. In New York, he became an ace drummer, sharing in a jazz instrumental Grammy nomination in 2019. But undeterred by his old teachers’ sideways glances, he kept a toe in his other dream world, securing a gig as DJ with the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

A few years ago, he went solo and stuck his passions in a blender. Pitchfork called him “one of modern jazz music’s most audacious futurists,” and said his music “transcended and rendered irrelevant the decades-old discussion between jazz and hip hop.”

His 2023 album Animals layers on trippy electronica, flute and saxophone floating around raps about belonging. At its base, it’s all groove and beats — let Grammy officials sort out which genre to nominate him next time.

— Jason Markusoff

Upcoming shows

Friday, July 26

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Calgary's Blue Sky City Stage 5

Session

Friday, July 26

8:45 pm – 9:40 pm

National stage 4

Concert

Saturday, July 27

10:30 am – 11:40 am

Field Law stage 3

Session