rising star on the Canadian classical / jazz / folk / pop / electronica
/ what-have-you scenes, cellist Cris Derksen is known for captivating
solo performances building layers of sound into often surprisingly
slamming dance music. Her music braids the traditional and contemporary
in multiple dimensions, weaving her traditional classical training
and her aboriginal ancestry with new school electronics, creating
genre defying music.
debut solo effort The Cusp, the 13 tracks range from classically
oriented, multitracked soundscapes (“We Danced Movement I
& II”) to upbeat party bumps inspired by her half-Cree
ancestry (“Pow.wow.wow”) and hybridized pieces that
sound readymade for climatic moments in art or cinema.
has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist and performing
her own compositions with Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq. She has
performed internationally at: Women in (e)motion (Germany), Future
En Seine (France), WOMEX (Spain), SXSW (Texas), Riddu Riddu (Norway),
Respect Festival, Colors of Ostrava (Czech Republic), Barroquisimo
(Mexico), MADE festival (Sweden).
home, Derksen has performed at: Vancouver Island Music Fest, Regina
Folk Festival, Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards, Frostbite
Festival, Salmon Arm Roots and Blues, Harrison Music Festival, Rifflandia,
Dawson City Music Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Calgary
Folk Music Festival, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, JunoFest, the
Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and the 2010 Cultural Olympiad.
side player Cris has performed with hip hop star Kanye West, Veda
Hille, Tanya Tagaq, Christa Couture, Kinnie Starr, Lightening Dust
(Black Mountain), Rae Spoon, Leela Gilday, Ivan e Coyote and e.s.l.
Derksen originally comes from Northern Alberta. There is a line
of chiefs from North Tall Cree reserve on her Fathers side and a
line of strong Mennonite homesteaders on her mother’s side.
Cris obtained a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance at UBC and
shared the title of Principal Cellist of the UBC Symphony Orchestra.
In 2009 she was recognized by the Aboriginal Peoples Television
Network as one of it’s rising stars and The Georgia Straight’s
“Who to Watch”. She was also a Curator in Residence
at the Vancouver East Cultural Center (The Cultch).
her album The Cusp was Nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award,
and she was honoured with funding from First Tracks, an APTN Music
not every night you see a cellist pack a club dance floor. But Cris
Derksen is not just another classically trained musician bowing
away in the background. Kicking out electronic beats and using her
loop station and pedal board to bring the noise, the UBC grad is
building an international reputation for invention, session work
- The Vancouver Province.