'Our music definitely northern.'

Labradormiut band a headliner at Aqpik Jam


The Flummies, a popular Inuit-Métis band from Labrador, will sing their way into Kuujjuaq to help Kuujjuammiut celebrate this year's Aqpik Jam music festival, Aug. 12 to Aug. 15.

"Flummies" is the word that people in Newfoundland and Labrador use to describe pieces of bannock.

And it's what the five "Innugiamik Labradorimi," or sons of Labrador, from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, decided to call themselves when they created the band more than 20 years ago.

"Our music is definitely northern music, but it's got that east coast flavor from Atlantic Canada. It's a mixture of traditional Irish, Scottish, Inuit and American because they [Americans] used to be at Goose Bay," said the Flummies' guitarist and vocalist, Leander Baikie.

The band's musicians, all of Inuit and Métis descent, also include Alton Best (vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica), and Richard Dyson (accordion and percussion), Tunker Campbell (acoustic and electric lead guitars, vocals) and Sim Asivak (bass).

Well-known in Atlantic Canada, the Flummies have received numerous East Coast Music and Newfoundland-Labrador music industry association nominations, as well as the EMIA's top aboriginal music award in 2003.

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The Flummies, who recently released their sixth album, entitled "This is the life for me," will perform twice at Kuujjuaq's Katittavik cultural centre during Aqpik Jam.

This will be their first visit to Kuujjuaq, but not their first visit to an Inuit community outside of Labrador. The Flummies played in Iqaluit several years ago, when Air Labrador's short- scheduled air service to Iqaluit was still operating.

The Aqpik Jam this year will feature 30 musicians, bands and entertainers from Nunavik, James Bay Cree territory, southern Canada, Nunavut and Greenland.

The festival line-up includes rappers, rockers, country singers and tam-tam drummers.

From Nunavik, there's the Salluit Band and Angava from Nunavik and, from Nunavut, Iqaluit singers Lena Evic and Aaju Peter.

From Greenland comes Enok Poulsen, who's famous in Greenland for his song "Paamiut asasara" or "Paamiut, the place I love," and Peter O. Petersen, who had a string of hits 20 to 30 years ago. Petersen is best known for "Erninnguara affarmik qallunaajusoq" or "My little son who is part Danish."

Evening performances will also feature Cree hoop dancers from Whapmagoostui and "Roger the Magician."

During the day, there will be an aqpik berry picking contest, canoe racing, golf, dart and cribbage games, and a poker tournament.

For up-to-date information on the festival, go to http://www.nvkuujjuaq.ca/en/aqpikjam.htm

Northern airlines that serve Nunavik will provide discounted tickets for travel to the Aqpik Jam.

Air Inuit will offer a 30 per cent discount and First Air a 40 per discount (using the code GR0806239) for travel between August 11 and 20, said festival organizer Sammy Koneak.

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