Juno + Polaris Music Prize winner, Jeremy Dutcher, goes behind the scenes of his first-ever music video in mini-documentary












Photo Credit : Peter Hadfield


Also available on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play & Deezer:https://www.smarturl.it/jeremydutcher

Jeremy Dutcher is a Toronto-based performer, composer, and classically trained operatic tenor. He is also a member of indigenous community, Tobique First Nation, and released his debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Our Maliseet Songs), on April 6th, 2018. He is now the winner of the Polaris Music Prize for the best Canadian album of 2018 and a 2019 JUNO winner.   He now shares a mini-documentary that artfully depicts the behind-the-scenes footage from his first-ever music video, “Mehcinut,” which was also the first single he ever shared. The video for “Mehcunit” is co-directed by Jeremy Dutcher, and filmmaker Chandler Levack, and it was filmed at Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, ON.    Exclaim!, who premiered the behind-the-scenes video gives a look into the “elaborately choreographed and diversely-cast shoot,” says:   Dutcher appears alongside director Chandler Levack, choreographer Brian Solomon, set designer Emily Jan, and producers Joshua Howe and Julie Baldassi to talk about making the video. Each collaborator details their contributions to the video shot at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum.  

Speaking about the mini-documentary, Jeremy Dutcher says:   Music videos are such an important and lasting visual representation for the sounds they accompany. They help to deepen our understandings of the world in which a given music springs from. I’m so unendingly grateful for the team which made this video as impactful as i knew it could it be. Your tireless work humbles me.   The ‘Table of Indigenous Excellence’ was my opportunity to highlight some bright lights within indigenous artistic communities from coast to coast-to-coast — artists who are making an impact and dreaming us into a resplendent, new future. Diverse representations of who we are as indigenous peoples are critically important in this moment. Thank you all for your time and care in realizing this vision. Canada, know these artists and their brilliant works!  

Lastly, thank you for those who offered financial support to aid in its creation — things like MVP Project are crucial infrastructure for creating large scale projects like this. Woliwon.  

Chandler Levack, the co-directeor of the video, says:   Co-directing this video with Jeremy Dutcher was a highly transformative experience for me as a filmmaker. I was so honoured to be asked to help support his staggeringly beautiful vision for his first-ever music video and to be able to work with this incredible team of collaborators across so many disciplines, from sculpture to installation art to fashion design to dance. Working on this project challenged me and helped me grow immensely as an artist and a collaborator; I am forever changed from being a part of it. The funding provided by the MVP Project was invaluable to realizing Jeremy’s unique vision and the level of consideration and detail he brings to everything that he creates. It was very important to all of us to represent his community with a feeling of Indigenous joy in the images we created. Music videos hold great potential to dramatically shift modes of storytelling and representation in society. Jeremy is my favourite musician and storyteller, and we are so grateful to our team of collaborators and all the incredible artists behind this project who put so much of themselves into this work, and to the Aga Khan Museum and MVP Project for their involvement.  

The MVP Project is currently taking applications for new projects on their website

The FADER, who debuted the music video, says, “One of Canada’s most exciting musicians doesn’t hold back for his first-ever music video,” where “Dutcher becomes more prism than performer,” adding that the album as a whole “was a work Canada needed, but could not have expected.”

“Mehcinut” features an iconic dance performance, choreographed by two-spirit indigenous dancer and artist Brian Solomon, featuring an all indigenous dance group, and special guest dance performance by prolific award winning actress Tantoo Cardinal. Tantoo is a Member of the Order of Canada, and she has performed more than 100 film, television and theatre roles in Canada and the US, breaking barriers for onscreen representation of Indigenous peoples and has challenged negative stereotypes of Indigenous communities throughout her career, which has included roles in Dances With Wolves (1990), Black Robe (1991), Wind River (2017) and Through Black Spruce (2019). She has won a Gemini Award, a Canadian Screen Award for lifetime achievement, and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

The video for Mehcinut also features Jeremy’s ‘Table of Indigenous Excellence’; who are Indigenous cultural leaders, artists, filmmakers, and activists from across Canada, who gather at an adapted installation by multi-disciplinary Montreal artist Emily Jan, called ‘After the Hunt.

In his own words, and his careful choices of what to make bold, here’s Jeremy Dutcher on the “Mehcinut” video:

“This song calls back  

and reaches forward across time.

Concerning indigenous continuation

and what it can mean.

For all those who have gone before

and all those who are yet to come.

‘ciw nihkanipasihtit naka weckuwapasihtit.

This video arises through collaborative processes,

and circulates 

between death and rebirth. 

A beautiful assemblage of people

committed to telling

stories of reclamation and resilience. 

Make Indigenous excellence visible. 

To witness it in multitudes, is to know that we’ll be ok. Thrive. 

To see a full table, is to see a collective 

speaking of who we are. 

Indigenous people are not one thing

we come from many different backgrounds

 speak many different languages and ways. 

Drawing our circles wide

we make our gathering places 

radically inclusive

relying on all gifts and abilities

to make our presence and positions known. 

This project is a call to my community

let’s show what we’ve done and can do

let’s send a dream into the future 

for where we’ll go 


Amplifying diverse indigenous voices

past, present and future 

of inspiring artistic visions” 

Earlier this year, Dutcher performed a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR and Bob Boilen said:

There is no one making music like this 27-year-old, classically trained opera tenor and pianist. He’s not only a member of the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Canada, but one of fewer than 100 people who still speak — and in his case also sing — in Wolastoq. His Tiny Desk performance illustrates his deep respect for his heritage, even as he sings through vocal processors and looping devices of the very present. It’s a dialog with the past that earned him a Polaris prize for his 2018 album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (one of NPR Music’s top albums of that year).”

Dutcher has also paired up with Spotify to launch the official Indigenous playlist on the platform! Entitled “Indigenous. Music by us, for us”, it is a guest curated playlist showcasing the large variety of indigenous talent from Canada and abroad. Jeremy’s personal choices includes songs by Tanya Tagaq, Elisapie. Nehiyawak and Buffy St-Marie. Dutcher is currently on a nationwide tour, partnering with orchestras in cities across Canada to present Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa in a special symphony format. Arranged by Lucas Waldin, the performance premiered with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the Carlu Hall in Toronto in April. “This orchestra tour means so much to me,” says Dutcher. “It sews together two musical halves of myself. A tour like this would not have been possible just one generation ago, and I am honoured to bring our sounds into the concert hall and give them the treatment their beauty commands.” Dates and solo performances throughout Europe and North America, can be found below.


With Symphony Orchestra *

11/08: Calgary, AB – Jack Singer Concert Hall *

11/09: Saskatoon, SK – TCU Place *

11/14: Fredericton, NB – Fredericton Playhouse Inc. *

11/15: Moncton, NB – Capitol Theatre *

11/16: Saint John, NB – Imperial Theatre *

11/19 Bertrand, NB – Musique Saint-Joachim / Église de Saint-Joachim

11/20: Bristol, NB – Weldon Matthews Theatre

11/22: St. John’s, NL – Arts and Culture Centre

11/23: Corner Brook, NL – Arts & Culture Centre

11/25: Happy Valley-Goose Bay – Lawrence O’Brien Centre

11/27: Georgetown, ON – Kings Playhouse 

11/30: Sackville, NB – Mount Allison University

12/04: Chester, NS – Chester Playhouse Theatre

Jeremy Dutcher’s NPR Tiny Desk Performance:


Jeremy Dutcher performing at the JUNO Awards: 

Jeremy Dutcher wins Indigenous Music Album | Junos Gala Dinner & Awards 2019: 

Arkells invite Jeremy Dutcher onto the Junos stage to finish acceptance speech: 

Watch Jeremy Dutcher perform on CBC First Play Live:https://www.cbcmusic.ca/posts/19750/watch-jeremy-dutcher-mesmerizing-performance-debut

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