Monday, 11 October 2010 16:20

History of Tribe of One

Written by Russell Eggleston

Tribe of One - A Collective History

In 1999, the Foreign Affairs Department of Canada launched a ‘Children in Armed Conflict’ initiative. In response to the government’s request for pilot projects, Rik Leaf and Tribe of One drafted a proposal to travel to Macedonia. Thousands of Albanian, Kosovar refugees fleeing Serbian-led ethnic cleansing campaigns were living in camps outside the capital of Skopje. Tribe of One offered to travel to the camps to provide music, dance and art workshops with children in the refugee camps who had suffered the traumas of war. The proposal caught the attention of then Foreign Affairs MP, Lloyd Axworthy, who approved the group’s proposal. By the time the government approved the project the war had ended and the refugees had returned to what was left of their homes.

In September 1999, in conjunction with War Child Canada and the Canadian government, Tribe of One traveled to Pristina, Kosovo where they participated in a United Nations humanitarian festival called ‘The Return’ hosted by actor Vanessa Redgrave. The U.N.I.C.E.F. initiative drew a roster of international artists, including the Martha Graham Dance Company from New York, composer Phillip Glass, Bruce Cockburn and Lebohang “Lebo M” Morake, the South African composer from Apartheid-ridden Soweto, most famous for arranging and performing music for the Lion King movie.

Traveling with a small video crew, Tribe of One documented their life-changing trip, as a group of university students from Pristina befriended the band and shared their stories as they toured the wreckage of their bombed city. For the previous 10 years, they had not been allowed an education, to speak their own language, walk on the sidewalks, stay out after dark, or be in large groups outdoors. Albanian musicians were not allowed to perform publicly and their opportunity in the theatre was limited to being stagehands. ‘The Return’ signified not just the physical return of Albanians to their homes, but also a return of their culture and their voice to communicate on the world stage as global citizens. The National Theatre was officially opened and the streets were filled day and night with sights and sounds of music, art and large groups celebrating newly won freedom.

When Tribe of One returned to Canada, Robert Enright and the CBC used the band’s footage for a short documentary on the amazing journey and the profound and lasting effect the experience had on the group. Tribe of One’s tour to war-torn Kosovo in many ways marked the beginning of artistic identity that remains to this day, a desire and commitment to use our voices to help others find theirs so they can share their stories with us.

Monday, 11 October 2010 14:49

Discover MJ Dandeneau

Marie-Josee Dandeneau is a French Canadian multi-instrumental musician from St-Boniface, Manitoba. Specializing in double bass and electric fretless bass, she reflects her French Canadian and Metis heritage in her playing. Marie-Josee has created a fiercely independent musical history that includes numerous TV performances, freelance studio recordings (over 50), performing at festivals across the world (Europe, Australia, North America, Indonesia, New Zealand; playing to sometimes more than 20,000 people) performing with various jazz ensembles, solo artists and being the technical director of several musical groups. Her woven instrumental harmonies reflect her interest in a variety of different musical styles that have molded her widely diverse performance background.

Besides being an international touring bassist, Marie-Josee is a sought after studio engineer, live sound recording engineer and multimedia, having earned her degree at Mid Ocean College and multimedia  degree at University of St-Boniface. She has numerous studio audio engineer projects under her belt and her live sound project highlights include being on the sound crew for Xavier Rudd (Australia), The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Blue Shaddy (Australia).

Among others she has toured, played and shared the stagewith Michael Franti and Spearhead, Ben Harper, The Violent Femmes, Xavier Rudd, Pete Murray, Buffy Saint-Marie, Sarah Harmer, Donovan Frankenreiter, The Benefit of Doubt, Bill Bourne, Collective Soul, Eliana Cuevos Band, Ruthie Foster, Kathleen Edwards, Blue Shady, KT Turnstall, Gomez, Hey Ocean!, Blue King Brown, Blackalicious, Bondi Cigars, Andy Stochansky, G. Love & Special Sauce, Buckwheat Zydeco, Chantal Kreviazuk, Sarah Slean, The Wyrd Sisters, Tribe of One, The Oceans, Don Amero, Ash Grunwald, Ry Cuming, Burnt, Oh my Darling, Toby, just to name a few.

Monday, 11 October 2010 13:19

Bass Girls across the world

 I’m now listed here in Bass Girls International Directory; swing by to check out other female bass players from the wide world over.

Monday, 11 October 2010 05:38

Buffy Handel

Written by Buffy Handel

Bio on Buffy

Monday, 11 October 2010 05:37

Rik Leaf

Written by Rik Leaf

Recording Artist * Producer * Slam Poet

Rik is one of those people who have more visions & ideas  than lives to live them. A socially active artist with an insatiable appetite for creativity and community, Rik has toured to war-torn countries with the United Nations and the Department of Foreign Affairs, traveled to First Nation communities across Canada and been the driving force behind Tribe of One since /98.

Rik has recorded four full-length CDs and been featured on 6 international compilations in addition to producing a variety of other artists. He tours internationally with his band, Tribe of One, as well as a solo artist.

2008-10 he was the host & co-producer for 3 seasons of the Artist Next Door TV series. In July /09 Rik & his wife Zara, a nationally renown tattoo artist, sold their home in Winnipeg and spent a year touring the world with their two kids, Zion & Riel. The tour ranged across the globe from Canada, Hawaii, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and the U.K. Rik produced an online video series available on youtube called 'Where in the World Are Zion & Riel' documenting the tour.

"Our society seems to relegate risk-taking and adventure to something you do in your early 20's or retirement years. We were excited to embark on the trip of a lifetime as a young family involving with our kids in the adventure," says Leaf, adding, "not only is it possible, it's actually desirable!"

In July 2010 they returned to Canada, choosing to make a new home on Vancouver Island. Rik is currently writing a book about the year of adventure & discovery, touring with Tribe of One and working on a documentary.

Monday, 11 October 2010 02:35

Marie-Josee Dandeneau


  • Awarded On The Rise Award from the Winnipeg Art Council: recognizes the demonstrated promise of an emerging professional artist in 2009

  • Awarded best francophone recording at the Prairie Music Awards for my composition, Elle off of my self entitled album in 2003.

  • Awarded best francophone recording at the Prairie Music Awards for Le Studio in the album for the band Belle Folie, entitle Meduse in 2002
  • Nominated for Elle, a short film that I produced, directed and created for the finalist festival Silence, On Court; organised by the CBC and the National Office of Canadian film. The film was then shown throughout Canada as well as in Winnipeg at the Cinémental Theatre.


"Marie-Josee Dandeneau is the artist we all seek: eclectic, energetic, with a fresh approach to performing. On stage, one is immediately struck by her brilliant technique, (so rarely) accompanied by intuitive, musical sensitivity. A super-talented musician and all-round nice girl. Five stars!". Canada should be proud.” (Adele-Marina Wilding, Award-winning singer/songwriter/pianist, UK, 2009)

"Her unique combination of fretless, fretted and upright bass has allowed her to carve a unique identity in a competitive market. I highly recommend Marie-Josee to you as a brilliant and creative professional musician who inspires artists and audiences whenever she plays!" (Rik Leaf, singer/songwriter/Producer, Winnipeg, 2009)

“…The Canadian, MJ Dandeneau provides a wonderful and sensitive pocket groove with her bass-playing and makes the whole into something very extraordinary. With her fretless bass playing, she produces characteristic sounds on stage that would leaves you an unforgettable impression…“ (Holland Newspaper Nausikaä de Blaauw, De Groene Zwaan, Holland, Dec 2008)

Marie-Josee is a one of a kind musician - multi talented that has the ability to learn other people’s songs precisely and quickly and she knows how to entertain a crowd, with high energy and movement. Her bass skills out-do any other bass player I have personally played with or seen and heard.“ (Toby, singer/songwriter, Award-winning WA Blues & Roots, Australia, Nov 2008)

“I was particularly impressed with bassist, Marie-Josée Dandeneau. The most physically striking member of the band is the de facto musical leader, boldly outlining the song’s strong melody lines with some hard-grooving bass licks…Marie-Josée Dandeneau’s dazzling display on the introspective “The Angels Tell Her” were easily worth the bargain admission price alone.” (journalist John Jane, Vancouver Festival, July 2008)

“It was a love at first sound when the audience was introduced to Toby Beard joined by top Canadian upright bass player, Marie-Josée Dandeneau, who delivered a high-energy performances during The Big Time Out Festival.”(Jules S. Xavier Editor, Cumberland, BC, Aug 2007)

Discography (selected)

Bonnie St-CroixAcross Canada(2010), Burnt Project 1  - Black List (2010), Don AmeroThe Long way home (2010), Sheena Grobb  - Grow (2010), Oh my Darling  - In the Lonesome Hours (2009), Rik Leaf & Tribe Of One  - Tribe Of One (2009), Toby Beard(AUS)- Love Underground (2008), Julie Cote - Water off a duck’s back (2008), Vanessa Kuzina– Peony (2007), Toby Beard(AUS)- Tu Es Belle (2007), Suss - Just ride my bike (2007), Toby Beard(AUS)- Red Rooster (2006), Rik Leaf- now is the winter of our discontent (2006), The Wyrd Sisters– Wholly  (2006), Jacob & Lily- The cathedrale (2006), Nine Mile- The Almanac (2005), Solutions for Dreamers. Oniric Records (2005)

Saturday, 09 October 2010 15:46

Discover Tina Newlove

Written by Tina Newlove

Tina Newlove graduated from McMaster University in the Honours Fine Arts program in 1996. As a professional artist, Tina has been recognized as an artist with vision and an exceptional talent. Her creativity and techniques have brought accolades from curators and jurors who have recognized her potential to make a significant contribution to the cultural life of Canada. Since 1993, Tina’s paintings have been accepted into over eighty-five juried exhibitions both nationally and internationally where they have received many awards. In 1998 Tina was commissioned by the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto to create the 1998/99 Executive List.  Her painting “Organizing my Mind” is in the City of Toronto’s permanent collection. Most recently Newlove received  an Award of Merit from the Society of Canadian Artists for her painting “Step Lightly” at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. 

As a a founding member of Tribe of One, Tina creates stunning visual images on stage throughout each concert performance. She has participated in numerous benefit concerts including Toronto’s International Concert for Peace and The Return, a United Nations benefit tour to Kosovo with the Department of Foreign Affairs and War Child Canada.

When Tina is not in her garden drinking tea, fuming over politics and dancing, she can be found in her Guelph, ON studio painting, drinking tea, signing petitions and dancing.


Artist Statement

Much of my work is circular. I see the patterns of people, cities and natural elements overlapping in concentric circles. I am interested in spaces between, depth and transparency.  My work investigates the dynamics of relationships, the vulnerability of individuals in both city and home-life situations and the contradictions of modern life. Images of claustrophobic city settings and cutout solitary figures are caught in isolated landscapes, moments of contemplation, anxiety or in mid-conversation with unseen counterparts.

Inspired by the sounds and colours around me,  themes take second place to the surface of the canvas, which arrests my focus in a play of pattern, texture and colour.  My paintings unfold in lines and shapes and areas of light and dark as forms emerge and withdraw into the shallow background.

I notice the patterns around me shaping my world and making everything concrete. The weave in the fan, the stitching on the organ, the bowl of apples, the steady chug of the dishwasher and the music thumping away in the background all contribute to my art-making practice.

Bamboo sticks and good luck signs,

the sun and the moon every day,

the books on the shelves,

flowers from the market on Saturday,

city grids and stop lights,

past-present-future, past-present-future,

A-L, M-Z,


life cycles, death cycles, wash cycles…

these are the patterns I muse over and record.

I paint mainly in oils on wood, canvas and paper. I assemble pieces with stitching (which piercingly binds my meandering thoughts together), silver leaf (because it tarnishes), gold leaf (because it doesn’t), dictionaries, bronze and fabric. I cherish the beautiful, the delicate, the detailed, the organic and the non-violent but I often paint my experience with violence, despair, the poor and the war-torn.

Metaphysics Play a Trick on Me

my feet firmly touch the ground

with each step

my senses sharpen to the sidewalk space

as a part of me

reaches past and through me

until I’m floating just above myself

my edges are blurry

I come in and out of focus

as I concentrate

on moving through space

with nowhere to land

Monday, 04 October 2010 05:21

Discover Tribe of One

Written by Rik Leaf

What We DoAnchor

Since its inception in 1998, Tribe of One has developed a reputation for creating technically innovative, highly adaptable, cross-cultural entertainment that engages audiences through an amazing blend of Sound, Physical Movement & Dance, Performance Painting and Slam Poetry.

Sound - Rik Leaf & Marie-Josee Dandeneau, play over a dozen instruments between them to create the thunderous tribal sound. A fusion of instruments from indigenous cultures around the world layers First Nations pow-wow & hand drums with didgeridoo and ocarinas over Rik’s percussive slide/acoustic guitar and MJ’s soulful fretless/upright bass.

Physical Movement and Dance - Anishinabe First Nations dancer and choreographer, Buffy Handel, sets emotions in motion through a combination of traditional and modern dance styles, regalia and costumes, fusing hoop, jingle and fancy shawl choreography with salsa, samba and Brazilian capoeira.

Performance Painting – Audiences are swept up into the creation process as award winning painter and performance artist, Tina Newlove, creates stunning visual images, as an empty canvas is infused with the swirl of creative energy on and off the stage.

Storytelling – A master storyteller, Rik’s socially conscious lyrics, slam poetry, instrumental soundscapes and spontaneous narratives transport audiences through the ancient art of storytelling to a world of imagination and wonder.

Who We Are

Tribe of One is a collective of world-class performers and producers who fuse the rich heritage of old world cultures with modern artistic expression. With deep mutual respect and a sense of adventure, Tribe of One embraces artists from a variety of disciplines and cultures to create wildly unique, one-of-a-kind performances.

Core Artists of our Creative Process

Rik Leaf – Founder/Creative Director, 1998 - Present -  Recording Artist/Producer/Slam Poet, Rik has released numerous CDs, hosted the Artist Next Door TV show, he tours internationally as a solo artist and with Tribe of One. Through his artistic activism he has worked with the UN and the Department of Foreign Affairs.


Marie-Josee Dandeneau – Musical Director, 2005 – Present - French Canadian, multi-instrumental musician from St. Boniface, Winnipeg, Manitoba, MJ specializes in double bass and electric fretless bass, recording and performing internationally with artists from around the world.


Tina Newlove - Principle Visual Artist, 1998 - Present - Graduating with distinction from McMaster University, Tina's paintings have been accepted into over seventy juried exhibitions, receiving numerous awards including an Award of Merit from the Society of Canadian Artists in 2010. She's been with Tribe from the beginning.


Buffy Handel - Principle Dancer, 2008 - Present - Originally from a remote community in northern Manitoba, Buffy has become one of Canada's premier First Nations dancers and choreographers, touring internationally as a presenter and performer. Buffy is the founder of the Aboriginal School of Dance in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Sunday, 26 September 2010 21:37


Written by Administrator

We do good festivals and stuff.

Sunday, 26 September 2010 21:12

Travelling Art School

Written by Administrator

We do workshops.  They're pretty cool.

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