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Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF
Band R&B Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Black Vibes Become A Non Stopable Force"

Organized by the African Nova Scotia Music Association (ANSMA), the showcase - which is about to mark its 10th year - is an opportunity for the black community to celebrate its talent during the ECMAs.

"It is usually packed," Matwawana said. "Every time we put on Black Vibes - whether here, or in Newfoundland, or New Brunswick - it is always packed."

Starting at 10 p.m., it will feature performances by Deep River Boys, Chelsea Nisbett, Shane C., Cindi Cain, Harvey Millar, Trobiz and Muzz Marshall, and R&B group Asia & Nu Gruv.

Nathan Symonds plays bass in Asia & Nu Gruv, which won in the best live performance and group of the year categories at the 2006 ANSMA Awards.

"Our first show big performance was at the Black Vibes showcase in Charlottetown last year," he said. "It has definitely helped."

"It's great to actually have a show representing us," Asia said. She is the singer in the nine person group. "It's a big thing for us.

"It's good to see that there are people looking out for us and trying to help us get out there and get noticed."

- Dean Lisk

"Common Grounds On The Natal Day Dance Floor."

Common ground on the Natal Day dance floor
Black and white Nova Scotians partied together on a recent Friday night - and they weren't singing Barrett's Privateers

The Daily News

Halifax is the greatest city to live in. There are some areas that Halifax has to work on, though. As a person who takes in so many of the activities that happen downtown, I often notice that the events are not particularly diversified. This is true in terms of who is performing and who is attending.

Two summers ago I had some friends visit from British Columbia. They were African-Canadian. They spent two days roaming the city centre and then met me for happy hour. The first thing they said to me was: "Where are all the black people?"

It was the middle of Jazz Fest, and this couple couldn't believe that they weren't seeing more diversity at the events. They were right - it is always a negative aspect of our city. And it is a problem that no one seems to want to talk about.

This year, the first day that I attended the jazz tent, I had no idea who was playing, but I did notice there were a lot of African-Nova Scotians in attendance. Shortly after I arrived, an incredible band took to the stage called Asia and Nu Gruv.

This 10 piece blues/funk outfit blew my socks off. They had a four piece horn section and some big bottom-end sound, and I wondered who could possibly have the pipes to front such a big sound. I found out quick enough when Asia took to the stage and her vocals soared out over the crowd like liquid velvet.

Local band

On leaving the tent, I ran into my friend, fellow Daily News columnist Shauntay Grant, and mentioned to her that I wished we had bands like that around here. Shauntay laughed and explained to me that Asia was from Preston and that she already has a huge following.

When the Natal Day festivities rolled around, I was preparing to attend, as I always do. The Friday night was to be a celebration of Nova Scotia music, which I figured meant what it always seems to mean, Celtic or highland-style music.

Now, I don't want any Cape Bretoners sending me hate mail. I appreciate the Celtic sound, but it is not the only music of this province. I was thrilled to see, however, that the mid-evening act was Asia and Nu Gruv. I got a group of friends together and headed down to the waterfront.

As the time got closer and closer for Asia and Nu Gruv to take the stage I witnessed something I've never seen happen before at the Natal Day celebrations. A whole bunch of African-Nova Scotians made their way into the tent.

The performance was impeccable and my mind kept wondering between two thoughts. First, I couldn't believe I had never heard of this group prior to this month, and second, I have never seen black and white Nova Scotians cramming the dance floor with one another at a Natal Day event before.

This band is a diverse (musically and racially) mix of players and they create a magic on stage that you have to witness to believe. The entire band is outstanding and I am sure they would all agree that without such a powerful frontwoman, they would not be able to create this incredible sound.

Magical experience

Asia jerked us our of our seats with a gut-wrenching cover of James Brown, complete with the dance moves and then easily slid into a sultry Alicia Keys tune. The Alicia Keys song garnered the band a standing ovation halfway through their set. All of us in attendance were bonded in the magic of the experience.

Unfortunately, the organizers were not responsive to the crowd. As the band came to the end of its set, there was a surreal energy buzzing throughout the tent. People were on their feet, screaming for more. However, organizers quickly came out to tell us there could be no encore song as they had to set up for the final band. The spell was broken and the crowd, including me, emptied out of the tent.

There is more to race relations than enjoying one another's food and music - I will be the first to tell you that. However, last Friday night on our waterfront under the stars, some kind of barrier was broken down.

We as a city should really start talking about how we can create a more welcoming community, so that magical nights like that are the rule not the exception.
- Candy Palmater Daily News

"African Nova Scotian Awards Boost For Local Musicians"

Another multiple winner was Asia & Nu Gruv, the R&B octet named as best R&B group and best live performance, the latter of which was proven by a tight version of soul classic Cheryl Lynn’s Got to Be Real, with singer Asia adding fresh rhymes to the ’70s staple.

"This feels really good right now," said an excited Asia after the awards show. "We’ve worked so hard to get this band to where it is, and this lets us know it’s paying off."

"It’s good to know we have this kind of support," added Nu Gruv’s Nathan Symonds, who plans to have a CD released over the next year. "This gives us the drive to keep us going ahead
- Stephen Cooke Chronicle Herald


Still working on that hot first release.



If you're looking for upscale entertainment, Asia & NuGruv is guaranteed to get the party started. A group of eight dynamic musicians who reach for the sky every time they hit the stage,Asia & NuGruv is non-stop excitement! Enthusiasm and energy best describe this funky, upbeat dance band. The band features an exceptional five-piece rhythm section, two incredible horn players (trumpet & saxophone), and a female vocalist who always delivers a "show stopping" performance. Each member of the rhythm section is featured either on lead vocals, or background harmonies. Performing Old & New Skool R&B, Soul, Classic Motown and Funky Blues. Asia & NuGruv are drawing huge audiences to every show and attracting great reviews from the media. Recognized as one of the Best Dance & Party Bands in Atlantic Canada ,Asia & NuGruv is ready willing, and able to bring both their spirited stage presence and dynamic musicianship to all venues. Whether performing for wedding reception , or electrifying the thousands plus crowds at outside events such as the TD Jazz Festival and the Alexander Keith's Natal Day Festival and are invited back year after year, this band never fails to deliver. Asia & NuGruv have been on a regular rotation with Casino Nova Scotia Harbourfront Lounge weekly entertainment since 2008. Asia & NuGruv are the Proud recipients of the African Nova Scotia Music Associations's award for "Best Live Performance" and "Best RnB Group/Artist of the Year. Asia and NuGruv were featured in a short film "Believe It" produced by Truce Films . Asia & NuGruv is ready, willing, and able to bring both their spirited stage presence and dynamic musicianship to all venues .Now booking, Asia & NuGruv is in high demand. If you wanna have fun and you wanna dance, you Wanna have Asia & NuGruv!