Gary Sappier Jr
Gig Seeker Pro

Gary Sappier Jr


Band Blues Soul


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



"Sappier recieves 4th Nomination"

Fredericton artist nabs ECMA nomination
Published Thursday December 17th, 2009
Gary Sappier and his band up for 2010 Best Aboriginal Recording.
Kyle Mullin
Stumble Upon
Stumble Upon
Digg It
Share on Facebook
Print this article
Email this article
Speak Up
Speak Up

Gary Sappier simply set out under the scorching Kandahar sun to sing to the troops about how he'd been burned. But the local singer songwriter was about to learn just how deeply healing harmonies are needed on the front lines we all face.
Enlarge Photo
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

"The song was called Goodbye, about my base player that had committed suicide," said the head of the Gary Sappier Experience, who resides in the Fredericton area and is up for the 2010 ECMA's Aboriginal recording of the year for his album Project III. "But I only got to the chorus and broke down ballin.'"

The soldiers, who had had their share of forced farewells, tried to sing right along with him, and that bond grew stronger as they came under fire together. Sappier, who traveled to the Middle East to play with Ty Taylor, Suzie Mcneil and Deanna Johnston of Rockstar INXS in 2006, ventured to the front lines in a Black Hawk helicopter for that gig. Just as he was returning to camp a siren began drowning out the echo of those propeller's blades, which seemed like a whimper after the first volley of enemy rockets hit.

"I grabbed a flack jacket and covered my nuts with it, what else could I do?" he said with a chuckle. "It wasn't a funny thing though, it was like fireworks from five feet away for 40 minutes, those rockets were just an incredible sight."

But the sight that stuck with him the longest was much subtler- the aching, dark eyes of Afghani children, that made the strange land suddenly familiar.

"Those kids are the poorest of the poor," he said. "I talked to Afghanis when I was there, and they're no different than us- they're not all Taliban ya know, far from it. And all they want is freedom and peace of mind."

It stirred memories of the children that inspired most of his songs, the ones left to scamper through the streets and back roads of Canada's reservations, alone and on their own.

"I had a lot of things all bottled up inside me when I first started to write," Sappier said. "A lot of it's about children being left alone by parents, about residential schools, about parents partying and kids left alone to fend for themselves. Sad to say, that comes from reserve life. I write it because I've seen it, I've lived through it."

Sappier said such lyrics have to be belted out to bring about healing, to preserve the ailing people, and the ailing culture, on those reserves. He said letting those words mingle with modern production and ancient Mi'kmaq and Maliseet chants can help bridge such a troubled past with a more prosperous future.

"I came from the 80's man, so my music has big drums, big vocals and big guitar," he said. "I like to mix that with native content, because brother we've been playing music for 3000 years and we haven't even really been heard yet."

Greg Hatchard produced Sappier's last two albums and lent some backup guitar licks to most of the songs.

"Project III is rockier than his last CD," Hatchard said. "He's pretty talented. Sings better than he plays guitar, and he's a little stuck in the 80's, but he's talented."

Project III's more rollicking rhythms helped Sappier snag his fourth ECMA nomination this year for Best Aboriginal Recording- and while he says he'd like to break out of such an ethnically branded category, it's more than a good enough start for now.

"It's not patronizing at all," he said of the ECMA nod. "It's such a struggle to get on (Aboriginal TV network) APTN because they only seem to showcase Western talent, it's such a struggle to get on the radio or get heard at all, that something like this is always bound to help.

And that's needed, because these songs, for and about my people, really need to be heard."

- Here Magazine

"Debut CD Gary sappier"

Meet Gary Sappier, 35 year old singer/songwriter from Tobique First Nation, ASGarySappierProfilePicture.jpg New Brunswick. His debut rock album was released in the fall of 2003, and a single entitled, South Train was nominated for Aboriginal Recording of the Year at ECMA 2003 in Halifax. He bagan playing drums at age eight and started playing in a band when he was 12. He began playing guitar at age 14. He spent many years covering his favorite artists such as Scorpions, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, Black Sabbath and other hard rock monsters.

Later in life, things began to turn around when he began to have confidence in himself, and began writing songs. The new rock ASGarySappierCDCovExperience.jpg album entitled, Experience, contains 8 tracks, in which all the music and lyrics were his own creation. As well, a large part of the instrumentation was created by Gary. Most of the words written were based on his own life, experiences and Native content.

Gary said that the first concert he attended was April Wine and the band was his influence, as well as Ted Nugent. Gary said he wants younger Tobique Reserve residents to believe that their dreams can also come true. He wants the youth to say , If he can do it, they can do it, be original and be themselves.

Gary has performed at many venues including festivals in the past and has performed at the ECMA's, as well as appeared on many television shows with his band, Three Penny Opera who also contributed the music on his new CD. Gary's CD can be purchased at local stores in New Brunswick as well as at all HMV stores across Canada.

- Atlantic Seabreeze Toronto

"Task Force Afghanistan Tour 2006/07"

Task Force Afghanistan Show Tour: Smiles from Home

November 2006

Ottawa, ON - Canadian entertainers are gearing up to take their show on the road in the truest sense…as they get ready to travel all the way to Kandahar, Afghanistan to entertain our troops. This November, fifteen artists from across the country will embark on the Task Force Afghanistan (TFA) Show Tour to bring Smiles from Home to Canadian Forces (CF) members deployed in Afghanistan.

"The goal of the CF Show Tour program is to boost morale of CF personnel serving in remote locations," says Mark Larose, Manager Deployment Policies & Resources of the CF Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA), who organizes show tours for the CF. "These shows bring great entertainment, new faces, a little taste of home, and provide troops with the opportunity to take a break from the day-to-day routine of their missions."

With a mandate to deliver morale and welfare programs and services to the CF community, the CFPSA has a long tradition of providing show tours to CF members serving overseas and in isolated locations. Over the course of a six-month major mission, a CF Show Tour is usually held at the mid-point (third or fourth month) of the rotation

"We have named this show Smiles from Home, and that's exactly what we plan to provide," says Robb Hartlen, President and CEO of Comedy HQ - the company that is producing this tour. "The artists are extremely excited to have been selected. We can't wait to get over there and show our support and appreciation to Canada's troops"

From rockers to Celtic musicians to an Acadian comedian, the Smiles from Home TFA Show Tour is made up of a variety of artists to suit all tastes. The audience in Afghanistan will mainly be composed of personnel from CFB Petawawa.

Tracey MacDonald: Having conquered the comedy landscape in Canada, Tracey's career exploded in 2003 after she recorded unprecedented voter support on CBS's Star Search, not only winning the most recent series Championship, but also taking the Star Search Grand Championship prize of 200,000 dollars and a Development contract with CBS. Tracey now lives and works in Hollywood, California and performs across the US.

Marshall 'Lucien' Button: In his unique Acadian blend of English and French (sometimes known as Franglais) Lucien offers his views on everything from religion, politics, relationships, work, sports, health and nutrition, the environment, technology - from a humorous perspective that many Canadians can relate to. With his folksy charm and wit, Lucien is able to provide a snapshot of what is going on in the hearts and minds of many Canadians from Victoria to St. John's.

Rockstar Party (of the 2005 CBS hit show "Rockstar:INXS")

Suzie McNeil: At the end of summer 2005, Suzie was the last woman standing on CBS television's reality series Rockstar:INXS. This has brought her ongoing media exposure, as well as the chance to work with some music industry legends. Throughout the years, she has compiled an impressive record of musical accomplishments: from live gigs beside some of North America's top acts (Alan Frew, Ronnie Hawkins, Jeff Healey, Dave Navarro, P!nk, INXS) to consummate professionalism tracking in the studio (Nick Lachey, Jesse McCartney) to performing in front of crowds of up to 200,000 people.

Deanna Johnston: Being on Prime time TV three times a week for seven weeks during Rockstar:INXS was the platform for millions of people across the world to fall in love with Deanna. This extensive exposure combined with the praise and support she received from the members of INXS, Dave Navarro and some of TV's top executives has created a huge fan base and demand for her voice and music.

Ty Taylor: Ty and his band, Dakota Moon, signed with Elektra Records and had two Top 10 hits in the U.S., as well as countries all over the world. After leaving Dakota Moon, Ty produced and performed his solo project in all of L.A.'s hottest clubs. He has also toured with Eric Clapton, Macy Gray, Fiona Apple and Tina Turner, among others, and lent his talents to countless commercials, voice-overs and jingles.

The Fables: Led by former Irish Descendant D'Arcy Broderick and former Wonderful Grand Band member Glenn Simmons, The Fables offer a head-on fusion of contemporary rock n' roll with the time-honoured traditions of Celtic music. Their new sound and fresh approach have earned them multiple nominations and awards, including several Music Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador awards over the years, an East Coast Music Award for Entertainer of the Year in 2001 and two years (2002 & 2004) as the Canadian Independent Music Awards' Folk/Roots Group of the Year.

Casey LeBlanc: Casey finished in the Top Five of CTV's Canadian Idol on in the summer of 2005. The young singer hails from Nackawic, New Brunswick. Her musical style is identified as a combination of blues, jazz, and country. She is a member of the new - Canada National Defense


1. Soul In Me
2. South Train
3. I'm Not The Man
4. I See Heaven
5. Mama Do Ya Think
6. You And Me
7. I'm Coming Home
8. Erotica

"WANTED" (2006)
1. Wanted Man
2. Lost
3. Hello (Are You Out There)
4. Dreams
5. Goodbye
6. Heavy Metal Indian Song
7. Just Go Home
8. Runaway
9. I Remember

"PROJECT III" (2009)
1. Feels Good
2. I Need To Fly
3. I'm Not The Man
4. Take It Away
5. Dixie
6. Saint John River
7. Warrior
8. Hero
9. Sasquatch

Gary Sappier Experience has full streaming media available on several websites including the following:

In addition Gary Sappier Experience has been featured on CBC Radio several times and is a regular fixture on WOZI's Backyard Buzz every Thursday night at 6:00pm EST. Here are the associated websites:
Sirius Satellite Radio.




Depending on the day, Gary Sappier might perform any number of roles. He’s the nation’s first-call Aboriginal ambassador, a futuristic technology advocate, a dedicated educator, and of course, a Canadian music luminary.A multi-instrumentalist whose music is a unique combination of Aboriginal flavoured Funk and Soulful Blues. Since 2003 the aboriginal Bluesman has produced three CD's and garnered four East Coast Music Award nominations and is a solid fixture in Canada's east coast music scene.A professional actor,Gary has been seen nationally on TV Commercials (CBC-ATV)and has been heard on many radio jingle's.

Jeff Benetti-Sax/Flute

Playing Soprano Saxophone at the Marigold

I've been playing music since the sixties, my first instrument was an accordion. I learned to play 'I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus' by ear. I never really pursued the instrument further, but in 1969, when I was eleven I took up guitar.

In High School, I took up Trombone and then Saxophone and Flute. I loved the horns, they were so expressive, but I was met with a huge learning curve.

In high school I was involved in a few bands, but as is typical with high school bands nothing really went anywhere but it was lot of fun. One of the guys that I played with in high school, Al Connelly ended up joining the band 'Onyx' which later turned into 'Glass Tiger' and they went on to become an international success story in pop music.

After high school, I was very fortunate to meet Fred Stone. Fred had toured the world as a member of 'The Duke Ellingtons Orchestra', Fred played Flugel Horn and you can hear him play on the Ellington album 'North of the Border In Canada'. Although Fred did not play sax, he taught me an incredible amount about improvisation.

In 1982 I attended York University to study Jazz. Fred Stone had become my mentor and I added Flugel Horn to my list of instruments. When I went to audition, I lugged my Sax, Flute and Flugel Horn with me and although I passed the audition, I was urged to focus on one instrument. I truly loved the Soprano Sax and I decided to focus on the one horn, at least during my time in university.

I studied briefly with Jane Bunnet, which was really great, she was my first actual saxophone teacher and she really helped me develop a sound and an understanding of how the instrument should be held.

I was part of a Jazz ensemble lead by Mark Eisenman, a talented pianist based in Toronto. While at York, I had the great pleasure of meeting and jamming with Richard Underhill who later went on to form the Shuffle Demons. Together with two other sax players we would often descend on unsuspecting students and perform an improvised version of the most vague reference to a common melody. While I was at York, I wanted to combine studies in computer science and music. I was informed that 'Music and Computers have nothing in common', apparently the university was not keeping pace with the changing times. I have to admit that I have a bit of a smug smile when I see how much computers have become part of music creation and production and of course, York now offers a computer course within the fine arts programme.


Gary has represented Canada in many countries such as: United Arab Emirates,Dubai,The Netherlands,Afghanistan and the United States.

Played April 28th/2012 with-Matt Andersen,Bruce Guthro,Lenny Gallant,Kim Dunn.
Played for all of Canada's Premiers.
Performed for Canadian/Afghanistan Embassadors.
Opened for Trooper,Dr.Hook
ATV's Breakfast Television(5 times).
CBC Radio1 and 3.
Sirius Satellite.
APTN National Television Special Songwriter's Circle.
America's Got Talent-New York City.
And many more.

News & Events: February 15th-East Coast Jam Stage World trade and convention center Halifax,Nova Scotia,Saturday 7:00 P.M. April 4,2003-Breakfast Television, Halifax,Nova Scotia. June 27th,2003 -Tobique Entertainment Center In Concert-Dr.Hook with Three Penny Opera opening act. August 30th-Opening act for Trooper at the Tobique labor day festival!

June 21,2004-National Aboriginal Day Fredericton,NB-Officer's Square

July 16/04-The Experience rocks MC Squared in Grand Falls,NB February05/05-Native troops off to rock Germany overseas with sappier's blazing axe ready for battle! February 17-20th 2005-The Experience explodes at the Sydney showcase with host George Canyon.Elainne Bomberry was the emcee.

May 20th-Songwriter's Circle-Empress Theatre,Moncton NB.Taped for Roger's Cable.6PM

Year founded: 2001

In 2003 Gary started his singer/songwriter musical career when he released his debut self-t