Straddling the worlds of alt-country, blues and soul, Jess Knights is a Calgary singer-songwriter with a renegade spirit and a luminous voice. A classically-trained opera singer who cut her teeth in the boozy, rough-hewn dives of her native Calgary, she’s not one to follow convention.

She spent a decade cutting her teeth in dive bars belting out the blues before releasing her debut EP, Won’t Wait, in 2018. The EP earned her a place on several year-end lists with the Calgary Herald and TheYYScene naming her one to watch.

When she returned in 2020 with her debut full-length album, Best Kind of Light, it was revivalist soul and classic roots tones that had ripened her sound. With help from award-winning producer Joshua Van Tassel and fellow songsmiths Donovan Woods and Joey Landreth, the effort brought into focus the power of Knights’ vocals and burgeoning skills as a songwriter.

Called an artist “who can play in the big leagues with some of this country’s best musicians and not only hold her own but own it all” (Mike Bell, TheYYScene), Knights is establishing herself as Calgary’s preeminent soul-roots sweetheart; a captivating performer that is bound to leave an impression.

Sunday, July 11

Stampede Summer Stage

New this year