Guilt Free Zone Showcases Indigenous Music Scene

Most of you probably know Derek Miller as the Six Nations rocker with four studio albums and two JUNO Awards under his belt. What you may not know is that he also stars in his own TV series.

Set in a fictitious urban speakeasy, Guilt Free Zone features Miller alongside some of Canada’s best improv actors for a variety show that’s equal parts quirky, satirical and entertaining. There’s also a musical component to every episode, with live onstage performances from both Miller (along with his backup band, the GFZ Tall Boys) and top-notch Indigenous artists from across the country.

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Season 3 of Derek Miller’s Guilt Free Zone premieres May 23 on APTN.

And by top-notch, we mean TOP-NOTCH. To date, GFZ has featured artists like Logan Staats, Digging Roots, Genevieve Fisher, Shawnee, Once A Tree‘s Jayli Wolf and more. According to Miller, GFZ is “a place of discovery and exploration that strives to keep the Indigenous music scene vibrant and alive.”

“I have always been into nurturing new artists,” Miller says. “It’s important to have a big music presence (on the show) to help showcase the amazing talent in our communities and give artists places to perform. The GFZ is a great venue for this continued development.”

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Since touring with Buffy Sainte-Marie in the late 90s, Derek Miller has established himself as a fixture on the Indigenous music scene in Canada.

Now on the verge of its third season, which premieres May 23 on APTN, GFZ will carry on its tradition of showcasing Indigenous talent with one of its most stellar lineups to date. We’re talking artists like Classic Roots, Leela Gilday, Lee Harvey Osmond, Arthur Renwick, Vern Cheechoo, Lacey Hill, DJ Shub and more.

For Shub, an award-winning producer and former member of A Tribe Called Red, the appearance is an opportunity he’s been waiting for.

“I’ve been trying to get on that show since it started, but it never worked out scheduling-wise,” Shub says. “It was actually a really special time, because my family was there with me. My father, who recently passed away, was there and got to see the filming of the show.”

As for the future of Indigenous music, Shub says it’s in good hands.

“A lot of Indigenous artists are starting to learn that just by making music they’re putting their culture out there, and pushing things forward and pushing the envelope. I think we’re on the verge of this Indigenous bloom of amazing art and music and culture, and I’m excited to see where it goes.”

DJ Shub will appear in an episode of GFZ this season.

DJ Shub will appear in an episode of GFZ this season.

To see DJ Shub and other Indigenous artists on Guilt Free Zone, tune in to APTN on Wednesday nights starting May 23. 

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