How do you describe an eclectic fusion of ska, rock, reggae, funk, Latin and jazz? One word: Misterfire! Drawing influence from acts such as The Cat Empire, Sublime and the Mad Caddies, the band's unique blend of genres caters to audiences of diverse musical backgrounds. With two records, multiple festivals and a Western Canadian tour under their belts, Misterfire is rapidly making a name for themselves in the Canadian music scene.
The band’s sound would be nothing without the sum of its very capable parts. The driving force behind Misterfire’s sound is its rhythm section, fueled by the talents of bassist Emmett Fortosky and drummer Ethan McKibben. Jordan Welbourne (guitar/backing vocals) and Cameron Baribeau (keyboard/trombone) serve as the group’s instrumental powerhouses, rifling off rapid-fire riffs and solos. Topping off the musical mixture is frontman Ben Fortosky, who centers the stage with his patented combination of vocals, trumpet and guitar.
Delivering a high-energy performance each time they take the stage, Misterfire’s mandate is to bring the party wherever they play. Be sure to watch for them as they light it up this summer with a brand new set!
"A band full of young, enthusiastic, multi-talented, multi-instrumentalists, they put on one hell of a live show." Bryn Becker - The Pickup
Highlights and HistoryAs a follow-up to their 2012 debut album "All Lit Up," Misterfire collaborated with producer Earl Pereira to record the five-track EP titled "Darling, This Is War." With Pereira’s multi-genre expertise as both a frontman for Saskatoon-based reggae/rock group The Steadies and a founding member of Canadian rock/blues legends Wide Mouth Mason, the group was able to capitalize on their eclectic nature by crafting five stand-alone tracks that span the entirety of their musical spectrum. The band released the EP through a 2013 Western Canadian fall tour that began in Regina on August 17th and ended with an official release party in their hometown of Saskatoon on September 7th.
The first single released off of the new EP, "Ain't Over Yet," was entered in CBC's 2014 Searchlight contest. Thanks to its success, Misterfire was voted as one of Saskatchewan's Top 10 New Acts.
Over the years, Misterfire has made frequent appearances at local festivals, including the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, Taste of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Exhibition. The band regularly headlines local venues such as Louis’ Pub and Amigos Cantina. Having played major events such as the Western Engineering Conference and the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference, Misterfire has also established a strong name for themselves in the college scene.
The group’s song “Oasis” from All Lit Up was featured on CBC Radio 1’s Blue Sky on April 5th, 2012 as the producer’s choice song of the week.
Ben FortoskyLead Vocals / Trumpet / Guitar
Ben's musical journey began at age four, when he accidentally ran into the family piano dressed as Batman. After deciding that the piano was not evil by nature, he decided to play it. Ben's first encounter with ska music came years later, and it caused him to dance uncontrollably. He vowed to start a band that could bring that same feeling to others. When he realized that taking up trumpet, guitar, and singing could help accomplish this and pester his younger brother Emmett, the deal was sealed. Thus began Misterfire.
Besides Misterfire, Ben has been a part of many other musical groups in Saskatoon, including the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, the University of Saskatchewan Jazz Ensemble, and his own jazz combo "The Flu", which included Emmett, Jordan and Cam. Ben's hobbies and interests include comic books, 90's TV shows, engineering physics, and making sure Jordan shows up for practice.
Emmett FortoskyBass / Backing Vocals
When Emmett first picked up an upright bass, he was nine years old and hoping to drown out his brother Ben's trumpet. Despite the fact that the instrument was nearly twice his size, his first performance followed less than a year later. As a founding member of Misterfire, Emmett and his bass have played an integral part since day one. His youthful looks also earned him the designation of "Band Chick Magnet," despite some protests from Jordan.
Emmett's favourite pastimes include basketball, track and field, making videos, and annoying Ben. He is also a current member of the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra.
Jordan WelbourneLead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Rumour has it that Jordan was born with a guitar in his hands singing Guns N' Roses. While Misterfire can't much vouch for this, they will say that they've never encountered anyone with a stage presence quite like Jordan's. Providing backup vocals and wicked guitar solos, Jordan gets the audience rocking out every time Misterfire takes the stage.
Jordan takes pride in his Ukrainian heritage and is actively involved in the Saskatoon Ukrainian community. Combining his love for music and all things Ukrainian, he can also be found leading the Calgary based polka band, Zhyto. His other interests include teaching music, travelling, perogies, and not returning Ben's calls.
Ethan James McKibben was born in Saskatoon to two loving parents on August 4, 1990. As a child, Ethan had no idea that he wanted to be a musician, instead aspiring to the lofty careers of garbage truck driver, dish washer, and robot. Though he has since given up on becoming a robot (we hope), he now uses his engineering background to build robots that do battle with one another for his amusement.
When he auditioned for Misterfire in the summer of 2011, he brought with him above average hair, above average rhythm, and about average sarcasm. This combination, along with the fact that he could actually make sense of Ben's mouth-drumming, netted him the vote to join the band. Ever since, he's helped shape the sound that is Misterfire.
Cameron BaribeauKeys / Trombone
Cameron has a long history with music, growing up with two older brothers who were active in Saskatoon's jazz scene. His family's enthusiasm carried him through organ lessons as a child, and when a new piano entered the household, Cameron started playing and never truly stopped.
He picked up the trombone in high school, where jazz intensives and summer bands led him to meet Ben and Ethan. It wasn't long before Cameron learned that Ben was as eager to start a band as he was, and together they became the driving force behind Misterfire.
Outside of his music, Cameron has a passion for storytelling, and is both an avid reader and writer. He also enjoys games of all kinds, biking, and destroying his band mates at Super Smash Bros.