Leonard Sumner

This artist performed at the VFMF in 2018

Leonard Sumner (MB)

“Been knocked down never been knocked out… Never been the type to let another person limit me. Shooting for the stars and this music is my liberty” 

Anishinaabe poet, singer/songwriter, and MC Leonard Sumner’s songs and stories flow directly from the shores of Little Saskatchewan First Nation, located in the heart of the Interlake region of Manitoba. He weaves an enticing roots-blues-rap-country fusion that speaks to the tradition of passing on songs and stories, of sharing histories, life lessons and philosophy. Unblinkingly honest, Sumner’s lyrics are defiant yet vulnerable, giving voice to situations and people who have crossed his path.

His songs and stories are both illuminating and unsettling; provoking his audiences with an unswerving personal-is-political stance. He beautifully turns anger and hurt into understanding and familiarity. In this era of struggling with history, of reconciliation, and healing wounds of the past, Sumner’s music is an expression of medicine that walks the line between fragility and fortitude.

On stage he poetically sings awake the consciousness of audiences who may have been unaware of their slumber. It says: we are still here and our voices and our stories must be heard.