Cris Derksen

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Cris Derksen
Born Alberta, Canada
Nationality Cree, Canadian
Education Bachelor of Music
Alma mater University of British Columbia
Occupation Musician

Cris Derksen is a two-spirit Juno Award–nominated Canadian Indigenous cellist from Northern Alberta. Derksen is known for her unique musical sound which blends classical music with traditional Indigenous music. Her music is often described as "electronic cello" or classical traditional fusion.[1]


Derksen is from North Tall Cree reserve in Northern Alberta, Canada, she has both Cree and Mennonite heritage. She attended a performing Victoria School for the Performing Arts in Edmonton, Canada and was trained in classical music from an early age. She received a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance at the University of British Columbia. During her time at UBC she held the position of Principal Cellist with the UBC Symphony Orchestra.[2]

In 2009 Cris was the curator in residence at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. She has traveled and performed internationally in numerous countries including: Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Czech Republic, Mexico, Sweden, and the United States. She has performed with the Beat Nation Live Collective, Kanye West, Kinnie Starr, Tanya Tagaq, Rae Spoon, and traditional pow wow groups.[3]

In 2015 Cris' Orchestral Powwow Project album was produced in partnership with the independent record label Tribal Spirit Powwow.[4] During the making of this album Cris utilized Tribal Spirit's library of powwow music as a resource and incorporated some of the traditional music found in this library in her project.[5] In the same year, Cris' was mentored by Canadian musician Buffy Sainte-Marie as part of an Ontario Arts Council grant.[2]

In 2017, Cris performed at the Annual Public Meeting of the Canada Council of the Arts with the Cris Derksen Trio which includes drummer Jesse Baird and dancer Nimkii Osawamick.[6]

Musical releases[edit]

Composer credits[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bio". Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Dickie, Mary (Spring 2015). "Cris Derksen enhances her sonic adventure". Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ Ball, David P. (2013). "Electro cellist Cris Derksen 'pow-wow-wows' with creative blend". Aboriginal Multi-Media Society. Windspeaker. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Instrumental Album of the Year". Radio. 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Cris Derksen". Ritornello Fresitval. Retrieved July 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ "2017 Annual Public Meeting: Pierre Lassonde". Canada Council for the Arts. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-21. 
  7. ^ "Cellist Cris Derksen creates new genre with Orchestral Powwow". CBC Radio. October 4, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Pass System (2015)". Tamarack Productions. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools powerfully connects audience to peoples and culture of the North: review | The Star". Retrieved 2018-07-23. 
  10. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Toronto Theatre Celebrated at the 2018 Dora Awards! Winners Announced!". Retrieved 2018-07-23.