Joel Kroeker grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. He learned how to play the guitar in high school, and he eventually went on to study music at the University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where he earned a master's in ethnomusicology and popular music studies. Kroeker soon strayed from academia, though, and went on to make a bid as a pop musician. His first album, 1999's Native Bohemian, hit number seven on the Canadian National Campus Radio Chart. After garnering accolades from the Alberta Recording Industry Association (Best New Recording Artist and Film Score of the Year for the documentary Tokyo Gardens), Kroeker went on to share the stage with musicians like Bruce Cockburn, the Payola$, and Colin Linden. A few years after his debut on the indie circuit, Kroeker landed a deal with True North, which in turn released Kroeker's second album, Melodrama, in 2004. The record earned Kroeker a couple nominations at the Western Canadian Music Awards, placing him among the likes of Sarah McLachlan and Nelly Furtado. His third album, Closer to the Flame, came out three years later. The record featured a duet with Quebec's Dany Bedar called "Déjà Vu," and the video for that song went on to claim the number one spot on the MusiMax channel in January 2007. ~ Margaret Reges
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