Carmen Braden is a versatile, genre-jumping musician from the Canadian sub-Arctic. She is a WCMA-nominated composer / performer based in her hometown of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Hailed as “a talented, bold musician” (Up Here Magazine)Carmen is a life-long Northerner whose music has been described as “drop-dead gorgeous” (Ottawa Citizen). Carmen’s debut studio album Ravens was released by Centrediscs in 2017. 

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Carmen performs her quirky folk songs with jazz-inspired ensembles, often dipping seamlessly into her classical explorations. From intimate theatre stages to folkfest mainstages, Carmen

“..the songs tenderly blew dust from places in my heart I didn’t realize needed it so badly..”

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Carmen’s music has been performed across Canada and internationally including by:
-Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Roy Thompson Hall)
-James Ehnes (Koerner Hall, 21C Festival)
-Elmer Isler Singers
-Spiritus Chamber Choir
-Gryphon Trio
-Land’s End Ensemble
-Penderecki Quartet
-Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition Winner’s Cross-Canada Tour
-ArtArctica Festival (Finland)
-2010 Vancouver Olympics
-Land’s End Emerging Composer Competition (Audience Choice Award)
-Stratford Festival
-Northern Scene Festival (National Arts Centre)
-The Global Composition (Germany)
-Shattering the Silence New Music Festival
-University of Calgary New Music Festival.



Both Carmen’s songs and her contemporary classical music are tied to her northern soundscape. She draws from her environment by examining natural+human phenomena through sonic, visual, sensual and scientific ways of understanding. Her creative journeys have led her into deep study of lake ice, northern life, raven calls, bedrock… Carmen often collaborates with other mediums including dance, theatre, film, and story-telling.



Carmen is passionate about creative education. She teaches individual students in Yellowknife, as well as contributing to music education in the North. Carmen was a pivotal member of the Gryphon Trio’s NWT Listen UP! project, which was a year-long program held in six NWT communities incorporating poetry, music composition, and performance. Carmen also gives customized workshops on music education, composition and improvisation.

Born in 1985 in Whitehorse, Yukon, Carmen grew up in Yellowknife and learned to love music with Bill Gilday and Ardith Dean. She earned the International Baccalaureate from Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific and continued to study under Michelle Hewitt. In 2009 Carmen received her Bachelor of Music in Composition from Acadia University where she studied with Derek Charke and Stephen Naylor. She received her Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Calgary in 2015, studying under Allan Gordon Bell, Laurie Radford and David Eagle.

Carmen’s creative work has been supported by the NWT Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, SOCAN Foundation, and her academic study has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


For bookings contact Magnum Opus Management, a member and cofounder of the Maverick Cooperative.