Toronto Blues Society | » 33rd Women’s Blues Revue

33rd Women’s Blues Revue



We are so happy to announce that Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe has now joined this year’s WBR as our host! Angeline has hosted CBC Weekend Mornings since September 2016 and can also be heard on CBC Music Top 20Canada Live!This is My Music and My Playlist. She is also a regular guest host of the award-winning CBC Radio One program As It Happens, and occasionally appears on the weekly arts and entertainment panel “q This” for CBC Radio one q, and hosts for the CBC original podcast Someone Knows Something.

Angeline is a voice actor, DJ, singer, an all-around creative and a mother, and we believe she will be an excellent additional spark to our WBR night! Not to miss!


Women’s Blues Revue will take place on Friday, November 29 at 8pm and TBS is delighted to have all these talented ladies in this year’s lineup including Tanika CharlesMiss EmilyAngelique FrancisRaha Javanfar, Taborah Johnson, Melissa McClellandEllen McIlwaine!

With its 33rd edition, The Women’s Blues Revue features once again some of Canada’s finest musicians backed by the all-star Women’s Blues Revue Band: Rebecca Hennessy (Bandleader/Trumpet), Colleen Allen (Sax), Elena Kapeleris (Sax), Emily Burgess (Guitar), Carrie Chesnutt (Sax), Morgan Doctor (Drums), Carlie Howell (Bass), Lily Sazz (Keys). Toronto Blues Society will celebrate its annual show this year at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall, as Massey Hall red doors are now closed for another year. Hurry up to catch the best available seats! Tickets are on sale at Roy Thomson Hall’s website for public and TBS Charter members in good standing.

Get Your Tickets Now!

Roy Thomson Hall: 60 Simcoe St, Toronto, ON M5J 2H5

Box Office: 416-872-4255

TBS Charter Members are eligible to benefit from 20% discounted tickets! Contact TBS Office to retrieve your code.

Click here to get your tickets now!

Tanika Charles

Since emerging on the international scene in 2017 with her debut Soul Run, Tanika Charles has revealed herself to be one of the best kept secrets in soul music. Both on stage and off, Toronto-based Charles presents an immutable charm, at times endearingly abrasive and honest in her vulnerabilities. Tanika returns in 2019 battle tested and ready to reveal the latest chapters of her life since graduating from local favourite to international success. Tanika’s sophomore album The Gumption was released May 10th, 2019 through Record Kicks. It picks up where Soul Run left off, continuing her tradition of marrying classic soul with modern production styles.

Miss Emily

Her music spans genres, crosses barriers and creates bridges. Her voice soars to emotional heights and reaches down into the grittiness of the soul. Her performances are foot-stomping, heart-wrenching adventures in rhythm, blues, soul, jazz and rock and roll. For nearly 20 years Miss Emily has captivated listeners across Canada, the US and the United Kingdom with her unique combination of passion and talent. This 8th generation Prince Edward County native now calls Kingston home, and her latest release “In Between” features Kingston music colleagues Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip. The album has been described as ‘singer-songwriter soul’ and continues to climb the Roots Music Report charts.

Angelique Francis

Angelique Francis is a versatile and exceptionally gifted musician, this multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, multi-genre singer song writer and composer has wowed audiences across the globe with her electrifying performances, instrumental abilities and powerful textured vocals. Angelique’s soulful Smoky vocals and instrumental techniques are reminiscent of a bygone era, but with a unique and modern sensibility.  Within her vocal style, you can hear influences of legends like Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Bessie Smith and many more. Her instrumental abilities call to mind Willie Dixon on the bass, Sister Rosetta Thorpe on guitar, Big Mama Thornton on the Harmonica and Aretha on the piano.

Raha Javanfar

A musician, designer, and theatre performer, Raha Javanfar is a multi-faceted artist. She performs with various bands as a violinist, bass player, singer, and songwriter. She is the front woman for Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes (Maple Blues Awards nominee), a blues/R&B/Rock’n’roll band, who play regularly in Toronto and have played at the Markham Jazz Festival, Tremblant International Blues Festival, and the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival. In addition to gigging with BLW and other bands, Raha regularly performs at Soulpepper Theatre as part of their concert series (88 Keys, Promised Land, Riverboat). Raha has designed lights and/or projections for theatre, concerts, opera, and dance, and toured internationally as projections designer. She’s been nominated for a Dora award as a playwright, received the Siminovitch Protege award as a lighting designer, and currently teaches lighting design at Ryerson University. Raha will be hosting the 2020 Maple Blues Awards.

Taborah Johnson

Travelling dtaborah is thrilled to grace the Roy Thompson Hall in such august company. “Women in Blues Review was a milestone in my earlier career, for the womyn I met there fed me in inspiration and courage throughout my career. Be it running into a fellow player in Sweden or gracing other stages I made good friends”. Though my awards and accolades may seem somewhat impressive lol in truth it’s always been about the music. The music that reaches into the very core of my being. The music inspired by so many of my personal mentors. From the Philadelphia home Nana and Granpop’s cellar where though Nana did her laundry it was the men’s hang no holds barred. A room where  my uncles and grandpop and dad would  play great music smoked dubious substances, swill homemade beveridges and sing along with the greats pouring out of the record player. Understanding their pains their joy’s their lives. How my brother and I would sneak down the stairs and sit silently rocking and swaying to blues. Just don’t get caught! Blues is the root, blues is the key whether you be in the need of laffin’ or cryin blues got sumphin for ya. I am so honoured and happy to reclaim my blues roots here tonight. Many thanks and blessings on my eclectic and rewarding life –it ain’t over yet!!!

Melissa McClelland

McClelland is known for bringing bloody-knuckled tales of blackouts, knockouts, bayonets and bad apples to life. Melissa’s crystal-clear vocals and gritty tales are both pure and coy, recalling songbird Patsy Cline and storyteller Tom Waits all at once. Melissa has been invited to sing with Jesse Cook, Sarah McLachlan, and Luke Doucet, and was the single guest vocal appearance on Blue Rodeo’s lauded Live at Massey Hall (2008). With three solo records to her name (all of them produced by Luke Doucet), Melissa’s songwriting has taken fans from the outskirts of the Golden Horseshoe all the way down the famed Route 66. Awards have come in the form of Hamilton Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination (Contemporary Singer of the Year) and a songwriting prize for “Passenger 24” from the Independent Music Awards for Best Americana Song. After touring with Lilith Fair in Sarah McLachlan’s band in 2010, the Sarah McLachlan & Friends tour brought Melissa to the front of the stage, where she impressed packed theatres night after night. Now, with new band Whitehorse, Melissa officially ties the musical knot with husband Luke Doucet.


Ellen McIlwaine

Ellen McIlwaine was born in Tennessee and moved with adoptive missionary parents to Japan when she was only two. She moved to Greenwich Village in 1966, opening for many Blues Greats, and getting to know Odetta, Richie Havens, Mississippi John Hurt & Jimi Hendrix to name but a few. Moving to Woodstock NY in 1968, she gained cult status through her two Polydor albums “Honky Tonk Angel” 1972 and “We the People” 1973. In 1987 Ellen became a permanent resident of Canada, continuing to play the thriving Blues Club Circuit and Canadian Music Festivals and touring with Guitar Hero Johnny Winter in 1990. In 2009 & 2010 Ellen toured in Canada with Sue Foley’s Guitar Women, also appearing solo at various US & Canadian Venues & Festivals. In 2011 she began work on her upcoming autobiography, continuing to tour & experiment with new material. In March of 2013 Ellen was flown to Los Angeles to be interviewed for the Jimi Hendrix documentary film “Hear My Train A Comin'”. In January 2019 she was awarded lifetime achievement “Blues With a Feeling” Maple Blues Award by the Toronto Blues Society.

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TBS logo and WBR artwork by Barbara Klunder

The Toronto Blues Society acknowledges the annual support of the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and project support from FACTOR< and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Broadcasters, The Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, SOCAN, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.