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Women’s Blues Revue Band

The Women’s Blues Revue Band has been a cornerstone of the Women’s Blues Revue since its inception in 1986. Over the years, the WBR Band has featured many of Canada’s most prestigious instrumentalists and blues musicians, including Donna Grantis, Brandi Disterheft, Suzie Vinnick, Sue Foley, Colleen Allen, Lily Sazz, Carrie Chesnutt, Rebecca Hennessy, Morgan Doctor, Christine Bougie, Emily Burgess, Lindsay Beaver and many more. 

The Women’s Blues Revue Band perform continuously throughout the evening, supporting the featured vocalists and forming the foundation of the show.

This year’s Women’s Blues Revue Band includes:

Rebecca Hennessy (Bandleader/Trumpet)
Colleen Allen (Sax)
Emily Burgess (Guitar)
Carrie Chesnutt (Sax)
Morgan Doctor (Drums)
Lily Sazz (Keys)


Rebecca Hennessy | Trumpet & Band Leader/Musical Director

Rebecca Hennessy ColourRebecca Hennessy is a highly sought-after Toronto-based trumpeter, composer and bandleader who has been performing, recording and touring with various projects since moving to Toronto in 2003 from Vancouver Island, BC. As a leader and co-leader, Rebecca has released seven albums to date and has toured Mexico, Panama, Sri Lanka, Europe, USA and extensively in Canada. She has also performed and recorded with internationally recognized artists including Adele, Ron Sexsmith, Andy Kim, Owen Pallett, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Ab Baars and Ken Vandermark. In July 2016, Rebecca Hennessy’s FOG Brass Band was nominated for both the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Grand Prix de Jazz and the Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Halifax Jazz Festival. Her most recent CD, Two Calls has been getting great reviews (4.5/5 – All About Jazz) along with regular national and international airplay. This is Rebecca’s 5th year as bandleader for the Women’s Blues Revue at Massey Hall!

Emily Burgess | Guitar

Born in Toronto in 1987, Emily Burgess has been a professional touring musician since graduating with honours from the Humber College music program at the age of 22. Highly regarded as one of Canada’s finest emerging guitarists, Emily has begun to develop a style all her own.

After 5 years as guitarist for the Juno-nominated 24th Street Wailers, with whom she played hundreds of shows across Canada, the U.S, and France, Emily has continued to write, perform and continuously hone her craft.
Emily has shared the stage and traded licks with guitar greats Jimmie Vaughan, Kevin Breit, Garrett Mason, Suzie Vinnick, Sam Weber and many more. With the utmost respect and love for sounds both current and of the past, her dedication to honouring the giants while garnering her own sound has been nothing short of obsessive.
Emily currently plays guitar and tours year round with ‘The Baddest Band in the Land’, The Weber Brothers. She brings to the band her constantly evolving signature approach and style.
Emily releases her debut solo album ‘Are we in Love?’, in Fall 2017.

Colleen Allen | Saxophone

ColleenAllen_KReevesColleen is a dynamic solo performer and flawless ensemble musician, known for her gorgeous warm tone, soulful style, and brilliant soloing. She plays all saxes, flute, clarinet, and accordion, and is top call in Toronto for live shows, festivals, theatre performances as well as touring. Recent performances include: Sessions-x recordings with Gospel legend Carvin Winans featuring Michael MacDonald, Take 6 and Martha Reeves.

She has performed extensively with Molly Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Holly Cole, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Rik Emmett, Marc Jordan, Heather Bambrick, Shakura S’Aida, Jackie Richardson, Cirque Du Soleil, SoulPepper Theatre, and is a proud member of the Women’s Blues Review Band. 
She is a member of Manteca, one of Canada’s premier fusion jazz big bands, and has recently been in the studio with them to record a new album, her second with the group. 
She was also the Artist in Residence for the Steel City jazz Festival in Hamilton last month. She’s a world-class musician whose musical talents have touched many audiences around the globe.

Carrie Chesnutt | Saxophone

Carrie Chesnutt Album Cover - Crop VerticalOne part instrumentalist, one part cabaret diva, Carrie Chesnutt has had a dual career as saxophone and flute sideman and recording artist, as well as a One Woman cabaret dynamo. Her lively one woman show ran for 8 seasons in Mexico as well as Costa Rica and Canada..a comeback tour is planned for 2019.

Carrie has performed at Canada’s Walk of Fame, played with Late Night With David Lettermans’ Paul Shaffer, blues legend Paul Butterfield, Canadas Queen of the Blues Rita Chiarelli, English songwriter and gay icon Tom Robinson, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, entertained at private parties for Rick Moranis and Tom Hanks, and opened for the one and only Phyllis Diller.

Carrie’s hard hitting funk band FAT LUCYs music has been described as soulful tight and muscular.

A long time regular in the WBR housebound she is a wandering sax slinger for hire these days in case you are looking.

Morgan Doctor | Drums

Morgan Doctor Vertical

A California native, Morgan Doctor established herself here in Toronto in early 2000s. Her career took a leap when she joined the rock band The Cliks (Warner Music) who toured with such acts as Cyndi Lauper, The B-52’s, and The Cult. Some of the amazing venues Morgan has had a chance to play include, not only Massey Hall but Radio City Music Hall in NY, Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado and The Greek Amphitheatre in LA. She has played on the Craig Ferguson Show and Late Night with David Letterman. She has had the privilege to play with such artists as Andy Kim, Ron Sexsmith, Fefe Dobson, Don Felder (of the Eagles) and Chantal Kreviazuk among many other talented artists.

She has been nominated for a Juno with The Toronto Tabla Ensemble and nominated for a Dora as a solo artist.
Morgan also has three solo albums out on Aporia Records.

Lily Sazz | Keyboards

A graduate of the McMaster University honours music program (majoring in harpsichord and piano), student of world-renowned concert pianist Valerie Tryon, keyboard player Lily Sazz has been a professional musician since 1985. Lily has been performing with the Toronto Blues Society Women’s Blues Revue since 1995, spending 10 of those years as musical director of the event.

Lily resides in Dundas, Ontario. Her band, Cootes Paradise, is just releasing their new self-titled CD, featuring 12 tracks of great roots/blues/r’n’b music.

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©2018 Toronto Blues Society. Design by Janine Stoll Media.
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.