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35th Women’s Blues Revue

The Women’s Blues Revue returns for its 35th year. Friday November 25, 2022 Live at Massey Hall. Bringing blues lovers together for an evening honouring the contributions to the genre with some of Canada’s finest musicians.

 

Women’s Blues Revue will feature some of Canada’s finest vocalists backed by the all-star Women’s Blues Revue Band. Toronto Blues Society, in partnership with Massey Hall, will celebrate this annual show with a return to a newly revitalized Massey Hall.

 

Tickets

HOST and PERFORMING

 

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. She is known for her eclectic mix of various musical genres including Blues, Soul, Folk, Jazz, Gospel and Rock. Angelique has shared the stage/opened for a large roster of well-known musicians such as Gary Clark Jr, Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Keb’ Mo’, Jimmy Vivino, Beth Hart, Tom Cochran, Burton Cummings, Sugar Ray and the list goes on. Her diversity, passion and love of music can be heard in all of her original compositions.

Born and raised in Ottawa Canada, Angelique is a naturally gifted musician, who first garnered attention as a young prodigy. She first took to the stage at age 7 and at 13 years old she made her American national television debut on the Oprah Network, for writing and composing an original theme song for the Gayle King show. By age 13 she was proficient in playing other instruments such as the acoustic guitar, upright Bass, electric guitar and electric bass. By age 14 she was playing at music festivals across North America opening for a variety of acts such as Beth Hart, Trooper and Shameka Copeland.

Over the past few years Angelique Francis has established herself as a bona fide star on the Canadian Blues, Soul, Jazz and Folk scene. In March of 2022 she released her most recent album “Long River”. The record weaves through a variety of styles from Blues to Soul and Classic R&B. The acclaimed album showcases Angelique’s signature powerhouse soulful vocals, commanding Bass/guitar hooks and infectious Blues infused melodies.

Featured Performers

Garnetta Cromwell

Garnetta’s story begins in Montreal Canada, a bilingual, Afro Metis ( Mi’q Maw Community) Canadian girl, a musical daughter of a sophisticated strong woman; and the youngest of 6 other talented girls. Watching her mother (Miss Marva Ann) use music to survive, thrive, heal, and grow; Garnetta used music for the same purpose. As a child, Garnetta had a hearing impairment making her temporarily deaf; that required surgical treatment to repair. Loving music gave her the lead to survive, the determination to thrive, the peace to heal and a reason to grow.

She diversified her musicality at a young age with a passion for gospel, blues, country, and soul music. Following her sisters in talent contests, Garnetta was a child performer, in costumes tailored by her mother.

As Garnetta continued her music journey, becoming a lead vocalist and drummer for a Toronto’s only female reggae band Sweet Sensation, performing on the same stage with Platinum/Grammy Award artists like Maxi Priest, Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Gregory Issac and Sean Kingston, Platinum/Grammy soul legends Percy Sledge, Dorothy Moore and The Manhattans.

Now fronting Garnetta & Dagroovmasters, a Classic Soul R&B band that is not only a high energy show band, but they are also a reflection of Canada’s multicultural society! They have been playing music together for approximately 1.5 years. Their style of upbeat music, brings pure joy to all listeners, and continues to spread their contagious & cheerful sounds throughout their live performances!


Miss Emily

In February of 2020, only days after Miss Emily celebrated the Maple Blues triple crown of Female Vocalist, New Artist and Sapphire Blues Video of the year, the world shut down. You could still hear the roar of the crowd as the door slammed shut on performances, recording and almost everything else in the music industry. For the first time in two decades, Miss Emily had an empty calendar. With no frame of reference for pandemics or lockdowns, it took some time to understand what the next steps should be. Somewhere between virtual shows and long nights sequestered in the music room, an idea began to take shape. “LIVE at the Isabel” was released on October 30th, 2020 to rave reviews and on March 1st, 2022 it was nominated for the JUNO Blues Album of the Year. That sequence of events – from the Maple Blues Awards of 2020 to the 2022 JUNO Nominations – encapsulates all you need to know about Miss Emily. She specializes in overcoming insurmountable challenges and scaling metaphorical mountains. Her work ethic was forged in the foundries of Southern Ontario’s bars and nightclubs. Her resilience is a product of 20 years in an industry that can be, at best, “unfriendly” towards women. She has an innovative spirit and creative force born out of necessity, and her incomparable vocals are surpassed only by her electrifying, roof-rattling performances. Soon the world will shine a bright, white spotlight on the soul-blues dynamo known as Miss Emily. It’s only a matter of time.

 


Ann Vriend

Canadian AV (Ann Vriend) is a two-time Maple Blues Award songwriting recipient, an Edmonton Music Award and Alberta Centennial Award recipient, and has sold nearly 30,000 albums off-the-stage in her under-the-radar yet critically acclaimed international career.  Her sound is simultaneously reminiscent of the vintage, rootsy, soul style of Stax Records and Muscle Shoals recordings, while also contemporary and commercially viable, not to mention lyrically politically poignant.

AV has been hailed by NOW Magazine as a musician who “turns soul on its head, belting out delicate introspection in the form of fire”. She is one of the only independent artists in recent history to break into the Top 100 Pop Charts of commercial radio in Germany, the world’s 4th largest music market; even taking the #1 spot on one of their largest stations, Bayern 1.

During the pandemic, instead of her usual touring, AV launched what came to be a weekly event called “Porch Concerts”; where for nearly 60 Sundays of the pandemic she and other musical guests performed free concerts on her front porch, with people coming from all over her hometown of Edmonton to take it in. The porch concerts also saw participation both musically and logistically by the often-ignored members of her difficult and notorious inner-city neighbourhood of McCauley, which has suffered increasingly during the opioid crisis, and the COVID19 pandemic.

In fact, the subject matter of AV’s new album, “Everybody Matters,” is informed and influenced by the McCauley neighborhood,  which has led AV down a path of self-discovery, as much as it was a discovery of her neighbours and their own biographical stories.


Selena Evangeline

Selena Evangeline is, without question, a world-class singer. The sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Chaka Khan, Prince, and Stevie Wonder helped shape the musician she is today. As a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, her songs are musical snapshots of real-life and emotions, from a real woman. Those “snapshots” helped to win her an Ontario Independent Music Award for Best Urban, Barrie New Music Award as well as honourable mention in the John Lennon Song Writing Competition.

By way of her travels, Selena has shared the studio and stages with Sheila E., Patrice Rushen, Jocelyn Brown, The Nylons, Odyssey and the list goes on. You may have also seen Selena on stage backing Canadian icon Amanda Marshall as well as CMA winner Johnny Reid.

With her love of all things music, Selena hopes to continue sharing that love with audiences for years to come.


 Suzie Vinnick

A Saskatoon native transplanted to the Niagara Region of Ontario, Roots and Blues singer Suzie Vinnick is a 3x Juno Nominee, CFMA Award winner, and a 10-time winner of the Maple Blues Award for songwriting, female vocalist, acoustic act and more. Suzie has a voice you’ve heard a thousand times and one you’ll never forget. It soars, it growls, it whispers and it shouts from a deep, deep well of emotion. The pure joy she exudes when she picks up that guitar is so worth the show.

Suzie has toured nationally with Downchild, Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Café, the John McDermott Band and she performed for Canadian Peacekeepers in Bosnia and the Persian Gulf. She was also the voice of Tim Horton’s for 5 years.

Suzie’s latest roots and blues album will be released on September 23, 2022; the album is entitled Fall Back Home.


 

 

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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.