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28th Women’s Blues Revue

14 WBR Art  - Sharpened by Janine Stoll
The Toronto Blues Society & Massey Hall presented the 28th Women’s Blues Revue on November 22, 2014

Once a year, for 28 editions and counting, some of the most accomplished women in Canadian blues gather together to celebrate their chosen vocation—and each other. The Women’s Blues Revue once again returns to the historic site of Massey Hall for the 28th Annual event with an exciting lineup of six featured female vocalists including Diana Braithwaite, Divine Brown, Shakura S’Aida, Samantha MartinAndria Simone and Lori Yates. Join the Toronto Blues Society this November 22nd at Toronto’s Massey Hall for the 28th Annual Women’s Blues Revue!

The Women’s Blues Revue Band

The featured vocalists are accompanied every year by the Women’s Blues Revue Band which features a stellar line-up of some of Canada’s strongest female musicians. The 2014 Women’s Blues Revue Band includes:

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

28th Women’s Blues Revue Preview:

Listen to the people behind the event explain what it’s all about…

The featured vocalists

Diana Braithwaite crop

Diana Braithwaite

Diana Braithwaite |

Braithwaite was dubbed a “national treasure” by Bluz FM radio host Danny Marks. Toronto born and raised, her ancestors traveled to Canada from Florida via the Underground Railroad. A gifted and captivating performer, Diana was chosen by Sarah McLachlan to open Lilith Fair at the Molson Amphitheatre, before 18,000 people. Her talented and authentic blues shows have led her into the company of such stalwarts as Mel Brown, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker and Jeff Healey. Appearances at shows in North America, U.K. and Europe led to her reputation as a world-class blues singer.

Photo Divine Brown

Divine Brown

Divine Brown |

When Divine Brown enters a room the energy becomes electric. It’s that classic combination of attitude and altitude, for with Divine, people instantly recognize her as music royalty which she carries fearlessly having earned rather than borrowed her crown. It’s in her ability to at once invoke the empowered sexuality of Pam Grier’s seventies superwoman, Foxy Brown, while remaining immediately contemporary, exciting and fresh that drives her appeal. Fearless. Foxy. Fresh. Ladies and Gentlemen it’s time you know Divine Brown.

Shakura Saida Web Photo 2014 - Chair Laugh

strong>Shakura S’Aida

Shakura S’Aida |

Born in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in Switzerland. A long-time Canadian who lives in Toronto. That’s Shakura S’Aida, a truly international artist whose involvement in the Canadian music scene has been ongoing for 25 years. Along the way, she has enriched the jazz, blues and classic R&B communities with her soulful voice, enthusiastic personality and commitment to her deep soul music.

Samantha Martin 300 dpi singing

Samantha Martin

Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar |

“You may not know it yet, but Samantha Martin is a rock star. She’ll tear your heart out one note at a time.” – Serena Ryder

If Mavis Staples and The Black Keys had a child, and Sharon Jones was the Auntie, it would sound like Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar. It is stripped down and raw with vocals that will leave you wondering how something so big could come out of someone so small. In this new gospel infused, blues and soul formation, Martin is releasing a full length album in Jan. 2015. 

Andria Screencap from her Site

Andria Simone

Andria Simone |

Singer-songwriter Andria Simone, born and raised in Toronto just turned 27. Andria studied flute, piano and voice. “I’ve always enjoyed writing and poetry and getting my feelings out on paper.” Simone has long had a love for a wide range of musical genres, but has found a happy creative home in the world of soul and R&B.

As with the best artists, she’s in this for the long haul. “This not working out is not an option. I will just keep doing it. I would love to have longevity and hopefully inspire young girls to pursue what they enjoy doing.” Andria is currently recording her sophomore album.

Lori Yates

Lori Yates

Lori Yates |

Lori Yates has an outlaw spirit in a Johnny Cash “middle finger” kind of way, the cowgirl singing her heart out in the punk clubs.

Enigmatic, rebellious and hard to pin down, veteran singer/songwriter Yates has adeptly blended the genres of country & blues to create her award-winning sound described as “country soul”.  Having gotten her start in the Queen St. West scene that saw rise to Blue Rodeo, Cowboy Junkies, etc., Lori has been called “alt-country” long before the phrase existed. This is as artist who has met Johnny Cash, hung out with Tammy Wynette, wrote with Guy Clark, jammed with Jerry Jeff Walker, paled around with Shelby Lynne, and ate jelly beans with Roy Acuff! As the saying goes, she has “been to the show.”


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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.