Toronto Blues Society | » 29th Women’s Blues Revue

29th Women’s Blues Revue

WBR Poster 201529th Women’s Blues Revue took place on November 28, 2015 at Massey Hall in Toronto

Since 1987, The Toronto Blues Society’s Women’s Blues Revue has wowed Toronto audiences with performances from some of the most accomplished women in Canadian blues. The featured vocalists of this year’s Women’s Blues Revue include Rita Chiarelli, Cécile Doo-Kingué, Terra Lightfoot, Crystal Shawanda and Suzie Vinnick. Check out the Women’s Blues Revue Archive for a list of past featured artists.

The Women’s Blues Revue Band:

Rebecca Hennessy (trumpet, band leader)
Suzie Vinnick (guitar)
Emily Burgess (guitar)
Carlie Howell (bass)
Morgan Doctor (drums)
Colleen Allen (sax)
Carrie Chesnutt (sax)
 Lily Sazz (keyboards)

29th Women’s Blues Revue Playlist

See and hear the 29th Annual Women’s Blues Revue Featured Vocalists in this six video playlist:
Suzie Vinnick
– Get Some (Live on CBC Music)
Rita Chiarelli
– These Four Walls (Live on CBC’s Q)
Cécile Doo-Kingué – Bloodstained Vodka (Live)
Terra Lightfoot
– Emerald Eyes (Live on CBC)
Crystal Shawanda
– The Whole World’s Got The Blues (Live at CBC Music Festival)

The featured vocalists:

Rita Chiarelli Vertical crop - wwia

Rita Chiarelli | Listen Now

Rita Chiarelli, Canada’s most highly acclaimed female roots and blues artist, has just released the soundtrack for her award winning documentary, Music From The Big House, her 9th recording. With a JUNO award and 4 subsequent JUNO nominations, she is known across Canada as the “Goddess of the Blues.” Chiarelli is a gifted songwriter and an entertaining performer, but it is her soaring three-octave voice that sets her apart from her peers, inspires awe and often tears in her audiences, and causes critics to gush. “A voice so blue it could make the angels weep” … “A voice that can growl at her demons or soar with the angels, a gift for lyric, an ear for melody and the heart to combine them.” Showing no signs of slowing down, Chiarelli continues to tour incessantly in North America and Europe and intends to spend more time performing in the U.S. over the next few years.

Cecile Doo-Kingue

Cécile Doo-Kingué | Listen Now

Considered one of Canada’s most electrifying and versatile guitarists, Montreal-based guitarist/singer-songwriter Cécile Doo-Kingué blends blues, her Cameroonian roots and soul to create a unique sound that has blossomed over three albums, garnering a long trail of critical acclaim and awards. She has shared a stage and/or recorded with Montreal Jubilation Choir, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bernard Purdie, Michael Jerome Brown, Tricia Foster, Scarlett Jane, United Steel Workers of Montreal, amongst many, and has opened for many icons including Canned Heat, Eric Andersen, Angélique Kidjo, Youssou N’Dour and Manu Dibango.

In February 2015, Doo-Kingué released her third solo album Anybody Listening Pt. 1: Monologues, the first chapter of a trilogy exploring blues, roots and life in their myriad of aspects (Monologues solo acoustic, Dialogues full band, Communion live).

Angelique Francis_Please Photo Credit Adrienne Mignardi 02 - vertical

Angelique Francis | Listen Now

Angelique Francis is a versatile and exceptionally gifted young musician with talent that is way beyond her years. This multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, singer song writer and composer has played some of the biggest venues across Canada and the USA.  Angelique first took to the stage at age 7 and ever since then, she’s been wowing audiences across the globe with her stage presence, instrumentals, song writing abilities and her deep textured vocals. Angelique has an insatiable appetite for many different kinds of music, and is known for her eclectic mix of various musical genres including Blues, Soul, folk, Jazz and Rock.  Her diversity, passion and love of music can be heard in all of her original compositions.

Terra Lightfoot vertical

Terra Lightfoot | Listen Now

Whether you’re talking about her as a songwriter, guitarist or vocalist, one thing is indisputable: Hamilton’s Terra Lightfoot is a ferocious talent. Her songs tap into the raw emotion of hearts supercharged by love, lust, loneliness and temptation. Her playing melds expert finger-picking and distorted, hook-heavy melodies. And her elemental voice commands attention and awe, whether on slow-burning soul ballads or hard-charging rock numbers.

On stages in France, the UK and across Canada, Lightfoot has performed alongside heavyweights like Emmylou Harris, Ron Sexsmith, Gordon Lightfoot, Sloan, Arkells, Basia Bulat, Albert Lee, James Burton, Whitehorse, The Sadies, Steve Strongman, Monster Truck and Daniel Lanois. She also stays busy as part of country band Dinner Belles.

Crystal Shawanda vertical low res web

Crystal Shawanda | Listen Now

Crystal Shawanda grew up on the Wikwemikong reserve on an island in Ontario, Canada. Her parents raised her on Country music and taught her to sing and play guitar, but it was her oldest brother who introduced her to the blues. He would hang out in the basement cranking Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Etta James, and Crystal would sit at the top of the stairs, straining to hear those soulful sounds. There was a part of her that often wandered if she would ever be able to sing like that. And when no one was home, Crystal would practice singing the blues.

Crystal Shawanda is reminiscent of a time gone by. She will make you feel every word with a powerful voice that never fails, pure and gritty at the same time. Do yourself a favour and see if she’s playing somewhere near you.


suzie_vinnick_edit by Jeff

Suzie Vinnick | Listen Now

A Saskatoon native living in Ontario, Suzie Vinnick is the owner of a gorgeous, powerful voice and performs with a sweet mixture of engaging candidness and unparalleled musicianship. Suzie has been featured nationally on CBC Radio on Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe, and has performed across Canada and the US, as well as for Canadian Peacekeepers in Bosnia and the Persian Gulf. Suzie’s accolades include ten Maple Blues Awards and three Juno nominations.

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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.