Some of the most accomplished women blues entertainers in Canada are showcasing their talent at the 28th annual Women’s Blues Revue at the Massey Hall in Toronto on Nov 22. The event is being hosted by the Toronto Blues Society and features a lineup of six female vocalists, including Diana Braithwaite, Divine Brown and Shakura S’Aida.
Born and raised in Toronto, Diana Braithwaite is recognized on the Canadian and American blues scene as an artist who has developed her own unique contemporary sound, which is based on authentic traditional blues. Braithwaite’s song “Wellington County” on her Album Scrap Metal Blues (2013) is a tribute to her family, who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad. They established Ontario’s first African-Canadian pioneer settlement in Wellington County.
Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley have recorded five previous albums and have toured all over North America, UK and Europe winning numerous awards for their songwriting and albums together.
Toronto native Divine Brown was raised in a working class Jamaican family, where she developed a fearless determination to pursue a career as a singer-song writer of rhythm and blues, and soul music. Her self-penned tune “Old Skool Love,” charted a path for international success driving the Gold sales of her debut album Divine Brown in 2005.
Brown played a star role in a play called “Life, Death and The Blues,” which made a run at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto between Sept. 25 and Oct. 19, 2014. The show is going on tour across Canada starting early in 2015. She had a hit single “Sunglasses” which reached the Top 15 on the U.S. Billboard Dance Chart in 2010. She won the Juno Award for Best R&B Album in 2009 for her album “The Love Chronicles” (2008).
Shakura S’Aida was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Switzerland and is long-time resident of Toronto. S’Aida has been involved in the Canadian music scene for almost 25 years as a jazz, blues and classic R&B singer. After releasing her last album “Time”, she was nominated in 2013 for a Juno Award for Best Blues Album. In the same year, S’Aida was also a nominated at the Blues Music Awards for Contemporary Female Artist of the Year.
The song “The Devil Only Knows My First Name” is from the Time album. The following video was recorded at the International Bluesfest 2014 in Eutin, Germany.
S’Aida is an international entertainer, who speaks Swiss-German, French and English and has performed in the Caribbean, Russia, Moscow, Dubai, Romania, Switzerland, the US, Australia, Austria, Italy, Germany, France, Macedonia, Switzerland and Rwanda.