You may have spotted Brooklyn-born, Swiss-raised and Canadian-based Shakura S’Aida-pronounce her name “Shack-ooo-ra Sigh-ee-da”— performing at Festivals in Dubai, Europe, Australia, Rwanda or Russia, on the Legendary Blues Cruise; with her new symphony orchestra concert, “Blues in G Minor: 4 Women”, featuring the blues music of Etta James, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, in her 4 woman tribute to Nina Simone, “The Nina Project” or acting in TV shows such as Lost Girl, Schitt’s Creek or Flashpoint. From her beginnings as the world music band Kaleefah’s lead singer, this versatile vocalist and consummate entertainer has blown audiences away with her scorching vocal style, uncanny ability to deliver powerful original songs and to get deep into the guts of the most venerable standard.
Shakura’s long-simmering career initially moved into high gear in 2008 with a triumph at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, when she earned the runner-up position, competing against more than 100 bands from more than 20 different countries.
Shakura S’Aida has consistently been thrilling audiences with her powerful pipes for years, most recently as a guest host on CBC Radio 2’s Weekend Morning. As a veteran of the international music scene, she’s performed both as a featured artist with musicians like Jimmy Smith, Lee Oskar (WAR), Bettye LaVette and Keb Mo’, as well as an award winning solo artist.
Whether she’s speaking Swiss-German, French or English, Shakura instantly connects with her audience — and at the same time richly demonstrates the multiculturalism that Canada prides itself on.
“Carolyn Wonderland is the real deal! She’s an amazing guitar player. She whistled a solo. She even played the trumpet! And damn, can she sing.” – Los Angeles Times
￼ “A dollop of Janis Joplin, a slice of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and a big load of soulful individuality… that’s Wonderland, a seething-hot Texas singer-guitarist. And she can write, too! Produced by Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson, Miss Understood focuses on tough yet vulnerable blues, but also captures the melodic soul of classic American song… No wonder Dylan is an avowed fan.” – Daniel Gewertz, Boston Herald
￼ “When she blisters the guitar and cocks her head fetchingly to sing her songs like “I’m Innocent” she stands in the good company of Sue Foley, Debbie Davies, and Bonnie Raitt. But when she whistles, as she does with disarming ease on another of her compositions “I’m the Man,” or picks up the trumpet, she’s one of a kind.” – Margaret Moser, Austin Chronicle
￼ “One of the most impressively powerful voices recently heard anywhere, regardless of sex. Able to boon, cajole, promise and growl with equal power, she plays guitar with much the same forcefulness!” – Matt Weitz, Dallas Observer
￼ “Carolyn Wonderland’s live shows are just outright phenomenal. Top notch, five-stars, off the meter – whatever the clich., Carolyn and her band meet it…Her voice can be as beautiful as an angel and as powerful as a Class 5 hurricane all within the drop of a hat…One thing’s for certain, some forces – even those barely five feet tall – cannot be contained.” – Dante Dominick, Rockzillaworld Magazine
Sena Ehrhardt has emerged as one of the freshest and most dynamic emerging young voices on the blues scene today. As the buzz about her incendiary performances at clubs and festivals spreads, heavyweight acts have begun to take notice. She’s been invited to open concerts for B.B. King, ZZ Top, Robert Cray, Dickey Betts, Johnny Winter and Gregg Allman. Her latest release, Live My Life, further confirms Sena’s ascendance to blues elite status.
Sena was born and raised in a house of blues in the Minneapolis area. As a kid her parents took her to many all-ages concerts and she was able to see artists like B.B. King, Koko Taylor and the Fabulous Thunderbirds wow their audiences with polished and exciting performances. As she grew older young artists like Jonny Lang and Susan Tedeschi gained success, putting young, contemporary faces to the music she loved.
A pivotal moment for Sena was attending one of Luther Allison’s final concerts. As she describes it, “As the sun went down and the lights came up, the emotion of his voice washed over the crowd like a wave, leaving me with tears in my eyes. His ability to connect through music with every member of that audience, each with their own stories, struggles and victories, was stunning to witness. In that moment the idea of being a singer ceased to be a choice for me and instead became a calling.”
After graduating from college in 2005, Sena began singing with Plan B, her father’s band, which led to her desire to front her own group. In 2010 she started the Sena Ehrhardt Band.
In 2011 Blind Pig released her brilliant debut recording, Leave The Light On, and the critics and fans alike took immediate notice. Blues Revue said, “From track to track, Ehrhardt establishes that she is capable of crooning softly or wailing with the best of them.” Living Blues added, “Sena Ehrhardt has a bright, soulful sound, and she doesn’t hold back – she can go from sultry and coaxing to gritty and gutsy in an instant.”
With her newest release, Live My Life, Sena continues to forge her own personal and intelligent take on the blues. Says Sena, “Live My Life is such a fitting title for my new release. The last year has been one of tremendous growth and inspiration for me both personally and professionally through music.” For one thing, she’s excited about an all-new lineup of top-flight musicians she recruited to her Band. After serving as her band’s lead guitarist and songwriting collaborator through her first two releases, Sena’s father stepped aside earlier this year and she’s formed a dynamic and energetic new Band.
With the new band behind her, Sena’s looking forward to exciting opportunities on the horizon to play more festivals nationally and begin touring internationally, as she continues to come into her own as a vocalist, songwriter and entertainer.
Long Tall Deb and Colin John combine a genre-bending and refreshingly original new sound on their new VizzTone EP “Streets of Mumbai”. The richly-textured sound incorporates world influence with a soul-blues base picked up on their travels throughout India, Hawaii and the American South.
The richly-textured layers on “Streets of Mumbai” incorporate world influence with a soul-blues base picked up on their travels throughout India, Nepal, Hawaii and the American South. The EP has climbed high on Blues, Americana and Jam Band charts, a testament to its crossover appeal.
Their profound chemistry translates into live performances that are simultaneously engaging and incendiary as they connect with each other and audiences around the world in a positive, uplifting and inspiring way. Clearly, they love what they do and love the audiences for whom they entertain.
The pair have opened theater shows for BB King and Robert Cray, and played to standing ovations for enthusiastic club and festival audiences in India, Nepal, and across the United States, Canada and Europe.
Master musician and multi-talented blues performer, Vanessa Collier, was recently nominated for a 2017 Blues Music Award (BMA). The Philadelphia based vocalist/saxophonist/songwriter is currently on an 11 country European tour with Ruf’s Blues Caravan, alternating between tour legs in Europe and touring back in the U.S. with a talented 5-piece band, throughout 2017. With searing saxophone solos, soulful vocals, and witty lyrics, Vanessa’s songwriting takes you through an engaging blend of blues, funk, rock, and soul in an exceptionally entertaining, high-energy performance.
A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Vanessa’s alluring vocals and stinging saxophone work saw her light up stages as part of Joe Louis Walker’s band (2012-2013), while her 2014 debut album Heart Soul & Saxophone was declared “magnificent” on Dan Aykroyd’s blues radio show, winning her accolades as a Best of 2014 Blues Breaker.
With the success of her debut album and her charismatic live performances, Vanessa has been in demand touring throughout the world and is excited to celebrate the March 2017 release of her highly anticipated sophomore album Meeting My Shadow.
Vanessa also maintains a private saxophone studio teaching around 30 students per week. She volunteers her time in schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland; serves as an adjudicating judge at solo & ensemble festivals; and offers jazz, blues, and saxophone clinics throughout the United States.