Artist Profile & Bio
Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley
As the venerable jazz and blues bible DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE said about Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley: "It's a rare and good thing when two talented performers join forces".
Audiences, critics, and blues lovers all over North America and Europe seem to agree.
Diana Braithwaite is a descendant of the Wellington County pioneers in Canada. With roots in Florida, Dianas ancestors escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad and lived for four generations in Wellington County, the first African-Canadian pioneer settlement in Ontario. Diana combines elements from Nina Simone, Esther Phillips, Lil Green and others to create her own unique authentic blues style. A forceful presence recognized on the Canadian and American blues scene as an artist with a unique sound who is keeping the authentic traditional blues sound alive in the contemporary blues scene today.
Multi-Instrumentalist Chris Whiteley was born in Kansas . Whiteley has performed on over 200 recordings with the likes of Leon Redbone and Blind John Davis. In Canada, Whiteley has received the Blues with a Feeling Award, for lifetime achievement in the blues. In January 2014 Chris Whiteley won the Maple Blues Award for the top blues horn player in Canada–for the 7th time.
Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley have recorded 5 previous albums together with Electro-Fi Records and have toured all over North America , UK and Europe winning numerous awards for their songwriting and albums together.
The BLUES has a long and honorable tradition dating back to its origins as the essential vector of African American sensibility and identity. Canadian blues artists, Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley honor the blues tradition by bringing us fully into the realm of 21st century blues expressivity.
Along the musical journey with Braithwaite and Whiteley we learn what it means… a passage to some next classic blues experience.. This is the blues with all of its variety, ethical and escathalogical. James G. Spadey Philadelphia Pa. American Book Award winning author, James G. Spady's most recent books are: The Global Cipha
Their first CD collaboration in 2005, MORNING SUN, garnered rave reviews, extensive air play, and led to multiple Canadian MAPLE BLUES AWARD nominations, including Album of the year, and Acoustic Act of the year. Their second albums, also recorded for the Electro-Fi label, NIGHT BIRD BLUES was extremely well received, with great reviews and airplay internationally. It led to them being awarded 3 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS in January 2010, including being recognized as SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR. Their third Electro-Fi release, DeltaPhonic, led to more Maple Blues Awards, and reached number 1 on B.B. Kings Bluesville XM Sirius satellite radio network. Collectively they have been awarded 9 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS and 6 JUNO Nominations.
They have continued to tour tirelessly across Europe and North America, appearing at Festivals and concerts, as well as numerous radio and television appearances. Highlights include 4 successful tours of Art Centers and Blues venues in the U.K., including featured performances at the Great British R & B Festival in Colne and the Monaghan Harvest Blues Festival in Ireland, concert appearances in Russia and Europe, and numerous national tours of Canada. Their American profile continues to expand, with such events as the Hudson River Park Blues Festival in New York City, Tinner Hill Blues Fest in Virginia, and appearances on Fox T.V. and National Public Radio.
Braithwaite was dubbed a "national treasure" by Bluz FM radio host Danny Marks. A gifted and captivating performer, Diana was chosen by Sarah McLachlan to open Lilith Fair at the Molson Amphitheatre, before 18,000 people, Her talent, 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.
As a teen-age performer, Whiteley worked with blues legend Lonnie Johnson. During the late 70's he toured and recorded with Leon Redbone, appearing with him on Saturday Night Live. He also met a great mentor in legendary Chicago piano player Blind John Davis, who had been the house piano player at Bluebird Records, Whiteley toured and recorded with Davis, as well as building a solid reputation and career as a multi-instrumental session player, appearing on over 200 recordings, and as a solo artist, leading to numerous Canadian Maple Blues Awards as both songwriter and horn player of the year, and a Jazz Report Magazine Blues Album of the Year Award. In 2010 Whiteley was awarded the prestigious BLUES WITH A FEELING AWARD, for a truly earned lifetime of achievement in the blues.
Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley Keeping The Blues Alive!
Website: Braithwaite & Whiteley
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