Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley
940 Bonisteel Rd, Trenton, ON K8V 5P8, Canada
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, Diana’s 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, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and others to create her unique, authentic jazz and blues style. A forceful presence recognised on the Canadian and American music scene as an artist with a unique sound who is keeping the authentic traditional jazz and blues sound alive.
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 six previous albums together and have toured all over North America, UK and Europe winning numerous awards for their songwriting and albums together.
Their first CD collaboration, MORNING SUN, garnered rave reviews, extensive airplay, 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; NIGHTBIRD BLUES was extremely well received, with great reviews and airplay internationally. It led to them being awarded three MAPLE BLUES AWARDS in January 2010, including being recognised as SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR. Their third Electro-Fi release, DeltaPhonic, led to more Maple Blues Awards and reached #1 on B.B. Kings Bluesville XM Sirius satellite radio network. Collectively they have been awarded 9 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS and six 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 four 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 JAZZ 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 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 jazz and blues singer.
As a teenage performer, Whiteley worked with jazz and 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 and also built a solid reputation and career as a solo artist and as a multi-instrumental session player. Appearing on over 200 recordings lead Whiteley to numerous Canadian Maple Blues Awards as both songwriter and horn player of the year. Jazz Report Magazine awarded him the 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.
In 2017 Diana and Chris signed with the international music publishing house - Nightingale Music to create and produce original songs for inclusion in movies, TV, film.
2018 will see the release of a new album of classic jazz, both standards and lesser-known songs, that show off Diana’s vocal mastery of vintage jazz and Chris’s expressive award-winning sound on the trumpet and cornet.
Working with longtime friend and former 20-year musical director for Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café, John Sheard, noted jazz bass player Ron Johnston, and exciting, talented drummer Colin Kingsmore, this project offers a huge promise of great things to come
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