Sunday, March 31, 2019 | 2:00pm
Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch: Sacred Steel
Advance $25.00 /Door $30.00 *
“Sacred steel is one of the most exciting forms of music today and Nikki D. Brown and her sisters are some of the most amazing proponents of the style. I first met Nikki through Toronto’s jazz luminary, Jane Bunnett, who had invited her to come and jam with some of Cuba’s best young jazz women. Powerhouse blues vocalist and songwriter Shakura S’Aida is no stranger to Sacred steel as she regularly employs Chuck Campbell to play steel guitar in her band. I’m delighted to have her back on this show with us as we explore a unique afternoon of original and traditional gospel and blues.” ~ Ken Whiteley
Below is a look into the performers coming to play this Sunday.
Nikki D. and the Sisters of Thunder
Nicolle “Nikki D” Brown and her sisters, all singers from an early age, grew up in the House of God church in Toledo, Ohio. Their parents, Rev. Curtis Brown and Ruth Brown, encouraged them to learn various musical instruments and eventually forming the Brown Family Singers in the 1970s. Nikki D gravitated to the steel guitar, and has become not only an accomplished steel guitarist in her church but one of only a few female guitarists in the Sacred Steel tradition. As one reviewer wrote, “She’s the perfect combination of chops and showmanship. If Jimi Hendrix played Sacred Steel, he’d sound and act like Nikki D.” Joining Nikki are four of her sisters: Gloria Brown (lead guitar), Chayla Brown (drums), Tomika Webb (bass guitar), and Belinda Brown (vocals).
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.
* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.