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CONCERT APPEARANCES

Le Passage Blues Festival, France

Massey Hall, Toronto Canada

StageDoor Festival, Netherlands

Maryport Blues Festival, United Kingdom

Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London, England

Saturday Night Live

Poconos Blues Festival, Poconos, US

Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago, Illinois

Black National Theatre Festival, North Carolina

Edinburgh Festival, Scotland

Downtown Jazz Festival, Toronto, Canada

Theresa's Lounge, Chicago

Hornby Island Blues Festival

Nanaimo Blues Festival, BC

Maple Blues Awards Gala, Toronto

Prince George Blues Festival

Barrie Blues Festival, Barrie, Ontario

Grand Forks Art Gallery, Grand Forks

The Roxy Theatre, Gabriola Island

Brigantine Room, Harbourfront, ON

Wasaga Beach Blues Festival, ON

Jamaica School of Drama, Jamaica, WI

Kawartha's Blues Cruise, Fenelon Falls

Toronto Star Blues Festival, CNE

The Drum Arts Centre, Birmingham, UK

The Peepul Art Centre, Leicester, UK

The Roxy, Los Angeles

Philadelphia Folk Festival

Nanaimo Blues Festival, BC

BlueBird Cafe, Nashville

Place des Arts, Montréal

Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary

Montréal Jazz Festival

Hudson River Blues Festival, New York City

Monaghan Blues Festival, Ireland

Great British Blues Festival, Colne, UK

Fox TV interview 2012 - Falls Church, Virginia

Tinner Hill Blues Festival, Falls Church Virginia

Amazing Things Arts Center, Framingham Mass.

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.

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.

Diana Braithwaite's personal history as the direct descendant of American Blacks that were able to escape to freedom in Canada through the Underground Railroad lead to the creation of a multimedia musical history workshop that Braithwaite and Whiteley have taken to primary and middle schools across North America. This Underground Railroad workshop has been performed over 5 years to more than 60,000 students and community groups across the country.

Braithwaite was dubbed a "national treasure" by Bluz FM radio host Danny Marks. Toronto born and raised, her ancestors traveled to Canada from Virginia, via the Underground Railroad. 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.

Diana Braithwaite's personal history as the direct descendant of American Blacks that were able to escape to freedom in Canada through the Underground Railroad lead to the creation of a multimedia musical history workshop that Braithwaite and Whiteley have taken to primary and middle schools across North America. This Underground Railroad workshop has been performed over 5 years to more than 60,000 students and community groups across the country.

Kansas born Whiteley moved with his family to Toronto, where as a teen-age performer he met blues legend Lonnie Johnson, who taught and encouraged him. 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 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 lifetime achievement in the blues.

Together, Braithwaite and Whiteley continue to expand their horizons, and please audiences young and old.

After winning Socan's - Songwriters of the Year Award in 2010, Braithwaite and Whiteley were commissioned in 2011 by the Toronto Blues Society to write - The Blues Suite - a musical suite of original blues songs with innovative classical and authentic instrument and vocal arrangements. Blues Suite will be presented at Toronto's Glen Gould Studio in the fall of 2012.

Additional recent projects include the creation of songs and a musical score for the film Conestogo Bound - The Story of the first African-Canadian pioneer settlers in Upper Canada

Diana Braithwaite
MEDIA
LIVING BLUES MAGAZINE – 2015 ISSUE 235 DIANA BRAITHWAITE & CHRIS WHITELEY

Blues Stories
Big City Blues Records

The Canada-based duo of Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley  are known for their fine fusion of modern sensibilities with classic blues styles. Their latest release, Blues Stories, is no exception: the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist have put together a harmonious assortment of originals and covers that sounds both timely and timeless at once.

Braithwaite opens the collection with an acappella arrangement of the traditional Rocks and Gravel; her rich, bright-edged voice melds beautifully with daughter Kala Braithwaite’s. Whiteley churns up a murky, choogling groove on Florida, unspools some gorgeous slide licks on Lighthouse Keeper and takes a turn singing lead on the mellow Fried Fish. A Big Easy spirit pervades both Blues March and Careless Love, conjured by Whiteley’s cornet and son Jesse Whiteley’s jazzy piano playing.

The long, slow blues Child of Circumstance and its urgent plea of “everybody needs a second chance” forms the musical and thematic heart of the record. Tic Tac Toe is a breezy good time, skipping along at a jaunty clip. Elsewhere, the pair pay homage to Sonny Boy Williamson II on Bye Bye Bird—Whiteley’s harmonica is Braithwaite’s only accompaniment—and to Skip James on the sparse, haunting Hard Time Killin’ Floor. Likewise, their easy-shuffling version of Jimmy Reed’s You Don’t Have to Go dances the album to its close.

On Blues Stories, every song has a tale to tell, and Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley convey each one in their elegant, eloquent fashion.

—Melanie Young

 

THE EDMONTON JOURNAL - AUGUST 19, 2015
Four must-see acts at the Edmonton Blues Festival By Roger Levesque

No strangers to Edmonton, Toronto veterans Braithwaite (vocals) and Whiteley (guitar, trumpet) have fashioned one of the best blues duos around, winning Maple Blues Awards and Blues Foundation nominations in the U.S., and touring internationally with their mix of early period blues styles and original tunes in a similar vein.

 

BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE – ILLINOIS,
Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley – Blues Stories | Album Review

January 26, 2015

Big City Blues Records
To stay true to the blues idiom, style and atmosphere isn’t an easy task to pull off in such a excellent way as Diana and Chris have done here. A mixture of covers and originals stand side by side like they belong. Much care was taken for this project. The singing and music transport you to a porch on a dusty road down south or perhaps in a run down juke joint. You may find yourself trying to clean the dust off your shoes after giving this a listen. You just took a trip way down south without leaving the house. Chris’s acoustic and electric guitar playing has just the right amount of raggedness to give it that slightly sloppy and funky old time blues feel. Diana’s voice sounds like the blues, warm and rich.

The traditional “Rocks And Gravel” features only the vocals of Diana and Kala Braithwaite and is basically a gospel-tinged field holler. Some greasy good guitar energizes the easy rolling boogie of the original “Florida”. Slinky slide guitar underscores Diana’s earnest vocal on “Lighthouse Keeper”, a plea for guidance. Chris captures Sonny Boy Williamson’s(Rice Miller) herky-jerky harmonica style as the sole accompaniment to Diana’s vocal on “Bye Bye Bird”.
The full band nicely recreates the New Orleans groove on “Blues March”. Jesse Whitely plays Professor Longhair style piano and Chris plays cornet to contribute to the New Orleans sound. Chris contributes his only vocal on the original “Fried Fish”, an apt depiction of road house. His always perfectly suited slide guitar enhances the vibe. He winds the tune down with his blues harp…”Fried fish, rum and ginger ale”. “Child Of Circumstance”, a story song, at seven plus minutes is the longest song here. It’s taken at a slow and deliberate pace.

“Tic Tac Toe” is another tune about a juke joint. They flat out nail these kind of songs. This and “Fried Fish” are “too cool for school”. Jesse lends his able piano once again and it wouldn’t be complete without more slide goodness. Diana is accompanied by acoustic guitar on Skip James’ mournful “Hard Time Killin’ Floor”. “Careless Love”, a song closely identified with Lonnie Johnson is given a pretty straight reading. Chris’s cornet completes the jazzy feel. The simple and sparse instrumental backing of Jimmy Reed is nicely done on his “You Don’t Have To Go”.

Whether doing cover songs or their own this record sounds like of one piece. Their love and grasp of the blues just drips out of this album. If you are a lover of down-home blues, you’ve come to the right place. Tell me how you call your hound dog…

- Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

 

Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley featured on celebrity Dan Akroyd Blues Breaker List: for their song “Florida”

Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley have been making music together since 2005.  They are each talented performers in their own right, she as a singer, songwriter and interpreter of the blues, and he as a guitar player, songwriter and cornet player.  He won Canada’s Maple Blues Award in 2014 for the top blues horn player…for the 7th time. Diana and Chris’s latest together is called BLUES STORIES.  Here are Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley, “Florida.”

- Dan Akroyd- The Bluesmobile Radio Show - Nov. 2014

 

THE TORONTO SUN - rhythms ’N’ rhymes - June 21, 2013

"Talented couple highlight the TD Toronto Jazz festival, which kicks off today across the city."

Chris Whiteley and Diana Braithwaite, my favourite blues couple, make some of the most inventive, thought-ful and soulful blues in this country and their brand new album, Scrap Metal Blues is a reflection of that. My favourite blues couple will treat you to tunes from the disc at the Shops at Don Mills next Thursday. Their show is part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival that begins today.

“This disc is really the most personal we’ve put out,” Whiteley tells me. “The album was inspired by Diana’s father, a self- made man who raised six children through his work as a scrap metal dealer.” The multi-instrumentalist says the song Manitoba Flood was inspired by a train trip across the Prairies and seeing the Qu’appelle Valley completely flooded. And Wellington County “celebrates the early black settlers who came to Canada through the Underground Railroad,” he tells me.In the past, the duo have paid tribute to the classic blues sounds of the ’30s and ’40s, but they’re clearly not content to sing the same song this time around. “We feel we’ve joined the southern roots of the blueswith the northern experience of today on this album,”

Whiteley says. “Diana’s ancestors travelled here from the south and I grew up in Kansas, but we live here. “We feel at home in both places and feel the richness of it all. We have a lot to celebrate.”

- Errol Nazareth

Real Blues

CONCERT APPEARANCES

Le Passage Blues Festival, France

Massey Hall, Toronto Canada

StageDoor Festival, Netherlands

Maryport Blues Festival, United Kingdom

Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London, England

Saturday Night Live

Poconos Blues Festival, Poconos, US

Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago, Illinois

Black National Theatre Festival, North Carolina

Edinburgh Festival, Scotland

Downtown Jazz Festival, Toronto, Canada

Theresa's Lounge, Chicago

Hornby Island Blues Festival

Nanaimo Blues Festival, BC

Maple Blues Awards Gala, Toronto

Prince George Blues Festival

Barrie Blues Festival, Barrie, Ontario

Grand Forks Art Gallery, Grand Forks

The Roxy Theatre, Gabriola Island

Brigantine Room, Harbourfront, ON

Wasaga Beach Blues Festival, ON

Jamaica School of Drama, Jamaica, WI

Kawartha's Blues Cruise, Fenelon Falls

Toronto Star Blues Festival, CNE

The Drum Arts Centre, Birmingham, UK

The Peepul Art Centre, Leicester, UK

The Roxy, Los Angeles

Philadelphia Folk Festival

Nanaimo Blues Festival, BC

BlueBird Cafe, Nashville

Place des Arts, Montréal

Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary

Montréal Jazz Festival

Hudson River Blues Festival, New York City

Monaghan Blues Festival, Ireland

Great British Blues Festival, Colne, UK

Fox TV interview 2012 - Falls Church, Virginia

Tinner Hill Blues Festival, Falls Church Virginia

Amazing Things Arts Center, Framingham Mass.

MEDIA

“If you’re a lover of downhome blues, you’ve come to the right place”
– Greg Bluzdog Szlony
BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE– 2015

"The duo of Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley are known for their fine fusion of modern sensibilities with classic blues styles"
- LIVING BLUES MAGAZINE 2015

"They really hit their stride exploring the poignancy of Skip James "Hard Time Killin Floor"
- Frank John Hadley
DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE - Feb. 2015

“Superbly effortless Chris Whiteley and Diana Braithwaite, whose genius simply flowed.”
- TORONTO STAR October 2, 2014 Richard Ouzounian

"Braithwaite and Whiteley pay homage to a bygone era of blues!"

"Vintage! A sweet-sounding touch of class from Chicago's past"

"Masters of Old School Blues!"
-BLUES REVUE MAGAZINE, USA

"Best in vintage blues, the real deal..."
- QUOTE FROM DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE

"Electro-Fi's latest offering will be regarded as "manna from heaven"

"Braithwaite's voice is a crystal clear, full-bodied, gorgeous instrument."

"Whiteley's guitar...brings Lonnie Johnson to mind"

"Braithwaite's "classic blues" styled vocals mesh irresistibly with Whiteley's Broonzy stylings"

BLUES IN BRITAIN MAGAZINE

"Inspired by Memphis Slim, Memphis Minnie, and Tampa Red...Braithwaite and Whiteley have a beautiful way with a song"

Blues Revue Magazine-USA
"Two talented performers join forces..."

Whiteley's "Great Big City ...holds special appeal"

Downbeat Magazine Frank-John Hadley

"Back to that Bluebird sound"

"Diana's voice is full of class and dignity"

Blues Radio Poland

"Chris Whiteley...Un musicien de bon gout, qui puisse aux meilleures sources (blues, jazz, swing) du patrimoine musical americain. D'autre part, c'est un bon chanteur, doté d'une voix douce teintée de bourbon"
Soul Bag, France

"Diana Braithwaite is a national treasure. Her blues goes back to the land where blues began"
Danny Marks, Jazz Fm.1 Bluz FM

"The musical talents and abilities of Chris Whiteley are seemingly endless.As well as being an award winning songwriter, he is equally at home on instruments as diverse as guitar, pedal steel, trumpet and harmonica."
Jeff Healey

"Won me over at first listen...expressive and beautiful"
CBC

"Diana Braithwaite is "a blues diva of outstanding talent"
Blues in Britain Magazine

On Morning Sun - "Whiteley creates an "early blues atmosphere...well suited voice...plays wonderful street-parade cornet against rollicking piano"
Blues Revue Magazine

"A tour de force of an album"
John Valentyn, Maple Blues Magazine

"A sweet and infectious tribute"
Mike, Regenstreif, Montreal Gazette

"A joyful collaboration between two prolific high profile members of the blues and roots music scene,"
Greg Quill, Toronto Star

CONCERT APPEARANCES

Le Passage Blues Festival, France

Massey Hall, Toronto Canada

StageDoor Festival, Netherlands

Maryport Blues Festival, United Kingdom

Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London, England

Saturday Night Live

Poconos Blues Festival, Poconos, US

Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago, Illinois

Black National Theatre Festival, North Carolina

Edinburgh Festival, Scotland

Downtown Jazz Festival, Toronto, Canada

Theresa's Lounge, Chicago

Hornby Island Blues Festival

Nanaimo Blues Festival, BC

Maple Blues Awards Gala, Toronto

Prince George Blues Festival

Barrie Blues Festival, Barrie, Ontario

Grand Forks Art Gallery, Grand Forks

The Roxy Theatre, Gabriola Island

Brigantine Room, Harbourfront, ON

Wasaga Beach Blues Festival, ON

Jamaica School of Drama, Jamaica, WI

Kawartha's Blues Cruise, Fenelon Falls

Toronto Star Blues Festival, CNE

The Drum Arts Centre, Birmingham, UK

The Peepul Art Centre, Leicester, UK

The Roxy, Los Angeles

Philadelphia Folk Festival

Nanaimo Blues Festival, BC

BlueBird Cafe, Nashville

Place des Arts, Montréal

Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary

Montréal Jazz Festival

Hudson River Blues Festival, New York City

Monaghan Blues Festival, Ireland

Great British Blues Festival, Colne, UK

Fox TV interview 2012 - Falls Church, Virginia

Tinner Hill Blues Festival, Falls Church Virginia

Amazing Things Arts Center, Framingham Mass.