Shakura S'Aida

Shakura S'Aida

BandBlues

Powerhouse blues and r&b from an international perspective. Dynamic vocal and stage performance supported by first class musicians.

Biography

SHAKURA S’AIDA: CANADA’S
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ & BLUES ARTIST

Take an portion of Southern Baptist, flavour it with a drop of Brooklyn, stir in a spoonful of Swiss chocolate — and you’ve created a powerhouse singing sensation: Shakura S'Aida.

Calling both Switzerland and Canada home since leaving the U.S. when she was eight years old, her professional involvement in the Canadian music scene has been ongoing for the past 20 years, enriching the jazz, blues and classic R&B communities with her soulful voice, enthusiastic personality and commitment to music as an art form. Whether speaking Swiss-German, French or English, Shakura connects to her audience is a way that is ‘simply dazzling,’ at the same time richly demonstrating the “multiculturalism” that Canada prides itself on.

Shakura S'Aida — pronounce her name “Shack-oora Sigh-ee-da”— began performing at a young age and hasn’t stopped since Her first steps into music began with a Toronto community band called Mystique, which found her belting out tunes alongside such notables as Deborah Cox and Cree Summer. In 1992 she became the lead singer of the 13-piece world music ensemble Kaleefah; the group would later be nominated for a Juno Award.

She quickly learned how to own the stage and “perform,” a skill she has since carried to the musical stage with roles in such productions as "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Momma, I Want to Sing,” and to the theatre as an actress (the Toronto production of George Boyd’s “Consecrated Ground in 2004). She carried off supporting roles in film with Sudz Sutherland’s “Doomstown” (2006) and in Frances Anne Solomon’s “A Winter Tale” earlier this year.

As a solo artist, Shakura's career has spanned genres and countries and taken her to some of the most noted stages in the jazz world. She has performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York and has been nominated three times by the Toronto Blues Society as the Maple Blues "Female Vocalist of the Year" (2004/2005/2008); she was also nominated as Entertainer of the Year for the 2008 Awards.

Shakura has also been featured with such legendary artists as Jimmy Smith and Ruth Brown; she’s sung backup with Patti Labelle and Rita MacNeil, and is equally at home singing material with a Ray Charles tribute band, or presenting a one-woman show of the music of Nina Simone. She is a guest vocalist on Bill King and Saturday Night Fish Fry’s "Rhythm and Soul" and the group’s newly-released CD "Dirt Road Blues.”

The release of her debut blues album "Blueprint" earned strong critical applause. The 11-track CD takes listeners on a journey through the blues of the 1940's and 50's and is infused with Shakura's signature voice and sultry interpretation of the music. The album was produced by James Bryan, a member of the popular Canadian rock group, The Philosopher Kings, who also played guitar on the CD, and included a number of special guests including singes Harrison Kennedy, Jackie Richardson and Shannon Maracle, as well as Toronto harmonica ace David Rotundo.

Shakura’s whirlwind of shows this year included participation in Les Grandes Dames du Blues Tour 2007, and a recorded performance at the Spectrum for Espace Musique / Radio-Canada with Chris Thomas King, as well as the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Other festivals ran the gamut of musical styles — from the Mariposa Folk Festival to Mont Tremblant International Blues Festival, the Distillery Blues Festival, the Hildebrand Winery jazz and blues series. She also scored strongly at other Ontario festivals in Oshawa, Toronto, Kingston and Niagara Falls

"I am truly blessed by all the incredible opportunities I have had," says Shakura. "This year has been filled with amazing adventures; I can’t wait to see what happens next!”

For more information, contact:

Richard Flohil/Sarah French
Richard Flohil & Associates
PH: 416 351-1323
Cell: 416 997-4788
FAX: 416 351-1095
E-Mail: rflohil@sympatico.ca

Musical Influences include Big Maybelle, Nina Simone, Etta James, Carla Thomas, Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight.

Discography

Saturday Night Fish Fry featuring Shakura S'Aida:Rhythm & Soul
Blueprint-Shakura S'Aida's Debut Blues Album
Saturday Night Fish Fry featuring Shakura S'Aida: Dirt Road Blues
Many tracks from all three albums are on Canadian, American and International playlists.