Zakiya Hooker
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Zakiya Hooker


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"Boogie for a New Millennium" - SFWeekly

""Keeping It Real" - Zakiya Hooker"

Review by Alex Henderson

When John Lee Hooker passed away in 2001 at the age of 83, obituaries noted that the blues giant was survived by no less than eight children. At least two of them, Zakiya Hooker (formerly Vera Lee Hooker) and John Lee Hooker, Jr., have followed in their dad's footsteps by becoming blues singers. But neither John Lee Hooker, Jr. nor Zakiya have tried to emulate him stylistically, and the swampy Mississippi-meets-Detroit approach he was known for is rarely heard on Keeping It Real (which, for the most part, has a decidedly urban, more Chicago-influenced flavor). Subtlety and understatement prevail on this enjoyable 2009 release; Zakiya isn't an aggressive belter of the Etta James/Koko Taylor variety, but that doesn't mean that she isn't expressive. Emotionally, Zakiya says what she needs to say on electric urban blues offerings such as "Cold Cold Feeling," "Crossroads," and "Hug U, Kiss U," and she is equally pleasing when she detours into soul on "Scared to Love" (a tune that wouldn't be out of place on a Teena Marie album), "What Am I Gonna Do," and the title track. One thing Zakiya does have in common with her father is a fondness for moody minor-key offerings, but the minor-key moodiness that prevails on "End of the World Blues" and the clever "Love Foreclosure" has more in common with the blues-soul of Bobby "Blue" Bland, Benny Latimore, and Little Milton than it does with John Lee Hooker's swampy minor-key moodiness. The disc's swampiest track is "Rock These Blues Away," a duet with John Lee Hooker himself; obviously, parts of Keeping It Real were recorded long before 2009. But anyone who plays Keeping It Real in its entirety will realize that Zakiya is very much her own person, and her individuality serves her well on this 62-minute CD.

- The All Music Guide

"Night Life Magazine"

Much like her father's, Zakiya's vocal instrument has a dusky, shimmering feel. - Night Life Magazine

"Blues Rag"

Zakiya sounds more like the offspring of George Benson. Zakiya has the talent to carve a niche on the jazz chart with an excellent voice. - Blues Rag

"Blue Suede News"

Hooker's spphisticated voice does not scream or growl. Instead, it purrs. - Blue Suede News

"Contra Costa Times"

Zakiya has earned the right to sing the blues. - Contra Costa Times

"Valley Times"

Flavors Of The Blues highlights Zakiya's common trait with her dad - the soothing quality of their voices. - Valley Times

"Downbeat Magazine"

John's daughter, Zakiya makes the most of her classy, cautious and considered approach to the blues. - Downbeat Magazine

"San Diego Jazz & Blues Magazine"

What Zakiya does is for real and she sings like a bird. More obvious is her passion for the story she tells. She paints a humble and truthful picture and delivers what I need in my Blues musically. - San Diego Jazz & Blues Magazine


Another Generation Of The Blues (1993)
Zakiya Hooker

Flavors Of The Blues (1997)
Zakiya Hooker

Every Woman's Blues (1998)
Shanachie Records
Various Artists
*Baby You Busted - Zakiya Hooker

From Clarksdale To Heaven (2002)
Blue Storm Music
John Lee Hooker
Various Artists
*I Want To Hug You - Zakiya Hooker/Johnnie Johnson/Bobby Murray

Colors Of The Blues (2003)
Live In Buenos Aires
Zakiya Hooker

Face To Face (2003)
John Lee Hooker
*Zakiya Hooker - vocals

Keeping It Real (2009)
Boogie With The Hook Records
Zakiya Hooker



At first glance it would seem that Zakiya Hooker was born into the blues. After all, her father is the late great Blues Legend John Lee Hooker. Zakiya has pursued life and music on her own terms.

In 1991 Zakiya made her first public appearance with her father, John Lee Hooker at the Kaiser Center Theatre in Oakland, California. Since that time Zakiya has gone on to perform on shows with Etta James, John Hammond, Taj Mahal, Charlie Musselwhite and many more. By 1993 Zakiya released her first CD "Another Generation Of The Blues" on Silvertone Records. In 1997 she released her second CD "Flavors Of The Blues" worldwide on Pointblank/Virgin Records. Flavors Of The Blues, opens with a cover of the Robert Johnson classic “Stones In My Passway”, illustrating Zakiya’s supple blues and smooth, jazz-inflected style. The rest of the songs range from tempestuous (“Art of Divorce” and “Let’s Do Something”) to delicate and moody (“Protect Me From The Blues”, “New Orleans Rain”, and the torch gem “Drowning In Your Love”). Joining his daughter and Charlie Musselwhite in the studio, John Lee Hooker lends his inimitable presence on the track “Bit By Love (Hard Times)”. Flavors Of The Blues documents the resilience of the human spirit. In her own unique voice, Zakiya shares the strength gained from a lifetime of experience. 2001 brought a Indie live release recorded live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, "Colors Of The Blues".

2009 brings Zakiya's newest release "Keeping It Real" produced by her husband, Ollan Bell, on their independent label, Boogie With The Hook Records. This is her fourth CD. "Keeping It Real" will see her dueting with her dad John Lee on "Rock These Blues Away", singing (or is that sangin'?) the blues and just downright keeping it real! Other songs include "What Am I Gonna Do" and "Keeping It Real". The song "Love Foreclosure" is a topical and relevant song about the sign of the times.

Zakiya has been the recipient of numerous awards in her career. She has received awards from numerous Blues Societies in and out of California for her innovative style of music. Zakiya recently crossed over into the jazz genre when she was awarded the Annual KCSM’s “Jazzy” Award for Best Stage Performance”.

Zakiya has spoken on Blues panels and given spoken word performances about this unique American Art form, all in addition to her performing and recording career. She was selected to give a spoken word performance at film director Martin Scorsese's Radio City Music Hall Blues Concert on February 7, 2003 in New York City, a concert that was filmed by director Antoine Fuqua. Zakiya was also a panelist, as well as a spoken word performer at San Francisco's KQED-TV launch program for Scorsese's fall 2003 PBS-TV series "The Blues" at San Francisco's Herbst Theatre on September 16, 2003.

Zakiya's music has carried her all over the world and given her the opportunity to perform for fans the world over. She performs nationally and internationally. Zakiya has performed at the world famous Fillmore Auditorium, the San Francisco Blues Festival, the Monterey Jazz & Blues Festival and many more. She has been on the cover of several well known trade magazines including Billboard Magazine. Zakiya's voice can also be heard on advertisements for LEXUS and AIWA, and also on the soundtrack of the movie Chalk, which has won the Camera d'Or at Cannes and Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in San Francisco.

Zakiya Hooker is John Lee Hooker's living legacy. She is the singer-songwriter daughter of this American Icon and she is carrying her father's seminal blues torch confidently into the future. Zakiya's jazzy blues sounds will take you in and out of songs like "Hey Lady", "Baby You Busted", "New Orleans Rain", "Protect Me From The Blues", "Crossroads", "Stones In My Passway" and many more to entertain you.

Zakiya is a versatile vocalist and a fantastic performer. She puts on a witty, funny, emotional and most of all entertaining show with her band. Let Zakiya entertain you with the best in blues.

For Booking & Information Contact:
Linda Cunningham
Boogie With The Hook, Inc.
Boogie With The Hook Records
P.O. Box 693615
Stockton, CA 95269 USA