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Review: Discovering Winnipeg’s Women In Blues

The annual WOMEN IN BLUES event took over the Park Theatre, Winnipeg, MB, in January to pay tribute to seasoned and up and coming Canadian women in blues.

Organized and hosted annually by Lady Lee (Blue Noise) and co-hosted this year by Tannis B (Tannis Bumbry, harmonica), the headlining women were Romi Mayes (Western Canadian Music Awards, Juno nominee), newcomer Sharon Clarkson, Debra Lyn Neufeld, newcomer Ms. Gwendolyn (Gwendolyn Smith, Full Circle), and Tracy K ( 2018 Nominee – Western Canadian  Music Award – Blues Artist of the Year ).

The sold out show also featured some of Canada’s finest local Winnipeg musicians including the special treat of veteran saxophone player Deano Dean, who has been playing sax for about 60 years and has shared the stage with greats like Buddy Guy, Long John Baldry, The Shirells, The Coasters and Wilson Pickett.

“This event is about 10 years old. It’s been held at the Park Theatre for about 5 years now. We are very proud that it’s a sold out event and grateful for the love and support the WOMEN IN BLUES has received from the community.” said the Lady Lee.

The performances were roof-raising and energetic. The first 10 feet of the floor in front of the stage was filled with people dancing and taking pictures and video. The excitement in the room never died down, and was brought to a climax at the end of the show, when all the performers got on stage for an unorganized, unrehearsed and loud jam.

It was an uplifting and communal event celebrating the accomplishments of awesome women in blues music. An event like this introduces people to the stars of the scene as well as exposing the very talented newbies. I’m really looking forward to attending again in 2020.

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