Renowned blues artists to perform in Toronto

Although Black blues singers and musicians are not as prolific as they were in the past, Canadian artist

is doing her part to keep the proud tradition of the genre alive.

Dubbed a “national treasure” by BLUZ FM radio host Danny Marks, Braithwaite, along with renowned multi-instrumentalist Chris Whiteley, will celebrate the release of their new CD, Deltaphonic Love Letter, by performing in Toronto.

Born and raised in Toronto, Braithwaite has an interesting family history. Her ancestors on her mother’s side traveled to Canada from Virginia via the Underground Railroad. Her father’s ancestors hail from Barbados.

Braithwaite’s talent has earned international acclaim from blues fans and fellow artists. She was chosen by Sarah McLachlan to open the Lilith Fair at the Molson Ampitheatre, and has performed and toured with some of the legends of blues, including the late John Lee Hooker and Albert Collins.

Night Bird Blues, the last CD released by Braithwaite and Whitehead, won three Maple Blues Awards last January, including Songwriters of the Year. Collectively, Braithwaite and Whiteley have won eight Maple Blues Awards and earned six Juno nominations. Night Bird Blues is currently at number two on B.B. King’s Bluesville network on XM satellite radio.

During their Toronto performance, Braithwaite and Whiteley will be joined by the blues band, the 24th Street Wailers. The event will also feature a guest appearance by the Bluesettes, featuring Diana’s daughter, Kala Braithwaite, blues sax player Neil Braithwaite, Danny Marks and actor and MC Luther Hansraj, among others.

Following the event, Braithwaite and Whiteley will perform at a variety of festivals in North America, including the prestigious Poconos Blues Festival in Pennsylvania. In September and October, they will embark on an eight-week tour of Europe.

Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley will perform at Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas Street West (at Bloor); on Wednesday, June 9, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22.50 at the door. To purchase advance tickets, call 416-531-6604 or reserve online at

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