The popular American 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.
After years of successful solo recordings, their first collaboration, the album 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 album with the Electro-Fi label, NIGHT BIRD BLUES has also been extremely well received, with great reviews and air play internationally. It led to them being awarded 3 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS in January 2010, including being recognized as SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR. Collectively they have been awarded 8 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS and 6 Juno Nominations. Night Bird Blues is currently at number three on B.B. Kings Bluesville network on XM satellite radio with over 18 million listeners across the U.S. and internationally.
They have continued to tour across Europe and North America, appearing at Festivals and concerts, as well as numerous radio and television appearances. Highlights include successful tours of Art Centers in the United States, UK, concert appearances in Russia and Europe, and several national tours of Canada.
With southern Florida roots, Diana 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 Massey Hall in North America, concert halls and festivals in the U.K. and Europe led to her reputation as a world class blues singer.
Kansas born Whiteley moved to Toronto as a youth where he met the great blues legend Lonnie Johnson who taught and encouraged him. During the late 70s Whiteley toured and recorded with Leon Redbone, appearing with him on Saturday Night Live. He also worked with a great mentor, the 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. As a solo artist, Whiteley won numerous 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 present authentic, vintage blues while they continue to expand their horizons internationally and please audiences young and old. Giving back to the community, they have performed their original presentation about the Underground Railroad for over 40,000 students across Canada . A steady force, quickly gaining popularity and growing demand on todays blues scene, they plan to celebrate their new Electro-Fi release DELTAPHONIC LOVE LETTER,
with national and international Festival and concert dates, including The POCONOS BLUES FESTIVAL with Mavis Staples, and an upcoming tour of U.K, Spain and Italy.
Photo Thanks to Alan White