THUNDER BAY, ON ---- November 5, 2010 ---- Award-winning vocalist, harmonica player and songwriter Tracy K brings her versatile talent, energy and charisma to the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in a cabaret concert a la Cotton Club featuring a tribute to the music of Billie Holiday. The TBSO is celebrating it's 50th Gold Anniversary and the concert promises to be an enchanted evening of romantic blues ballads and toe-tapping hot jazz reflecting an era when men wore hats and ladies dressed in evening gowns. The second half of the show will feature songs from the roaring twenties and five Tracy K original blues and swing-style compositions. St. Ignatius High School's own music teacher Mr. Ted Vaillant arranged the scores and will be performing on trumpet. Other local musicians involved are Rodney Brown on banjo, Damon Dowbak on mandolin, and Jamie Steinhoff on acoustic guitar and dobro.
After a decade of jazz and blues performances as a solo artist under her belt, Tracy K has reached an apex in her performance stature after being selected to perform with the orchestra. Having always dreamed of performing her favourite Billie Holiday classics the way they were originally recorded, she claims that she "can hear the orchestration in my head even when singing these songs with a trio or quartet - talk about a dream come true!" But this dream also comes with a bittersweet lining - Ms. K lost her mother on Mother's Day weekend. Tracy was anticipating her mother's attendance for the glamourous event, a sort of reward after years of watching her last born build a music career in the sometimes harsh performance climates - better known as paying your dues.
This year has also been a good one for Tracy K. She has headlined Women In Blues concerts in Atikokan, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her harmonica skills have been in demand by other artists, and she was recruited by the popular Thunder Bay Legends tribute show as Janis Joplin and early female chart toppers. Her song "Cruisin" from her album "Old, New, Borrowed and Blues" was selected for a CBC Radio Two "Road Songs" songquest feature, explained by producer Kelly Cutrara as "Rich Trefry being joined by Murray McLaughlin to give feedback on the best tunes on the playlist, sort of like a master class for Canadian talent." More excitement is on the way with the upcoming release of her Blues Duo's debut release "Canned Heat", showcasing virtuoso harmonica and masterful fingerstyle and slide guitarwork by her partner. This follows on the heels of a busy year of gigs locally and regionally including a great showcase at the Manitoba Arts Network Conference in October.
Concerts are Friday November 12 and Saturday November 13, showtime 8:00 pm. at the Italian Cultural Centre, 132 Algoma Street. Come experience why the TBSO has been a major musical force for the last fifty years! If you have not heard Tracy K before, this is an excellent chance to discover why she has won awards for singing, songwriting, performance skills and harmonica playing. Tickets at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium Box Office, 1 Paul Schaffer Drive, or by calling 684-4444 (toll free 1-800-463-8817). Check out www.tracyk.ca and visit Tracy K on facebook!
There are few performers who turn heads when they take the stage, but are remembered for it when they do. A dynamic vocalist influenced by Billie Holiday, Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, Tracy K is noted for her charismatic stage presence - she loves what she does and it shows, earning awards and notably Canada’s first female to be named "Harmonica Player of the Year". Gracing stages for about two decades in many guises, Tracy K settled into a solo career at home near Winnipeg as a touring musician with the release of her first cd in 2000. Known on the festival circuit for beltin' the blues and wailin' on harmonica with her Right Hand Band, they were nominated as “Best Electric Act” by Winnipegblues.com and appeared in two Hollywood movies. Now residing in Thunder Bay, Ontario, she has been chosen to perform with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for two evening concerts and has been recruited by the Thunder Bay Legends tribute show as Janis Joplin and chart topping female artists of early rock & roll. This is also home to her acoustic folk-blues duo with partner Jamie Steinhoff on slide and fingerstyle guitar. They bring their northern small town hospitality on tour with kitchen-party atmosphere, slinging songs from the 1920s onward. They co-wrote the epigrammatic “This Axe is Your Axe” for CBC‘s Jowi Taylor’s Six String Nation Guitar tour, have performed in the Carribean for a private party and have shared stages with the likes of John Sebastian, Bill Bourne, Tim Williams, Fred Eaglesmith, Matt Anderson and many more. Just finishing their debut recording, "Canned Heat" shows off her seasoned harmonica prowess unlike anything heard on recordings by Ms. K before. Tracy K’s duo and her Right Hand Band were both recorded in Ottawa by CBC's "Canada Live". With such countless highlights in her career, a few close to Tracy's heart include writing a song for a movie, writing a song for CBC’s “Canada Reads, Ontario Rocks”, opening for harmonica legend James Cotton and sharing a playbill with one of her first female blues influences, the great Koko Taylor. Tracy K was selected to perform at the Toronto Blues Society's Blues Summit, their Annual Harmonica Workshop and their prestigious Annual Women's Blues Revue.
Tracy K grew up in the tiny prairie town of Beausejour, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She was raised on sixties radio and sibling record collections, while childhood piano lessons and playing around on her brother’s guitar awakened the songwriter within. As her musical interests developed with the British Invasion and psychedlic era, blues became her foundation. Citing Sonny Terry as her first harmonica influence, Tracy K started blowin’ harp while backpacking Europe in 1982 on an old harmonica given to her by a Canadian soldier in Germany - a lifelong passion was born. Back in Winnipeg, she attempted a teaching degree in art, but was diverted by her musical calling. Tracy K spent much of the decade in Toronto in studios and on stages of the bustling Queen Street music scene. Motherhood prompted a move back to the prairies in 1991 for an eight year hiatus while she raised three children. In 1998 she began her solo journey, devoting and dividing her life to her children and her music. In 2004, Tracy K moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario and recorded a second album in 2007, produced by Juno winner Jack DeKeyzer and home to two award winning songs. Her fans think she’s famous - she thinks she’s blessed.
2007 Ontario Independent Music Award for BEST BLUES
2007 International Songwriting Competition Award Winner - BLUES and PERFORMANCE categories
2007 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search First Runner Up
2006 WinnipegBlues.com HARMONICA PLAYER of the Year and FEMALE VOCALIST of the Year
Album - "Canned Heat" (Blues Duo) ©2010 (release date March 2011)
Album “Old, New, Borrowed & Blues” ©2007
3 Singles for “Prairie Fire Project”, Canadian Diabetes Foundation, 2003
Single “Rock This House” ©2002, licensed to Zernick Von-Sertner Films, L.A.
Album “Welcome to my Fantasy” ©2000