Shakura S'Aida

Shakura S'Aida black and white

“When I considered such a collaboration as HER Majesty (Shakura named it as well!) there was only one person who came to mind to curate this for us and that person is the brilliant singer and music fan, Shakura S’Aida. Shakura is someone who is no stranger to MusicFest, in fact, last time she was here we had her close for Ry Cooder!

Having run into her at various Festivals and conferences, we always had these wonderful deep conversations about music. Be it blues, jazz, gospel, funk or folk, I always came away from these conversations having learned something from Shakura and always appreciated her reverence for the music and the music-makers. I always thought, this woman should be an Artistic Director. When I asked her to curate a Woman’s Blues revue for our Festival, she jumped at it and in doing so, put together a powerhouse group that no one else could have put together!”

Doug Cox, MusicFest Artistic Director

You may have spotted Brooklyn-born, Swiss-raised & Canadian-based Shakura S’Aida performing at Festivals in Dubai, Australia, Rwanda or Russia,  in her 4 woman tribute to Nina Simone, ‘The Nina Project’ or  in shows like Schitt’s Creek, Titans & Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker. From her beginnings as world music band Kaleefah’s lead singer, this versatile vocalist and consummate entertainer has blown audiences away with her scorching vocal style, uncanny ability to deliver powerful original songs and to get deep into the guts of the most venerable standard.

Shakura’s long-simmering career initially moved into high gear in 2008 with a triumph at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, when she earned the runner-up position, competing against more than 100 bands from more than 20 different countries. In the past 11 years since, her tour schedule has taken her to almost 30 countries.

Shakura S’Aida has been consistently thrilling audiences with her powerful pipes for years, most recently as a guest host on CBC Radio 2’s Weekend Morning. As a veteran of the international music scene, she’s performed both as a featured artist with musicians like Jimmy Smith, Lee Oskar (WAR), Bettye LaVette and Keb Mo’, as well as an award winning solo artist.

After a 8 year hiatus, Shakura is back in the studio; this time with co-producers Donna Grantis (Prince/3 rd Eye Girl), Keb’ Mo’ and Roger Costa (Jeff Healey). The new album features collaborations with international artists including Eric Gales and Lee Oskar.

Whether she’s speaking Swiss-German, French or English, Shakura instantly connects with her audience — and at the same time richly demonstrates the multiculturalism that Canada prides itself on.

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