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January 27, 2007

Barrie Kicks Off 10th Annual February Blues Festival

Written by
cindy mcleod

Canadian blues music news

February Blues Launches 10th Annual Festival in Barrie

The February Blues X kicks off Feb. 1 at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, ON, with a celebration of the blues featuring headliners Ndidi Onukwulu, Madagascar Slim, and Morgan Davis, who will make a special cameo concert appearance.

JUNO nominee Ndidi Onukwulu, recently won the 2006 Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist of the Year. Born in British Columbia of Nigerian heritage, Onukwulu left home at an early age to pursue a singing career in New York. Steeped in the sounds of traditional blues, her African roots have not been the main influence on her music. Returning to Canada , she settled in Toronto, where in 2004, she performed at Massey Hall in the Women’s Blues Revue, and was a finalist in the Toronto Blues Society Talent Search. In March 2006, Onukwulu released her debut album, No I Never.

Madagascar Slim, a JUNO award-winner for Best Global Album (2000) and Best Roots/Traditional (2001), took his stage name from his birth country. Renown for his African guitar playing, he is also Onukwulu’s full-time guitar player and sometime co-writer. Slim was inspired from a young age by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King, and the local Malagasy music. Having pursued his post-secondary studies in Canada, Slim’s adopted home base has proven fruitful ground for a multitude of musical accomplishments.

Morgan Davis, originally from Detroit, has been playing the blues for 33 years. A Juno Award winner for Best Blues Album in 2004, he had made his way to Toronto in 1968, moving to Nova Scotia in 2000. In 2004 he won four Maple Blues Awards. Davis’ song writing talent received international attention when Colin James covered his composition, Why’d You Lie?

The February Blues run from Feb. 1 to 4, and also include a Fashion Show in the Barrie City Hall rotunda on Feb 2, and that same evening hosts a concert at the Gryphon Theatre, featuring Emmett Plays Clapton, featuring former Triumph frontman Rik Emmett.

for more information visit www.barriejazzbluesfest.com.

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