October 6th, 2011 in Endorsed Artists
The past year and a half has been an exciting time for Canadian guitarist Donna Grantis. Performance highlights include: An international touring schedule consisting of four European tours with performances in Italy, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland and Macedonia, as well as performances in Singapore, Australia and throughout Canada and the United States; a Toronto Jazz Festival main stage performance opening for jazz icon John Scofield; an invitation by Paul Smith of Paul Reed Smith guitars to perform at an exclusive event alongside artists including Orianthi (Michael Jackson) and Mike Scott (Prince); The Sistah’s Project, a concert featuring performances by some of the country’s top African Canadian female vocalists, including Molly Johnson and Jackie Richardson, which later evolved into a nationally broadcasted documentary through VisionTV; and a concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of CBC’s Saturday Night Blues show, that included a roster of fantastic Canadian musicians including Colin James, Colin Linden and Jim Byrnes. As a session musician, Donna has performed with multi platinum recording artist Amanda Marshall, Juno award winning artists Kardinal Offishall, Divine Brown, Kellylee Evans and Jacksoul, acoustic guitar virtuoso Tony McManus and blues legend Coco Montoya, among others. In 2009, Donna performed in the Women’s Blues Revue at Massey Hall with Maple Blues Vocalist of the Year, Shakura S’Aida – and was the first instrumentalist to be included as a featured performer in the history of the revue. In 2010, she was appointed to the role of Musical Director and she will be leading the band once again in this year’s 25th Anniversary concert. Recording highlights through 2010 and 2011 include two full-length releases with artists Shakura S’Aida and Saidah Baba Talibah (daughter of renowned jazz vocalist Salome Bey). In addition to performing as a featured guitarist on Shakura’s internationally released “Brown Sugar” (produced by Jim Gaines – Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana), Donna co-wrote nine original songs on the album and was the Musical Director of the project. Similarly, Donna was a featured guitarist on Saidah’s highly anticipated debut album “(S)Cream” (CLK Creative Works), co-wrote six songs on the record and was the Musical Director of the group. Other notable highlights include: endorsements by D’Addario strings, Planet Waves cables and accessories, Traynor amplifiers, Steve Clayton guitar picks, PRS guitars; and the creation of a guitar inspired jewellery line (the AJA Collection), designed in collaboration with Toronto goldsmith Tarah Zaczyk (Crush Lane). Looking ahead, Donna will be releasing her debut solo album this year with her group, the Donna Grantis Electric Band. As a graduate from McGill University’s Jazz Performance program, Donna combines a jazz sensibility with her blues and classic rock roots. The Electric Band is a power trio with a passion for psychedelic improvisation. Fans of artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Medeski Martin & Wood, Soulive and Jeff Beck would find a common thread in Donna’s music.