The Northwest Women Rhythm & Blues group performs specialty shows produced by Sonny Hess since the early ’80s. These unique shows are comprised of the top female performers in the region and also exposes newly found talent to the Portland blues scene. Names you might recognize like Lisa Mann, Ellen Whyte, Rae Gordon, and Lady True Blue got their start in the area with Northwest Women Rhythm & Blues — women who have gone on to win multiple awards locally, regionally, and nationally. Each show is different and brings its own certain magic that you won’t want to miss!
This performance will include the following talent:
Sonny Hess, known far and wide for her sensual guitar playing, songwriting gifts and soulful vocals, this local blues legend has been firing up shows around the Northwest for over four decades. She was the first woman to be nominated in a male dominated field for Best Lead Guitar.
Lisa Mann, this two-time BMA Award winning artist, hails from the blues-soaked Portland, OR. Her vocals are a force-of-nature, mastering everything from hard to R&B, and her bass grooves deliver the solidness of a Muscle Shoals Swamper or a Funk Brother.
Ms. Vee (Valyria Lewis) is a singer, musician, writer and comedienne. Ms. Vee’s style of soul blues is infused with Black southern gospel and a lot of soul! Born and raised in Forrest City, Arkansas, she began her musical career as a piano student at Lorenzo’s School of Contemporary Music — earning a spot in Lorenzo’s blues/jazz band at just the age of ten!
Lara Price arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997 to pursue her dream of singing in a band, and the journey of Lara’s career has taken her across the world and multiple bands. On her sixth album, I Mean Business, she was picked up by Vizztone Label Group and earned the Best Soul/Blues Female Artist nomination for 2017 Blues Foundation Awards.
Rae Gordon is known for her approachability and onstage charisma, as well-known as her multi-octave range. She has won the Cascade Blues Association’s Muddy Award for Best Female Vocalist five times, landing her in their Hall of Fame.
Lady True Blue is nicknamed True Blue because she has a style and technique all her own. She delivers a sultry alto voice that rumbles across the audience like melting butter and feel you have been touched by something real!
Kelly Pierce, drum/percussion, is always in sync with the groove and knows how to anticipate Sonny, having played together for over 25 years.
Introducing 2 new vocalists to the scene this year…
Jonnie Goodmanson, performing in the Phoenix and Portland local scene, Jonnie’s versatile range and soulful vocals take us on an emotional and musical ride.
Nina Tatum brings sassy vocals with a blustery blues delivery. She has sung in many clubs and concert halls around the Northwest, making her a veteran blues vocalist.